An enigmatic getaway driver chases, and is chased by, cops and mobsters, both Russian and Italian.
After a morning robbery in Philadelphia’s Center City, thieves Bling and Holden and wheelman Lennon, an Irish immigrant, are speeding to the airport when their Subaru collides with a van and flips over. Bruised and wounded, Lennon wakes naked, stuffed into a garbage bag and naturally without the money. Two college musicians named Andy and Mikal find him, instigating the first of many brutal encounters. When it’s over, Lennon, wearing Andy’s too-tight clothes, heads for the young man’s dorm, where he hopes to rest before searching for the money, his accomplices and a young woman named Katie. Unfortunately for Lennon, Mikal is the son of a powerful Russian mobster, and Andy has a pesky, vengeful girlfriend named Lisa. Lennon, who has a long rap sheet, is believed mute, but he does speak sparingly. (He and Katie keep their conversations secret by communicating in Gaelic.) Like Lennon, Katie is tough, bruised and forced to travel a harrowing path to their reunion. Unlike Lennon, she’s pregnant, though the author withholds the father’s identity and the nature of her relationship with Lennon for some time.
Swierczynski’s fiction debut is more style than substance, but oh, what style!