Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Wheelman -- Duane Swierczynski

This must be my month for reading novels about getaway drivers. First came Jim Sallis's excellent Drive, and now The Wheelman, which also begins with a heist gone wrong but which is quite a different book. For one thing, the title character, Partick Lennon, absorbs more punishment than just about anybody I can think of in recent fiction. Even moer than Declan MacManus of D. Daniel Judson's The Bone Orchard. Until I read about Lennon, I considered MacManus the champ, but Lennon, well, you should just read the book and find out.

Are there any other reasons to read the book? Duane Swierczynski's the real deal. First there was Secret Dead Men, a tour-de-force if ever there was one, and now this. It's fast-moving, full of double crosses, triple crosses, and maybe quadruple crosses, the action scenes are so good that you wonder when the movie will be coming out, and the characters are the kind you don't want to meet in a dark alley, or anywhere else except in the pages of a book, where they're all equally terrible and equally entertaining. Anybody can die and any time, and will.

If, like me, you have a little trouble spelling Swierczynski, better sit down and practice. This guy's gonna be around a long time.


Unknown said...

Thanks so much, Bill. I'm thrilled you enjoyed it. As far as punishment... yeah, I guess I'm guilty as charged. One of my favorite movies. EVIL DEAD 2, taught me how to treat a protagonist: when it doubt, throw him down a basement.

Mystery Dawg said...

I think this guy has a big career ahead of him. The book was smooth and so enjoyable. WIll Lennon be back? Duane, will he, ha? Watchout Westlake, there is a new guy in town and his name is Swier..something or other....