Saturday, May 8, 2010
Severance Package-Duane Swierczynski
Jamie DeBroux, along with the rest of the office staff, are called in for a special Saturday morning meeting, only to have the boss announce that their company is a cover for a secret intelligence organization that’s being shut down. And that means no one leaves the office alive—either drink the poisoned mimosa or get a bullet in the skull.
That premise kicks off the wildly frenetic Severance Package, a high-concept noir/espionage hybrid that is basically one long action scene. The central character, Jamie, is a normal guy with absolutely no idea about his connections to the shady underworld of espionage, but everyone else in the office—to one degree or another—is a trained agent. When all hell breaks loose, the office becomes a stalking ground of skilled agents pitted against each other, with befuddled Jamie caught in the middle.
I hate to use a worn-out cliché like “couldn’t put it down”, but… that’s the truth of it. Swierczynski has a really engaging, full-on style, only a little tongue-in-cheek, that’s simple and direct and focused tightly on story. Recommended.