Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Listened: "Hell and Gone" by Duane Swierczynski

Listened: Hell and Gone by Duane Swierczynski, 2011, Overdrive download.

This is the second Tom Hardie novel and the third has not been published yet.  I would likely not have started the second novel if I had not know the third was still forthcoming.  A good book.  Spoilers await.

Tom Hardie is picked up by an ambulance after the end of the last book.  He has been beat-up and shot-up but is kept drugged and confused and seems to have been recaptured by the Accident People from the first novel.

Hardie's not-quite-a-pal is FBI Special Agent Deacon Clark. Hardie called Clark for help in book one and Clark is still trying to find Hardie.  Clark's family is threatened, Clarke's FBI computer remotely controlled with graphic photos of Hardie on screen, and Clark has to stop looking for Hardie.  Another story line follows a college girl who is looking for her boyfriend who she believes was not killed in an airplane crash.

Hardie awakens wearing a suit and sitting in a bare room with Topless Bad Gal from last book telling him he is caught and now given a job.  Topless Bad Gal leaves and Hardie takes an elevator down, down, down, down to where he is met by prison guards and called Warden.

Hardie is in an underground prison and the new Warden.  There are three guards and four prisoners (numbers approximate).  The name of the game is brutality and isolation.  Hardie is taught how things work.  Hardie just wants to escape.  Hardie is tested by the guards.  Hardie ends up speaking to Hot Female Prisoner who recognizes him and says she was sent to find him.

Hardie is dense.  Hardie is boneheaded.  Hardie is recalcitrant and stubborn.  Hardie becomes a prisoner.  Hardie escapes with other prisoners - I do not recall how - and guards and prisoners fight.  Detente declared.  The prisoners and guards figure out they are all prisoners because they fought the organization of which Accident People are just a part.  The prisoners were pitted against one another to keep the prison easy to run.  The real warden, called the Prison master, is discovered to be a prisoner.

Hardie's escapes up, up, up and finds the underground prison was under Alcatraz.  Hardie takes the ferry off Alcatraz Island and uses some information to find three guys who have authority in the Organization.  Hardie kills one, schemes around, is captured, forced into employment and sent into space.

1.  Yeah, Hardie is sent into space.  This is a big 1970s-James-Bond-movie-era novel.  Big organizations with big money and big power and big reach.
2.  All the prisoner/guards were heroic people.  One prisoner/guard seems to be a Jack Reacher stand-in.  I presume other characters are riffs as well but I do not recognize them.  One might have been Zoe Sharp's main character.  I'm not sure since I have not yet read a Sharp novel.
3.  The last Hardie novel was written because Squickenski enjoyed a trip to, and stay in, the Hollywood Hills.  This novel must have been an excuse for Swizzlestickerinski to watch prison movies.  Not that there is anything wrong with that.
4. Swizerpermiser's wife once posted some comment on a Facebook page I read.  What does this have to do with the book? Not a damn thing.
5.  Switzerperminski keeps things moving along with changes in character perspective and some jumps in time.  Turns out Hardie was kept sedated and operated on for five years before he woke up with Topless Bad Gal.  Deacon Clark secretly hired Hot Female Prisoner to find Hardie and she was captured when she got too close.

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