Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Long Con Week 3 - The Wheelman

The Wheelman
by Duane Swierczynski

I started out this blog, and this lengthy process of reading every damn crime/mystery novel ever written, with the hopes of understanding how criminals work, think, live, and in the process, how to write about it with more confidence.  I figured that with a few hundred novels under my belt, I'd be more in tuned with the criminal mind.  There would be some secret club, with a cool handshake, that would welcome me with open arms as soon as I could tell you why Johnny likes to rob banks and shoot people in the face.

I know why people shoot each other in the face now.


If I have to read one more repost on 93% of people believing that toast cures cancer, and only 62% of those people will tell their congressman about it, but 7% of those people will eat it anyway, I will shoot everyone in the face.

I hate 93% of people, and the other 7% are just one ignorant post away from joining that club.

There is the option of just not using Facebook.  My anger and annoyance would most likely just fade away, or at least be saved for someone I actually see in the flesh, but to do so would be counter-productive to my being attention whore when it comes to this blog.

Getting what I want, or being on the verge of violence.  It's a tough question.

Duane Swierczynski knows what I'm talking about, and I'd like to think he wrote this book especially for me, knowing it'd bring a great big fucking smile to my face.

The Wheelman, and this is the only way I can describe it, is 93% all-out, holding on to your balls awesome.  The other 7%, it will shoot you in the face.

The man who wrote the book on robbing banks--This Here's a Stick-Up: The Big Bad Book of American Bank Robbery (2002)--here indulges his fascination from a fictional angle. Lennon, the untalkative Irish hero, doesn't technically rob banks, but he does drive the getaway car for guys who do. Though he is a consummate pro, the job is unpredictable by nature, and when we meet him--waiting outside a Wachovia bank in Philadelphia--he is about to find out exactly how unpredictable. The heist goes horrifically wrong, and in the adrenaline-charged pages that follow, Lennon is betrayed, beaten, and befuddled as he relentlessly tries to recover his loot and get out of Philly intact. Fast-moving and funny, The Wheel Man is a Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in an R-rated amusement park. It's cartoonishly violent, but fans of pulp fiction won't bat an eyelash. The book sports a blurb by Ken Bruen (Vixen, 2005), which makes sense: despite their different milieus, fans of one writer should enjoy the other. Keir Graff Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved 

Couldn't have said that better myself.

From page 1, the story drops you into Lennon's life, and doesn't stop until the final bullet.  There isn't one wasted chapter, not one wasted word.  Each character, no matter how briefly they appear, is important, and more importantly memorable.  I had an absolute blast reading this book, never once saying "just one more chapter" because I could not wait to get to the end. 

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  Too bad 93% of you will never read it.  You 7% that will, you're okay with me.

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