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Friday, August 19, 2011

Hell on Wheels! ~ "Fun & Games" by Duane Swierczynski

Publisher:  Mulholland Books
Little,Brown & Co.
Pages:  283

Book Summary :
The first of three explosive pulp thrillers arriving back-to-back from cult crime fiction sensation and Marvel Comics scribe Duane Swierczynski.
Charlie Hardie, an ex-cop still reeling from the revenge killing of his former partner's entire family, fears one thing above all else: that he'll suffer the same fate.
Languishing in self-imposed exile, Hardie has become a glorified house sitter. His latest gig comes replete with an illegally squatting B-movie actress who rants about hit men who specialize in making deaths look like accidents. Unfortunately, it's the real deal. Hardie finds himself squared off against a small army of the most lethal men in the world: The Accident People.
It's nothing personal-the girl just happens to be the next name on their list. For Hardie, though, it's intensely personal. He's not about to let more innocent people die. Not on his watch.

About the Author :

Duane Swierczynski is the author of several crime thrillers and also writes the X-Men spinoff CABLE for Marvel Comics and IMMORTAL IRON FIST. His latest novels include EXPIRATION DATE; LEVEL 26, cowritten with CSI creator Anthony E. Zuicker; and SEVERANCE PACKAGE, which has been optioned by Lionsgate films. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and children.

The Bookish Dame Reviews :

Talk about fun and games!  Take a wild ride with Duane Swierczynski (czyn=sin).  If he's driving you're being slammed left and right, high and low and you're scared to death. He writes like a heart attack on wheels, and you'll have to tear yourself away from his book before your ride is over. 

Oh, this is good writing...fast and furious, and peppered with reckless people who riddle the book throughout making you hold your breath while they find a way through impossible situations.  Did this book fire me up?  Yep.  I loved the action.  Duane doesn't let up on us...once engaged he simply takes us for a spin like it's real life and we're going down with his characters.

Speaking of his characters:  Lane, his primary female protagonist, is a feisty, smart and beautiful girl who is nobody's fool.  I loved that about her.  She could easily have been a wimpy movie star mowed over by his other characters, but Duane made her worthy of a respectable battle.  Nice! She was tough and tender, making her a character women can identify with and follow with enjoyment.

Charlie Hardie is a complex character.  Swierczynski keeps referring to his "lizard brain" and I'm not too sure I understand that.  Did he mean that he was a guy who just reacted instead of thinking a situation out?  I suppose that was it but when he had to, he planned and executed along with the best of them.  It seemed to me he was fast thinking and not afraid to act in a tough spot which made the action twice as interesting.

"They" were despicable.  The people out to kill Lane and others were so skillfully drawn that I actually hated the leader and found myself fighting against them in my mind.  This is significant because it shows how involved the reader becomes in Duane's book!  I can't remember being so tied up in knots about a thriller scene such as he describes it.  Not just one, but one after another after another hard-hitting engagement comes at the reader and we're just incapable of putting this book down for hours.

I was happy to know at the end it seemed we weren't going to see the last of Charlie.  I'm now pretty attached to him.  "Fun & Games" is, happily, the first in a series with the newest book "Hell & Gone" being released in October.  

I highly recommend "Fun & Games" because it's a wild ride of excitement and suspense.  Welcome to the world of Charlie Hardie...   Duane Swierczynski is a crime writer extraordinaire!

5 well-deserved stars



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