Review of REVOLVER by Duane Swierczynski

Duane Swierczynski
July 19, 2016
Mulholland Books

A policeman gunned down in a bar. A homicide detective stalking an ex-con. A forensic scientist who can’t let the murder go. All members of the same family separated by 50 years and compelled by a murder that that has ripped through the generations. In 1965, Stan Walczak is gunned down with his partner in a neighborhood bar in Philadelphia. In 1995, his son is compelled to stalk the man who has long been suspected as the murderer following his release from jail on an unrelated murder. In 2015, his granddaughter returns home from college where she is studying forensic science and finds herself inexorably drawn to the scene of the crime fifty years earlier.

In REVOLVER, Swierczynski crafts a beautiful and heartbreaking tale of how a single act of horror can echo through the generations tearing up families and destroying lives far removed from the act itself. In a style reminiscent of Hammett, he makes Philadelphia a character unto itself while unleashing a brilliant cadre of people within over the span of fifty years. Each feeds into one another, building suspense and weaving a mystery mired in time and untold truths.

In lesser hands, a crime novel spanning fifty years would be a foolhardy task. However, in the hands of Swierczynski, it becomes an instant classic. A tale of families, duty, and darkness that is utterly compelling, REVOLVER is sure to turn the heads of everyone who loves thrillers, procedurals, and historical fiction alike. Do not miss this book. It will be one that everyone is talking about this year.

-Bryan VanMeter