Hell & Gone
Mulholland Books 2011
You really need to have read the first Charlie Hardie thriller Fun & Games to get into and appreciate Hell & Gone. This is also the second in a trilogy so a reader is pretty much committing to all three books. The first book in this series by Duane Swierczynski is a fun, original read. This one is very uneven and a disappointment. Kindle at Amazon
Charlie Hardie is an ex-cop with a past. In Fun & Games he is house sitting when B-movie actress Lane Madden breaks in with a wild story about the Accident People being after her. It turns out the Accident People, an organization that arranges for someone’s accidental death really does exist and Charlie gets right in the middle of things protecting Madden and his own ass.
Hell & Gone begins exactly where Fun & Games ends with Charlie Hardie in an ambulance. He immediately disappears. His FBI agent friend Deke Clark goes to his rescue and finds out dealing with the Accident People is very, very complicated and dangerous to him and anyone around him.
Charlie is captive of the Accident People and forced to be the warden of an underground prison that defies anything you can imagine. This part is fun for a while but eventually stagnates to the point a reader wants to skip ahead. Some of the elements of the prison elements are a bit much. The reveal about the prison is hard to swallow.
The rest of Hell and Gone feels rushed, improvised, and anticlimactic. The last chapter sets up the next book in the trilogy, Point and Shoot: I doubt I’ll be reading it.