Between Parker's 1961 debut and his return in the late 1990s, the world of crime changed considerably. Now fake IDs and credit cards had to be purchased from specialists; increasingly sophisticated policing made escape and evasion tougher; and, worst of all, money had gone digital - the days of cash-stuffed payroll trucks were long gone. But cash isn't everything: Flashfire finds Parker going after a fortune in jewels. In this story, Parker's in West Palm Beach, competing with a crew that has an unhealthy love of explosions; when things go sour, Parker finds himself shot and trapped - and forced to rely on a civilian to survive.
Richard Stark was one of the many pseudonyms of Donald E. Westlake (1933 2008), a prolific author of crime fiction. In 1993, the Mystery Writers of America bestowed the society s highest honor on Westlake, naming him a Grand Master.