Canary by Duane Swierczynski

Canary is about a college honors student who gets caught on an unintentional drug run, and to protect the friend she was driving around, she must find another drug dealer to turn into the police. “Unintentional?” You ask? You’ll have to read it to find out what I mean. I do recommend it. No spoilers here.

I was very into this book. I would put it down and then couldn’t stop thinking about it. Action and suspense in every paragraph. I forgot that it was not a young adult novel, but the writing is simple enough, and I liked that. He managed to keep all the technical law enforcement terms and procedures simple enough not to distract from the story.

I watch a couple of crime shows, and I’ve never gotten into the habit of guessing who did what. I just watch them, so maybe this affects my definition of, “predictable,” because this story was not. Granted in hind sight, I should have known characters would die being involved in the drug business. But this book had my heart going.

This book just came out in February 2015, which is impressive to me because I don’t trust many stories (movies, books, TV shows, etc.) that have come out recently since everything has been blatantly derivative. I realize everything is derivative of something, but it’s the way you go about it, and Swierczynski here does it right.

His simple writing reminds me of my own. The weird thing is, my simple writing seems boring even though I think I got a good story going. I could get through his simple writing. My story’s been more dialogue than real action. That may be my flaw.

I can’t tell you whether I liked or disliked the fact that he switched from one character in one situation to another character at a different location, all in third person limited. It did not distract from the story; it reminded me of a TV show or a movie and of my own writing. I think nearly every book written in third person does this, but my most recent books read have been in first person, so I don’t recall. But this one’s not separated by chapters. He skips a line, and it changes to another character’s perspectives; as I said, it also reminds me of my own writing, but I still have mixed feelings about it.

Nonetheless, Canary’s going on my favorites.

How’d I do with the non-spoiler review?

EDIT: The more I think about this book, while exciting, I actually have a few questions. What was the guy’s obsession with his ex, the lieutenant; he had nothing but the the fact that she was hot and saucy. I also feel like being lieutenant and intelligent, she would have caught something suspicious herself. Who was Party Man? Was I supposed to have figured out who he was? Did I miss something. Maybe this needs to re-read. And there lies the problem with the writing style being like mine, and why I cannot get through my writing. This author got away with these questions unanswered. I need my questions answered.  This doesn’t take it off my favorites list though. It’s just an afterthought, and if I like the book despite the questions… could I get away with that somehow. No; it was an entertaining book, but the holes bug me.

Now I got a week to read the second book I checked out from the library, Minnow. Challenge in progress.

Until next time!