Minotaur Books, Paperback, 9780312343804, 263pp.
Publication Date: May 27, 2008
Jamie DeBroux's boss has called a special meeting for all "key personnel" at 9:00 a.m. on a hot Saturday in August.
When Jamie arrives, the conference room is stocked with cookies and champagne. His boss smiles and tells his employees, "We're a cover for a branch of the intelligence community. And we're being shut down." Jamie's boss then tells everyone to drink some champagne, and in a few seconds they'll fall asleep---for good. If they refuse, they'll be shot in the head.
Escape is not an option. Jamie's boss has shut down the elevators and rigged the fire towers with chemical bombs. Panic sets in, chaos erupts, and no one is sure whom to trust. Jamie quickly realizes that there's only one way he's ever going to see his family again: the hard way.
Praise for Severance Package: "[A] kinetic story, which never stops moving...turbocharged entertainment." --Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times "Swierczynski writes a brand of thriller whose pacing forces us to reexamine our casual use of the word breakneck...This is essentially one long action scene that begs for the next Tarantino to direct. But if that sounds like faint praise, it isn't: there are both enough cliche killers and comedy to make us raise two thumbs up. If you want your thrillers to be, well, thrilling, pop a big bowl of corn--you won't leave your seat until the end."--Booklist "The best word to describe Swierczynski's latest thriller is frenetic, and even that is likely an understatement." --Library Journal "Fans of crime fiction will find Swierczynski's latest offering to be a guilty pleasure of unparalleled magnitude. With pedal-to-the-metal pacing, characters who appear to be meek cubicle dwellers a la 'Office Space' but are really cold-blooded, black-ops killers, and enough gut-churning violence to make a Quentin Tarantino movie look like a Disney musical replete with singing candlesticks and teapots, the dark, twisted energy in this novel is palpable." --The Chicago Tribune
“A hot shot of adrenaline straight to the neural plexus.” –Joe Schreiber, author of Chasing the Dead and Eat the DarkPraise for The Blonde: "Compulsively readable...rockets forward with inventive ferocity. [The] plot uncoils in a rapid-fire series of time-coded moments that generate a relentless tension. Brilliantly paced insanity."--Houston Chronicle"Hardboiled enough to crack walnuts, [with] action more precipitous than a bobsled run." --Philadelphia Inquirer
"Rapid-fire pacing, hard-boiled dialogue and excellent local color."—Publishers Weekly
"This is another fast, funny, and action-packed outing from a writer who, fortunately for us, doesn't seem to know how to slow down."—Booklist
"THE BLONDE will be the most madcap, mordantly funny and completely mesmerizing novel you will read this year. The action begins in the first sentence and doesn’t let up until the last."--Mystery News
"Duane Swierczynski's new novel, THE BLONDE, is as lean as a starving model, mean as a snake, and fast as a jet. It's also one hell of fine read. This guy has got to be the hottest new thing in crime fiction, and THE BLONDE is one of the best crime reads I've had in some time."--Joe R. Lansdale, bestselling author of THE BOTTOMS