Fun & Games is the first of three pulp thrillers from Duane Swierczynski featuring Charlie Hardie, an ex-cop turned house sitter. When Charlie turns up for his latest gig, he gets a lot more than he bargained for. He finds an actress squatting in the house ranting about a group of men trying to kill her. She, of course, thinks Charlie is one of “them” and attacks. Charlie has to convince her he isn’t out to get her while trying to outsmart The Accident People, an elite group that specializes in making murder look like an accident.
Fun & Games moves at break-neck speed and is by turns nerve-wracking and hilarious. Charlie is a death-defying Energizer bunny with a great sense of humor despite some pretty heavy personal baggage. This thriller was a finalist for my quarterly favorite. The second in the trilogy, Hell & Gone, is burning a hole on my TBR shelf as we speak, but I’m forcing myself to hold off until closer to its release date before reading it. If you enjoy fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat, clever, witty thrillers, Fun & Games is for you.