Mysterious Book Report No. 38 – Hell & Gone

Mysterious Book Report Hell & GoneHell & Gone by Duane Swiercyznski

Mulholland, $14.99, 286 pages, ISBN 978-0-316-13329-6

We’re continuing with serials this week . . . and no Mikey . . . they’re not the kind you pour out of a box and eat for breakfast with milk and a spoon.  These are serial stories, like you see on TV, where each installment ends with a cliff-hanger, so you’ll be eager to watch the next installment, to find out, what happens next?

 In that spirit, this week’s MBR 38 will continue the review of Duane Swiercyznski’s “insanely entertaining” Charlie Hardie series, with the second book of the trilogy, titled Hell & Gone.

At the conclusion of book one, Fun & Games, Charlie Hardie was shot, wounded and left for dead in a shoot-out with the Accident People after he exposed their billion-dollar scheme.  As book two, Hell & Gone begins, Charlie has been kidnapped and drugged, by the Accident People, kept in a coma, and treated for his injuries.  When he awakens, he is trapped in a secret underground prison, where he’s the warden, in charge of the most dangerous criminals on earth.  It reminded me of the stories of Frank Kafka, which I loved reading in college.  And all the action I’ve just described occurs in the first 100 pages!  Like all pulp fiction, it’s an unbelievable thrill-ride from the very first page.  I found it irresistible and great fun to read.  If you’re starting to think it’s almost like a comic book, well, you’re right.  Swierczynski’s day job is at Marvel Comics.  Like comics, Hell & Gone is fast-paced and entertaining, but more enjoyable to my way of thinking, because it’s longer and without drawings that distract your attention.  You have to use your imagination.  I like that, and  I liked the books.  The last of the trilogy is due next month.  The title is Point & Shoot, and I’ll review it shortly thereafter.


John Dwaine McKenna


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