Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski

The Wheelman by Duane SwierczynskiHardie sometimes marveled at how quickly things could spin out of control. – Charlie Hardie

Once a special consultant to the Philadelphia Police Department entrusted with critical, off the radar jobs, Charlie Hardie’s life went off the rails when a job went spectacularly wrong resulting in several deaths. Now Charlie spends his time moving from one house-sitting job to another. His clients are wealthy people with cushy houses in desirable locations, the latest of which belongs to a movie composer who lives in the Hollywood Hills.

He gets more than expected this time out, however, when doing a walk-thru upon arrival he finds a wild-eyed young woman hiding in the house. Apparently strung out on drugs, she keeps babbling about how “they” are trying to kill her, accusing Charlie of being one of “them.” Though he finds it a little too coincidental that the power goes out shortly after he arrives and neither of their phones can get a signal, he’s not quite ready to believe there’s a group of assassins outside on a mission to kill some junkie…though she looks sorta familiar.

Turns out there’s a reason for that. Charlie finally realizes the woman is Lane Madden, a well-known young Hollywood actress. She explains that she broke into the house after getting away from some people who ran her car off the road then injected her with drugs to try and make it look like she crashed after OD’ing. Ok, Charlie thinks, so she’s not some random junkie. She’s a cokehead, paranoid, B-List actress. And he’s still not buying that there are people outside waiting to kill her. Wanting to prove that to her, Charlie decides to go outside despite Lane’s frantic pleas that he not open the door. You know, he really should have listened to her.

Suffice it to say “The Accident People” really are outside, and they most definitely want to kill Lane. And now that Charlie’s blundered into the mix screwing up their carefully laid plans, they’re not really keen on him continuing to breathe either. Author Duane Swierczynski has really outdone himself with Fun & Games, as Charlie’s decision to open the door sets off a chain of events that soon have him making the aforementioned observation about how quickly things can spin out of control.

A reluctant hero, Charlie would really prefer just to watch old movies and drink until he passes out, but he’s more than capable of rising to the challenges Swierczynski sets out for him. And this being a Swierczynski novel, those challenges are numerous and the action is high octane. Before all is said and done beating, impaling, tazing, shooting, chemical poisoning, and drowning will all be involved. Among other nastiness.

Fun & Games is the explosive start of what promises to be an action trilogy for the ages. Cruel, cruel man that he is, Swiercznyski ends Fun & Games on a cliffhanger that will have you ready to storm his house to get your hands on the next book, Hell and Gone, which is set for an October 31st release. The final book, Point and Shoot, is scheduled for March 2012. —

Fun & Games is available from Mulholland Books (ISBN: 978-0316133289). Though the official release date is June 20th, word on the street is that Amazon is already shipping.

Coming Tomorrow: A guest post from the man himself, Duane Swierczynski.

Duane Swierczynski is the author of the crime thrillers Secret Dead Men, The Wheelman, The Blonde, Severance Package, Expiration Date, and Fun and Games. Along with CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker, Swierczynski is the co-author of the ground-breaking digi-novels Level 26: Dark Origins and its sequel, Dark Prophecy. He has also written the X-Men spinoff Cable, Immortal Iron Fist, and Punisher for Marvel Comics, and was recently announced as the writer of the forthcoming Birds of Prey from DC. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and children. To learn more about Duane, visit his website.

Duane Swierczynski Week: June 13-17, 2011
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7 Comments

  • Elyse/Pop Culture Nerd

    June 18, 2011 - 3:42 pm

    Definitely in my top 3 of the best books I’ve read this year and likely to stay there when the year is over. I will raid Duane’s house with you to steal his computer and read HELL AND GONE.

  • Josh Stallings

    June 16, 2011 - 12:20 pm

    Greta review. I’m fan of both Duane Swierczynski and Elizabeth A. White, so whats not to love here. Cant wait to read Fun and Games. Sounds smack dab in the middle of my wheelhouse.

    • Elizabeth A. White

      June 16, 2011 - 12:25 pm

      Oh, I certainly think Charlie and Moses could have quite a bit of fun – and get into quite a bit of trouble – together. 😉

  • Sabrina Ogden

    June 16, 2011 - 9:45 am

    This is the first book I’ve purchased by this author and it sounds like I chose wisely! Looking forward to the read. Great review, Elizabeth.

  • le0pard13

    June 16, 2011 - 9:37 am

    I’m really looking forward to this one. As well, this is going to be the first Duane Swierczynski novel that’ll have an audiobook (by the Hachette Book Group) out with its release! I’m hoping for more audio versions of the man’s work. Thanks, Elizabeth.

  • Rabid

    June 16, 2011 - 9:36 am

    I had a real blast with this book too and it’s still ranked as my favorite of the year so far. Though, I am reading Tom Piccirilli’s Every Shallow Cut right now and that’s another amazing piece of work.

    Looking forward to the guest post.

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