RARA-AVIS: Flashfire by Richard Stark

From: Carrie Pruett ( pruettc@hotmail.com)
Date: 10 Sep 2001

I picked Flashfire up as my first Westlake-as-Stark (though I've seen "Point Blank" and unfortunately "Payback") and was a little surprised by it. The first part - which has Parker matter-of-factly performing a number of violent robberies to fund a revenge scheme - was about what I expected, but once he got set up in Palm Beach, it got more satirical and seemed more like a Dortmunder book with more gunplay(though Parker himself never lightened up). I haven't quite got to the end, yet, so I'm not sure if the book reverts to a more spare, hardboiled style in the end. Anyway, I'm definitely liking the book, it's just not what I expected (or rather the beginning was but the middle wasn't). I'm curious how this one rates compared to the other Stark books.


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