I wasn't sure that anybody could or would write a novel quite as crazed as Downtown by Ed McBain but damned if Duane Swierczynski hasn't done it.
In Downtown the hapless protagonist endures an unending series of con jobs and con artists on a winry Christmas Eve. In The Blonde journalist Jack Eisley meets his own kind of con artist, the lovely Kelly White of the title, who doses Eisley with the McGuffin that sets everything in motion, including a government agent straight out of Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia. All on a single night in Philadelphia.
Swierczynski gets better every time out and his handling of what amounts to screwball spy fiction is masterful. The story keeps you flipping the pages, the characters are believable and unique and the construction extraordinary. Swierczynski really understands how to set up, pace and pay off a scene. One more thing he shares with the late McBain.
The Blonde is a straight shot of pure pleasure. You'll like it, too.