Frightful Friday: Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski

December 16, 2011 Crime Fiction, Frightful Friday, Mulholland Books, Review 4

Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. Feel free to grab the button & join in!

This week’s featured book is Fun and Games by Duane Swierczynksi:


  • Paperback:304 pages
  • Publisher:Mulholland Books; 1 edition (June 20, 2011)
  • ISBN-10:0316133280
  • Source: Publisher

Charlie Hardie is a former police officer, still dealing with the act of revenge taken against his former partner three years ago. Charlie can’t help but wonder if he will face the same fate.  In an attempt to remove himself from his former life, Charlie has become a glorified house sitter. This gig started out when Charlie house sat for a friend of his in San Diego; he got to stay in a supped-up home, paid $500 for the week he stayed there.

This time, the home is in the Hollywood Hills. Due to timing, Charlie was unable to meet the owner; he was told the house keys will be in the mailbox upon his arrival. And of course, they weren’t. Charlie does what he thinks is best and obtains entry into the home. He soon learns he’s not alone, B movie actress Lane Madden is hiding out in the home. 

After an interesting (and slightly aggressive) introduction, Lane explains to Charlie that there our individuals out to kill her. She barely escaped an attempt on her life involving a car accident and injection of a mysterious drug into her arm at the scene of the crime. These individuals are referred to as “The Accident People”, a clean-up crew of sorts. They murder seeminly innocent people in an attempt as a cover up for some other action.

Charlie & Lane soon becomes captives in this multi-million dollar mansion; the “People” turn off the electricity, the water, all in an attempt to get Charlie & Lane to evacuate the house. Charlie takes his house-sitting job quite serious, he’ll stop at nothing to protect the home and whatever individuals seem to be inhabiting it.

If you are looking for a book that will force you to put your life on hold, Fun and Games fits it to a “t.” The action is non-stop, you won’t be able to take a break from the book until you turn the last page. I started it one night and was finished by the next day. Charlie’s character, while a little rough around the edges, is a very sympathetic one. Sure, he’s hard to the core but he’s a softie when it matters. The entire concept of a crew of individuals that “erase” people to suit their client’s needs is an interesting and exciting one. Luckily, I have the next book in this series, Hell and Gone, within arm’s reach. I’m almost tempted to hold off reading it so I won’t have to wait as long for the third book, Point and Shoot, due out in March.

Bottom line: Buy it. Read it. Be prepared to lose a few hours (or days, depending on your reading speed) of your life.


4 Responses to “Frightful Friday: Fun & Games by Duane Swierczynski”

  1. Jen Forbus
    Twitter: jenforbus

    I just love these books! I listened to them both on audio and the narrator is absolutely perfect! So glad you enjoyed them, too, Jenn!

  2. Mike parker
    Twitter: mparker606

    The Charlie Hardie books are Duane’s best work since The Wheelman

  3. Scott Barnett

    I read ‘Hell & Gone’ first, since that’s what I got my hands on first. Great read- couldn’t put it down! And it worked well as a standalone story, even though I knew it was the second in the series. Now to start ‘Fun & Games’, so I can get up to speed for the final book!