When that was done, though, I had a mystery standing by: I read Fun and Games, the first book in a trilogy of "pulp thrillers" by the man with the impossible-to-spell moniker.
The main character is not a prepossessing guy -- he's Charlie Hardie, ex-cop, current alcoholic house-sitter. He has no apartment, he has no connections, he barely has luggage -- he flies from town to town, living in other people's homes, watching old movies, and drinking himself into oblivion on a nightly basis.
His latest gig, however, comes with complications: Turns out there's an actress hiding in the house who has some paranoid story about a bunch of people who are trying to kill her, and who won't let him leave the house. Unfortunately, the old saying about "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you" proves true in this case, and Charlie and Lane are in a genuine bind.
Reading along and watching the whole thing play out is a major thrill ride around the hills of Hollywood, home to industry people and, apparently, their hitmen! (and women) I enjoyed this breathlessly entertaining and convoluted first book, and plan to check out the other two as soon as possible, if only to find out if Duane finally reveals the hinted-at secrets about Charlie's former life. Fellow librarian Duedsml tells me I also have to read The Blonde and Severance Package to fully appreciate Swierczynski. I guess that now I have learned how to spell his name, I might as well give his books a shot at a few more reviews!