Sunday, December 14, 2014

Flashfire by Richard Stark

(pb; 2000: nineteenth novel in the Parker series. Foreword by Terry Teachout.)

From the back cover:

"Parker hobnobs with the excessively monied citizens of West Palm Beach while impersonating a Texan oilman looking to buy property. The true object of his affection is a twelve-million-dollar stash of jewels that he aims to steal from under the noses of a hundred socialites, a hit man, and six other thieves who have an unhealthy love of explosions. When things go sour, Parker finds himself shot and trapped -- and forced to rely on a civilian to survive."


When three fellow heisters (Boyd Melander, Hal Carlson and Jerry Ross) cheat Parker out of his money, Parker follows them to Palm Beach, where he hopes to recoup his cash -- with interest -- from them.

Further complications arise when he's at the wrong place at the wrong time, resulting in a hit being put out on him, and a blond real estate agent takes interest in Parker, a.k.a. Daniel Parmitt, who doesn't strike her as a typical client.

Stark's writing is pulp icy, blunt and intense (character- and action-wise), his usual style. Tom Hurley, last seen in Butcher's Moon, also makes a brief "appearance" (he is heard on the phone) in this difficult-to-put-down thriller.

Worth owning, this. Followed by Firebreak.


Flashfire inspired the 2013 film Parker, which was released stateside on January 25, 2013. Taylor Hackford directed the film from a script by John J. McLaughlin.

Jason Statham played Parker. Jennifer Lopez played Leslie Rodgers (cinematic stand-in for Leslie Mackenzie). Emma Booth played Claire. Nick Nolte played Hurley.

Michael Chiklis played Melander. Wendell Pierce played Carlson. Clifton Collins Jr. played Ross. Carlos Carrasco played Norte.

Bobby Cannavale played Jake Fernandez. Patti LuPone played Ascension.

Micah Hauptman, billed as Micah A. Hauptman, played August Hardwicke. Kirk Baltz played Bobby Hardwicke. Mike Watson played "Sheriff on Boat". Rio Hackford, son of director Taylor Hackford, played Oliver.

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