Fun and Games by Duane Swierczynski is the equivalent of an action movie. It’s starts off with a car chase and just keeps going non-stop. You’ve got fights galore, a fire, some gadgets and syringes.

Charlie Hardie is a former cop, well not exactly a cop but sorta of a cop consultant, who now spends his time house-sitting for people with money to spare. He spends his days more or less drinking and watching movies. Until his latest assignment. After breaking having to break into the house to watch, he finds Lane Madden inside. She’s a has-been actress who tells a bizarre story that They are out to kill her, they being The Accident People, a behind the scenes group in Hollywood who take care of problems but make the deaths seem like accidents. Turns out she’s right and the rest of the book is about Hardie and Lane doing their best to stay alive, stay one step ahead of Them.

By the end I liked this one. I need to see what happens to Hardie next, but the journey to that point was a little long for me. I think that this is one of those books that’s better if you just sit down and read it in maybe a couple of afternoons. It’s fast-paced and the action never stops, which actually made me consider quitting it midway through. It never let up, there was no break, which in a way got kind of monotonous. “Okay, they’re going to escape and then the bad guys’ll come up with another script.” I think if I had read it quicker I wouldn’t have felt that way, I would have gotten caught up in the action. Like a movie, I don’t want to watch it over 3 or 4 days, it loses momentum that way.

Land and Hardie are both damaged people working through their own demons, but for me the plot over-whelmed the characters. I don’t care about them as people, I’m more interested in what happens next. Is that good or bad, it depends on your tastes, but I need to know what’s next in Hardie’s life, although I do think the “To be continued in…” at the end is not fair. That phrase at the end of books always annoys me. If I’m interested in the story, I’ll pick up the sequel, you don’t need to tell me that you’re going to continue the story it’s obvious, otherwise there wouldn’t be a sequel.

This review makes it sound like I didn’t like the book, and maybe some of the time I didn’t, but it’s like an action movie. You see Fun and Games, so you have to go see Fun and Games II. I did enjoy it enough to go back.

Definitely a book to read with popcorn and a coke.

Purchase at Amazon or an Indie bookstore.

3 out of 5 stars

Categories: Action & Adventure, Mystery & Detective

3 out of 5 stars

Charlie Hardie #1
Published June 20, 2011 by Mulholland Books
256 pages

Book source: For review