The Overview: Seven staffers for a small financial firm are called in for an early Saturday morning meeting. They convene in the conference room on the 36th floor of the isolated and deserted office building. The meeting is called to order and the CEO tells them that the company is closing down and unfortunately all of them are going to have to die. The good news, if you can call it that is that they can drink poison that will kill them instantly. The bad news is a bullet to the brain awaits those who want to opt out. Should they try to run and are lucky enough to get out of the office, the floor and all doors out have been laced with poisonous gas and booby traps. Bottoms up, anyone?
The Good: Swierczynski’s novels move and Severance Package is no exception. The security guard, Vincent Marella, [a familiar face if you‘ve read The Blonde] tries to overome his fears and do the right thing. The cover and illustrations by Dennis Calero. What people are willing to go through to survive. The twists that Swierczynski throws in to keep things interesting. Stuart’s belief that it’s all a training exercise and how he plans to excel. The last page.The Bad: Performing a tracheotomy on yourself. The Vincent Marella’s luck. What happens to Jamie’s hand/fingers.
The Ugly: “She was fixated so much, she didn’t fully notice when something cold and wet lashed across her wrists.”
The Summary: I’ve been singing praises for Duane Swierczynski since I discovered The Wheelman just under two years ago. I loved it. I then sought out Secret Dead Men and was impressed. From that point on, I have purchasedSwierczynski’s novels as each was released [The Blonde and now Severance Package]. Each one has left me looking forward to the next. What better praise can there be for a writer? [Click HERE if you’d like to hear how Duane Swierczynski came up with the idea for Severance Package.]