I picked up “Severance Package” at Hyde’s Bookstore. I’d never read anything by Duane Swierczynski (I had to copy and paste that name), but this sounded interesting. And it turned out to be a totally engrossing and very unusual thriller.
So for Christmas, I put Swierczynski’s other two books, “The Wheel Man” and “The Blonde,” on my list.
Pam got me “The Wheel Man.” And yesterday, I finished it. Took me just two days.
The main character of “The Wheel Man,” Lennon, is a getaway car driver for bank robbers. The book starts with a bank robbery that goes bad, and that sets in motion a whole lot of mayhem. We follow Lennon around as he gets shot and beat up and abused in sundry ways, but keeps on ticking.
The book reminded me of Mel Gibson’s movie “Payback,” where he plays a con named Porter (It’s based on a Donald Westlake novel, which I haven’t read). “Payback” is one of my favorite movies. You really don’t know what’s coming next. You can guess, but you’ll probably be wrong.
“The Wheel Man” is like that. Whatever 90% of writers would do with a scene, Swierczynski does differently. It’s unpredictable. The plot never pauses; you just keep moving right along, helplessly. As a reader, I was magnetically drawn page by page to the end, which turned out to be satisfying and unexpected. Though by that point, I was expecting the unexpected.
I need to track down “The Blonde.” Swierczynski has a wicked imagination, and I’m anxious to read more.