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Fun & Games (Charlie Hardie #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,984 Ratings  ·  267 Reviews
The first of three explosive pulp thrillers arriving back-to-back from cult crime fiction sensation and Marvel Comics scribe Duane Swierczynski.

Charlie Hardie, an ex-cop still reeling from the revenge killing of his former partner's entire family, fears one thing above all else: that he'll suffer the same fate.

Languishing in self-imposed exile, Hardie has become a glorifie
ebook, 246 pages
Published June 20th 2011 by Mulholland Books
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One reason I never bought into any of the conspiracy theories that swirl around celebrity deaths like Princess Di or Marilyn Monroe is that they always seem to be based on the notion that there are these shadowy figures that can orchestrate murder on demand and cover it up without leaving a trace. Hell, when Nixon wanted the Watergate black bagged, he had to use incompetent bastards like G. Gordon Liddy and a ragtag group of Cuban exiles, and he was president of the United States. If there reall ...more
Apr 02, 2013 Lou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story contains a high octane charged sequence of events that grip you from the very first page and does not let down in momentum. The story has a great plot and some good old hard boiled characters, elements that pan out into a solid thriller. There is loads of tension and intrigue, the writer displays craftsmanship in weaving this story together.
One actress finds herself the target of a hot pursuit and to be cleaned, eradicated. A house-sitter, fixer kind of guy who has connections with FB
Dec 15, 2013 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
“The world will run you down and slam a tire over your exploding skull and not even wonder what it had just hit.”

Duane Swierczynski's Fun & Games is the kind of wild hardboiled action thrill ride of a book that people only dream of creating. It's the first in a trilogy of books about a seemingly indestructible down on his luck noir protagonist type character. Charlie Hardie is a burnt out ex-law enforcement consultant determined to drink himself in to oblivion over some atrocity in his past
Jul 05, 2013 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

A far-fetched story must be plausibly told,
so your nonsense isn't showing.
Alfred Hitchcock

Every chapter of this first Charlie Hardie thriller is prefaced with a quote from the movie world. This is not accidental, as the story is set in Hollywood, mostly in a luxury mansion perched on the side of one of those steep canyons overlooking the city of angels. The style of the book is also very cinematic, more like the 80's action movies than the classic 'noir' I was expecting. The influences are cle
James Thane
Charlie Hardie was once a secret weapon in the Philadelphia PD. But he blames himself for a tragedy that occurred three years earlier. He has left the force and slowly faded away into his own personal oblivion. He now "works" as a house sitter, and passes his time watching DVDs of classic movies and drinking heavily. This is all he wants out of life.

He takes a job sitting a house in Hollywood. He arrives and is checking the place out when he's attacked by an apparently deranged woman who has bee
Aug 25, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meet Charlie Hardie, former cop, resident badass, coming to housesit in a neighborhood near you. He gets drunk and watches old movies as often as Congress runs a budget deficit, before he meets Lane Madden, a chick with more attitude and gumption and fighting ability than the top UFC contender, and gets tossed in the middle of the ring with a group of coldblooded killers. Lane’s tough, and she’s not about to take attitude from anyone, including a group of hit men and one woman who want nothing m ...more
Aug 14, 2012 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brandon by: Kemper
Shelves: fiction, 2012
Charlie Hardie is a former under-the-table employee of the Philly police force before an incident altered his life and forced a drastic career change. Charlie is now a house sitter who agrees to sit on your couch, down beers and watch old movies why you're off having a life somewhere else. Hardie takes a job watching a home when upon arrival, he's attacked by well known actress/socialite, Lane Madden.

Madden is spouting off conspiracy theories about "them", an unknown group dubbed, "The Accident
Cathy DuPont
Jul 15, 2013 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aptly named Fun & Games, I loved this book because it was just that, fun and games FAST times two. It was also a Shamus winner. Now that should catch some eyes for those of us book nerds who follow such award nominations and winners.

It wasn't high octane either, it was jet fueled and at times I thought the book was going to jettison out of my hands it went so fast.

Haven't had this much fun reading since Laurence Shames and Joey's move from New York City to Key West to romp in the sun and s
Josh Stallings
Jun 27, 2011 Josh Stallings rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This a wild high speed action novel that will leave you gasping for air. Reading I was reminded of seeing Die Hard the first time in a theater. Not in plot or setting sense, no more that gleeful gut feeling that was seeing a fresh new wild take on the action movie. FUN & GAMES grabbed my from word one, and never let go. I'm dyslexic, I read slow, I lost several nights of sleep to this amazing book. If you are fan of good action movies, you will love this book. It ready like the best John Woo ...more
Jul 29, 2011 Johnny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Duane Swierczynski must be exhausted. I don't know how else you could write a story with the breakneck pace of FUN & GAMES without having to take a long nap afterward. It's that action-packed. But no nap for Duane, instead he wrote two more Charlie Hardie books set to come out over the next year.

FUN & GAMES hits the ground running and never lets up. And it's able to do it while maintaining at least some footing in reality. It's over-the-top to be sure, but the humanity that Swierczynski
Aug 11, 2011 Gef rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hollywood has its own mythology, or maybe it's just really good at revamping the mythologies of other places with a lot of glitz. In either case, Duane Swierczynski has concocted a novel, the first of a trilogy it turns out, that taps into the kind of conspiracy-laden thrill rides only Hollywood could call its own.

