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October 13, 2009 / C.T. Henry

REVIEW: The Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski

wheelmanYou can always count on Swierczynski to deliver a good adrenaline rush. This frenetically paced thriller follows the exploits of Lennon, a professional getaway driver.  After the three-man team successfully robs 650 grand from a bank in Philly, they place the money in a car safely stowed away in a long-term parking garage.  That’s when everything goes wrong.

The Wheelman isn’t a comic caper like Donald Westlake’s Dortmunder series.  Instead, Swierczynski writes biting prose.  It’s sharp, it’s got an edge, and it’s fast, just like a getaway specialist would drive:

They were still on track.  As long as they could make the next couple of blocks, this might work out after all…Lennon stomped on the gas.  The car rocketed forward, tires screaming on pavement, and Lennon didn’t see her until the last minute.

The woman, pushing a blue baby stroller…

Next Chapter:

The moment Lennon saw the woman and her baby stroller, he knew the Acura was going to hit them.

Impact was two or three seconds away.  Lennon was faced with a choice: aim for the stroller, or aim for the woman…”

While the entire reading experience was certainly fun and pleasing, Swierczynski’s conclusion wasn’t as good as the rest of the book. Nevertheless, I wanted to pick up another Swerczynski thriller as soon as I finished the last page.  I’ll have to get my hands on his latest thriller: Severance Package.

Verdict: GOOD BUT NOT GREAT (Translation: Recommended with some reservations)

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