Duane Swierczynski. Little, Brown/Mulholland, $14.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-316-13328-9
Swierczynski (Severance Package) steps on the gas early in this pulse-pounding contemporary thriller, the first of a trilogy, and doesn't let up. After second-tier movie actress Lane Madden survives multiple attempts by aggressive fellow drivers to run her off some treacherous Los Angeles roads, she has the good fortune to meet Charlie Hardie, a peripatetic house-sitter with a violent past, at the house in the Hollywood Hills where she takes refuge. Hardie, a former police consultant who's haunted by the deaths of several innocents, is skeptical of the actress's claim that she's being pursued by the Accident People, a shadowy group of killers who stage their homicides to appear as accidents. An escalating series of violent encounters builds to an unforgettable climax. Fans of the Die Hard movies will find this a literary equivalent, and the author deserves credit for making what could be an over-the-top setup oddly plausible. The sequel's appearance won't be too soon for many readers. (June) -- Publishers Weekly
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