Revolver by Duane Swierczynski

Reviewed by Richard Goldman
Hardcover July 2016

I've read and enjoyed a number of Duane Swierczynski's atmospheric noir crime novels including his Wheelman, which is as gritty and noir a tale of crime and criminals as you are likely to read. His latest, Revolver, is quite a departure in that we've changed sides from robbers to cops. This is a three-generation tale of cops and family in Philly. The interwoven narratives begin with 1965 and the murder of two cops, partners, one of whom is the father of Jim Walczak who, in 1995, is a cop himself and is still investigating his father's death. In 2015 we meet Jim's daughter Audrey who is studying forensics and crime scene investigation. She takes on her grandfather's murder as a project for her classes--and as a desperate attempt to get her life back on track.

Swierczynski weaves a compelling tale of these interwoven time periods and personalities. Jim Walcaz is a particularly pivotal figure inasmuch as he's a kid in the earlier period, an adult in the second and the family patriarch in the most recent. I particularly enjoyed the nice balance between solving the mystery, getting to the bottom of what really happened and the exploration of the complicated family dynamics and personalities.

A great job by Swierczynski and I'll look forward to the next book whether its cops, robbers or something else entirely.