The Wheelman

Duane Swierczynski's The Wheelman

Duane Swierczynski’s The Wheelman

Man, this took me a while to finish. It certainly had nothing to do with the plot, the characters or the author’s pacing; I just picked the wrong times to read. Almost every time I picked this book up, I dozed off. What had made this experience so frustrating was that I really liked it and I would find myself getting angry and wondering if I was suffering from narcolepsy. Trust me, if you’re unable to find a story about a mute, Irish getaway driver at least a little interesting, there may be something chemically wrong with you.

Books like The Wheelman are the reason I’m leaning towards literature as my main source of action-fiction. Hey, I love watching big explosions and car chases in movies and television just as much as the next guy but it takes real writing chops to be able to write an action thriller so clearly that it throws away the need for a visual medium; and boy does he have some chops.

I found a lot of parallels between this and one of my favorite books, Kiss Me, Judas. Not in the sense that we’re looking a novel here that mirrors the neo noir genre like Kiss Me, Judas but a lot of the characters and Swierczynski’s prose seemed pretty similar to Will Christopher Baer. Both novels share fast paced and often frenetic action, with action scenes happening within pages of each other. Swierczynski’s prose can be quick and the dialogue is often pretty sharp, so I found myself flying through large chunks of the book in each sitting.

I’ve read a few reviews of his other novels and have officially placed them on my radar. The man shows definite promise, and with the introduction of a signature character in his catalog and the beginnings of a series, I’m pretty excited to dig into it.

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