Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Done: "Fun & Games" by Duane Swierczynski

Done: Fun and Games by Duane Swierczynski, 2011, 9780316133289.

Stupid fucking ampersand.  A very fun and fast moving book.  The kind of book that pluggers call "thrill ride" or "rollercoaster" or "adrenaline packed".  But, I won't.

Lane Whatsherface is a famous actress on a recent downward slide of booze, drugs, and bad behavior.  She's being chased along a twisty and dangerous canyon road.  Lane escapes her chaser and is rear-ended on the freeway.  Lane is being chased by killers.  The Accident People (later revealed).  At the rear-ending one Accident Person tries to inject Lane with a speedball.  Lane's death would be blamed on an overdose.  Lane grinds broken windshield glass into her attacker, escapes her wreck, jumps the highway barrier, and heads back into the Hills.

Charlie Hardie is a full-time housesitter who travels around the country to watch expensive homes owned by expensive people.  His current month-long job is in the Hollywood Hills. Charlie shows up and finds a scraped up, bloody, and high Lane hiding in a bathroom.  Lane stabs Charlie with a microphone stand.

Lane tries to convince Charlie people are after her.  Charlie is eventually convinced and Lane finally spills beans that her super important and famous actor ex-boyfriend ran over a child three years ago while Lane was car's passenger.  Lane's breakdown was a result of guilt.  Lane close to spilling beans publicly.  Accident People are called in to protect the financial investments that are dependent on Ex-Boyfriend's film successes.

Accident People who are after Lane are outside the Hills house trying to plot next moves for her suicide or accidental death.  Accident People are all former movie industry people hired to set and create alternate reality.  They speak in movie jargon and talk about "directing a production". They are vile.

Things happen.  Fist fights. Exotic poisons.  Fancy technology.  Connections to political and legal power.  House explosions.  Charlie repeatedly beaten, injected, poisoned, and still going.  Charlie and Lane escape the house. and Lane found.  Lane murdered.  Charlie escapes police custody.  Charlie goes to rescue victims of a subplot.  Everything ends unhappily with two more sequels to follow.

1. A good deal of fun with lots of detail on the Hollywood Hills setting.  Swizzlestikerinski writes in afterword that he got setting idea after visiting David J. Schow's house.  I did not really like Schow's Gabriel Hunt book.
2.  Sweerzinski writes very Victor Gischler-like.  Plenty of humor and action and interesting characters.
3.  A just checked in two Swyycczczinsski novels this morning.
4.  I had something else to add but cannot recall what it was. Oh, yeah.  One of the Accident People's regular actor murders is to dope up booze up the victim.  Not only do they end up murdering someone they ruin that person's reputation and name for history.  To me that is especially horrid.
5. Semi-gratuitous Alan Guthrie novel reference.

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