Thursday, September 4, 2008


Occasionally I get in a murderous mood. What’s a girl to do if she can’t kill someone every now and then?

If I’m being lazy, I’ll beg the hubby to take me to watch Jason Statham, Sam Jackson, or Frank Miller movies. These guys use some imagination. The stars don’t just shoot their enemies. Oh No. I can watch them beat a foe to a pulp for three minutes then they shoot them. Like I said you have to be in the mood.

Surprisingly, I love gallows humor. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming.) A friend recommended Duane Swierczynski, two novels, The Wheelman and Severance Package.

I picked up Wheelman at the library and over lunch I browsed the first few chapters. I couldn’t put it down it had more plot twists than a slinky. I stayed up until the wee hours to finish it. The gritty dialogue was sparse and kept the pacing suspenseful. I was scared to turn the page for fear what next would befalls the protagonist Lennon. Talk about a lousy couple of days. Geez, I never want to be friends with the likes of Lennon, but I sure enjoyed the vicarious ride. This is the best bank heist book I've read.

Impressed with the Wheelman I grabbed Severance Package, got a beer and fell into my reading chair. Think film noir meets TV's The Office, with a healthy dose of superfluous bedlam. The plot requires one to suspend disbelief, but it's over-the-top funny. Talk about taking fluid rounds (after-work drinking) a step to far, Duane does it with great style. I wonder if he'll be at B'Con 2008 and can I buy him a brew?

Duane's novels have the feel of graphic comic-book novels.(They should since he also writes the Marvel Series Cable). If you enjoy gratuitous violence, outrageous plot twists, and need to blow off some vicarious steam towards the boss. Then Severance Package is your book. If you can find humor in the telling of how someone stepped on their own foot and broke it, then you'll laugh all the way through this one.

If your in the mood, like noir, well here's two fine books. Look out Ken Bruen and Victor Gischler because Duane's breathing down your neck.
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