Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fun and Games, by Duane Swierczynski

Move over The Blonde.  I might just have a new favorite Swierczy novel.

Charlie Hardie is an ex-police consultant turned house sitter.  Still reeling with guilt from a tragedy three years ago, Hardie has given up his family and any semblance of a normal life to become a nomad; moving from rich person's house to rich person's house.  Content to punch the clock by drinking beers and watching old movies (sounds good to me), Hardie wants to escape his old life rather than trying to move on.

His latest gig comes with an extra surprise:  a B-List movie starlet blitzed out of her gourd and ranting about a group of hitmen known as "The Accident People".

One thing I always love about Duane Swierczynski's books is his far out concepts.  A woman who will die if she isn't within 10 feet of another human being at all times?  A mute Irish getaway driver?  Expired Tylenol that takes you back in time?

And each book is a slam-bang thriller that grips you from page one.  I think there wasn't a single second either one of our heroes wasn't in peril until about page 190 (no exaggeration).  OK, there were some moments that strain believability - specifically how much damage some of the characters can take and still live.  But if you put yourself in the mindset that this is like a Die Hard or Speed or any number of older action movies, you'll have no problem with it.

Like the blurb on the back of the book said, "This is more exciting than what you're reading now." Swierczynski is the guru of fast-paced thrillers and needs to be more widely read.

Highly recommended.

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