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: Firebreak takes Parker to a palatial Montana "hunting lodge" where a dot-com millionaire hides a gallery of stolen old masters - which will fetch Parker a pretty penny if his team can just get it past the mansion's tight security. The forests of Montana are an inhospitable place for a heister when well-laid plans fall apart, but no matter how untamed the wilderness, Parker's guaranteed to be the most dangerous predator around.
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.