Thursday, February 02, 2006

From The Biggest Name In Crime Fiction



I've said before that I'm happy Duane Swierczynski is writing because his name is harder to spell than mine. Now, it's because I've read his book.

This is not a review. I'm not a book critic. I know better than to think I can casually step into Sarah or David's shoes, and besides, Sarah's heels kill my calves. No, this is not a review.

This is an appreciation.

Duane's novel, The Wheelman, picked me up by the throat and shook me like a rabid terrier. From the opening robbery to the bloody end, this thing moved. And like those high-wire walkers, Duane made it look easy.

He jumpcuts from one POV to another, riding close behind the ear of whoever he's running with, and he covers Philadelphia beautifully, as seamlessly as Dennis Lehane paints Boston.

But The Wheelman is a hell of a lot tougher than Lehane's books, closer to Ken Bruen's work, and while Duane's prose doesn't rise to the bruised knuckle poetry of Bruen's best (give him time), it still packs more into a page and a half than I can squeeze into five.

As I said, this is not a review. This is an appreciation. Thanks, Duane. You've made me a fan, and not just because of your name.

Now, back to our regular programming.

3 comments:

JD Rhoades said...

Totally agree. This book is amazing. I enjoyed Secret Dead Men, Duane's first, but this one kicks things up several notches.

Should be getting up your way soonish, David. St M's is steeting up some signings at Regulator and McIntyr'es.

David Terrenoire said...

Excellent. Have them contact Nancy Olsen at Quail Ridge, too.

I'm looking forward to it.

secretdeadartist said...

I read a lot of good books last year, but "The Wheelman" is definitely at the top, or close to it, of any list that I would choose to pass on to readers of crime fiction. Glad you got around to reading it Terrenoire. It really is an exceptional acheivement.