Book Review: THE WHEELMAN
I believe The Wheelman is Duane Swierczynski’s first novel. And it’s a doozy. It helped me through a sometimes challenging Thanksgiving. The book's got everything I look for in a crime novel: a cinematic style, crisp dialogue (interesting, in that the book’s lead character, getaway driver Patrick Lennon, is mute), and nice, short chapters, something I’m a very big fan of. Some chapters are only a page long, others four or five, and several consist of just a few lines. That makes reading The Wheelman like digging into a bag of cool ranch Doritos: you can always squeeze in one more chapter, or maybe five, before turning out the light.
You won’t want to stop reading Swierczynski. He’s a piledriver of a writer. The Wheelman — which I’d spoil for you if I told you any more than that it’s about a bank heist gone terribly wrong — hammers you with surprises every other page, and its twists are such that you’ll occasionally turn back a few pages to better appreciate how the author managed to fool you so cleverly.
Here’s a warning, though: The Wheelman is cartoony pulp violence cranked up to High. So if you don’t enjoy a bloody, rough-and-tumble noir novel, avoid this. But if you are a fan of heist stories filled with crooked ex-cops, Russian and Italian mobsters, backstabbing partners, and unfaithful girlfriends, you’ll love this book. I've already got Swierczynski's new book, The Blonde, waiting on my bedside table. I can't wait.