Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Wheelman

The Wheelman, a novel by Duane Swierczynski.

One of the best books I've read in years. I found myself reading instead of watching old DVDs of Scrubs.

Cinematic kept coming to mind when I would talk to Sharon about the book. Swierczynski moves on as soon as the plot point has been made, doesn't hang around with paragraphs of description and resolution. He doesn't need to tell you the guy wasn't killed, yet, because the guy is still in the book a couple of chapters (pages) later.

The Wheelman is a hardboiled caper book. The main character Lennon is a mute Irishman driving for a bank hist in Philadelphia. Those who know Philly will recognize the scenery but intimate knowledge of the friendly city is not required.

I first learned about Swierczynski from an interview with him on the Behind the Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed podcast (recommended for hardboiled fans).


The Subaru flipped at least six times. Lennon lost count after the first two.

His first thought: Grab the gun.

His second thought: I don't have a gun.

They were all headed for the airport. He was headed for Puerto Rico. And Katie.

Glass shattered around his head, beads grinding into his scalp. The engine whined and complained and finally settled into a low hum.

Lennon had a limited view out of his side window. Grass—some burned, some green. Shoes. Walking toward the car.

There was a dull roaring sound. Lennon could smell his own burning clothes. the last thing he heard was himself, trying to scream.

About the author

Duane Swierczynski is Editor-In-Chief of the Philadelphia City Paper. A receipt for This Here's a Stickup, was found in the getaway car of a San Francisco bandit who'd hit at least thirty California banks. Duane lives in Philadelphia. Visit his Web site at www.DuaneSwierczynski.com.

No comments: