Saturday, August 13, 2011

Watch out for The Accident People

Charlie Hardie, ex-police consultant and current proffesional house sitter, takes a job on the west coast, watching a home in the Hollywood Hills. It should be a few weeks of drinking, watching old movies, and trying to forget the past. But, when Hardie arrives at the gig, he finds actress Lane Madden hiding in the house, raving about The Accident People, a mysterious group of killers who have Lane in their sights. What follows is a twisting, turning ride, filled with noir sensibilities and James Bond gadgets.

Duane Swierczynski should be a household name, no matter how difficult that name is to spell. Fun & Games is a thriller that earns the label on every page. This is a classic in the making; a "right man in the wrong place" story that easily stands up to the best in the field.

Swierczynski writes crisp prose that keeps the plot moving, yet he doesn't skimp on the character developement. Charlie Hardie is a well fleshed out, which is good, with Fun & Gams being the first in a trilogy. Lane Madden also has plenty of history, as do The Accident People themselves. Even the throwaway characters have depth.

I read this book in one day. It would have been in one sitting, but I haven't perfected the couch/toilet yet. The Accident People are a fascinating group, and it's nice to know that Swierczynski isn't finished with them. And They aren't finished with Charlie Hardie. I can't wait for the next in the series, Hell & Gone, which will be followed by the final book, Point & Shoot. If the last two books are even half as good as Fun & Games, they will still be twice as good as alot of what passes for thrillers nowadays.

If you are looking for a great story, with great characters, and fantastic writing, you can't go wrong with Fun & Games.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

'Nids: Visiting The Drive-in, Without Leaving The Couch

Got your popcorn? Speaker hanging from the window? (This here is an old fashioned drive-in.) Girlfriend, or boyfriend, snuggled up close? Get ready, the movie is about to begin.

Ray Garton's 'Nids evokes all the great feelings of going to the drive-in and watching the latest creature feature to come out of La La Land. (Well, not ALL of the feelings, unless you can makeout and read a book at the same time.) Teenagers at Lovers' Lookout, explosions at a secret research facility, and giant spiders ripping through the population like a machete through a camp counselor, all scream "Let's go to the movies!"

I'm a huge fan of "animals killing/eating people" stories. And if it's GIANT animals, well, that's even better. And giant SPIDERS! I'd better have a sock handy. (Too much? Suck it up, this is my blog, and I'll be gross if I wanna.)

Garton is a great writer, who takes time to develop his characters, without slowing down the story. Too bad most of those characters ain't gonna make it. Still, Garton makes them real people, so that their deaths are real tragedies.

This is a bloodier, more sexual take on the great movies of a bygone day, like Earth vs The Spider and THEM!, a great romp of a story that should be read in 3D! The kind with the red and blue cardboard glasses, not the new-fangled plastic ones.

What I'm trying to say is, it's fun, it's gorey, it's a great read! Just make sure to wipe your fngers, after eating your popcorn; you don't want to get butter on the pages.