Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Wheelman, By Duane Swierczynski

I read The Wheelman in the fall and realized I haven't gotten around to reviewing it yet. The review would've been filled with a lot of detail if I'd written it right away, but I can at least give my quick overview.

It's pretty much what everyone else says. The characters are laugh out loud funny. The story is an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride. Lennon, a mute Irishman, is the best getaway driver in the business. We first meet him outside a Wachovia bank in downtown Philadelphia waiting for his partners. The heist goes off as expected, but things go sideways during the getaway. Lennon spends the rest of the book on the run from the cops, the Italian mafia, and the Russian mob. And, like a true noir hero, gets the living crap beat out of him at every turn.

The story builds to the inevitable showdown between Lennon and all the parties who feel he's done them wrong. Herein lies my only quibble with this book. The resolution feels to me like a deus ex machina. I'll forgive Duane this once, but I'm hoping for a more satisfying ending from his next book, The Blonde (which is next on my TBR pile).

Despite my misgivings with the ending, I highly recommend this book.


Cormac Brown said...

Without spoilers, "The Wheelman" is changed by "The Blonde" and hopefully you have the version of "The Blonde," that has "The Redhead" novela in it.

WellesFan said...


I was going to mention something about a character returning in a major role for The Blonde (initials MK), but, like you, I wanted to avoid some spoilers as well. And, yes, Duane would probably kill me, but I waited until The Blonde was out in paperback to pick up a copy for the sole reason of getting the novella. :)

Cormac Brown said...

Ah, I wish such hindsight was available to me, but Duane and the bookstores the bookstores are a little bit wealthier. He deserves it.