Take a washed-out Hollywood starlet, Lane Madden, and put her behind the wheel of a fast car in one of the richer sections of L.A., then have a crew of killers try to run her off the r
Jun 13, 2013 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A high-speed chase down the Hollywood Hills.....and, you're the girl at the wheel of the car. No brakes? The car has no brakes and, neither does this story

B-movie actress Lane Madden is next on the list of THE ACCIDENT PEOPLE.

Have you ever wondered what becomes of screenwriters and film technicians....when their careers are over...or, they've fallen out of favor....Scripted "accidents".....posed "hits"???

Lane is next on The List.....through various nefarious events (exploding gas mains and biot
Aug 15, 2012 Harry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duane Swierczynski's debut into a three part series detective thriller comes across like a fine cabernet (and I went into it with only one bottle left). What happens is you savor the taste. In this case, I read Fun and Games and the second installment Hell and Gone in the Charlie Hardy mystery series knowing I'd have to wait until 2013 for the third installment.

For fans of Donovan Creed (by John Locke) you'll likely enjoy Swierczynski's Charlie Hardy series, whose books by the way are better tha
"You're not invincible," she continued. "You're just a man. You can be killed." "Yeah, I kn-know," Hardie said. "Pull up a lawn chair and you can watch it happen any minute now."

5 things you learn from Fun and Games:

1. When life finally stops kicking you in the teeth, you don't whine and count the gaps. You see the fucking dentist and move on.
2. When you stop understanding the plot, you put down the bottle and close your eyes.
3. You are fucked if you are having get-hit-by-a-car-and-discover-yo

Aug 06, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well that was a fun read - talk about non stop action !
And pretty near impossible to predict what is going to happen next - some great twists in the story.

I could go for some more of that - so on to the next one in the trilogy...

Aug 04, 2012 Kyle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like action movies
Recommended to Kyle by: Kelly Leigh
The world is divided into three classes of people:
a very small group that makes things happen
a somewhat larger group that watches things happen
and the great multitude which never knows what happened.

-Nicholas Murray Butler

That beginning-of-chapter quote perfectly describes the premise of this book - and plus it sounds cool. Charlie Hardie (I know, I hate names that rythme) is an ex-cop from Philidelphia, who hasn't been the same for three years, and is now a simple house sitter going around t
Jan 15, 2013 Col rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, s
Mulholland Books presents... FUN AND GAMES

By suffocation: 3,300
By poisoning: 8,600


Ex-cop Charlie Hardie's latest job is guarding an isolated mansion in LA's Hollywood Hills. But it comes with an unwanted guest - a D-list actress who says she's being hunted by professional hitmen.

Charlie thinks she's just high and paranoid.

But he's wrong.

The killers are real.
They've tracked her to the house.
And they're no
Mary Gramlich
May 25, 2011 Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
FUN & GAMES written by Duane Swierczynski
Book #1 in the Charlie Hardie Trilogy
06/11 - Little, Brown & Company - Paperback, 304 pages

There is an end to every nightmare right?

Charlie Hardie has lived the hard life and was now drinking himself in oblivion one house sitting job at a time. He was a reliable source to stay put, water your plants, and make sure no one breaks into your house. Therefore, what a surprise for Charlie when he arrives at his latest job someone has gotten there before
May 21, 2013 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, pulp, read_2011
House Sitter with a difference Charlie Hardie thought he'd left the world of bloodshed and mayhem behind after leaving Philadelphia along with his former occupation as police consultant. What seems as another cushy detail sitting for an out of town Hollywood type quickly turns red with the encounter of movie starlet (albeit B-Movie starlet) Lane Madden imposing as a squatter and demanding he leaver her alone while being fixated on a collective 'them' trying to kill her. Soon enough, Hardie's got ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Viccy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Charlie Hardie is a burnout. As a consultant to the Philly PD, he was responsible for the death of a cop and his family. Now, Charlie's family is in hiding and Charlie makes his living as a housesitter, drinking bourbon and watching DVDs around the country. Charlie shows up at a house in LA and runs into Lane Madden, former big-name movie star, now fading into oblivion, and the Accident People. Lane witnessed something she shouldn't have and now she has to die. The Accident People have been hire ...more
Aug 29, 2013 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
This guy can really write a book that packs a punch. House sitter Charlie Hardie has a real pickle on his hands when he shows up at his gig and finds someone in the house when no one is supposed to be home. Of course Charlie probably did not figure on any of the fun and games about to ensue on this latest job. Now the question becomes, can he survive? The first in a trilogy this novel actually makes you burn for the next installment. Great book and highly recommended for those who love a good ac ...more
Ed [Redacted]
Fun and games is the perfect title for this book. This was a lot of fun to read. People who watch CSI and like to point out the inconsistencies should probably steer clear. Anyone who loves non stop action should go get a copy immediately. This book hits the ground running and never stops until the end. This is the book we were all hoping Swierczynski would write after The Wheelman and The Blonde? Good, actiony, pulpy, cinematic fun (now with cursing). 4/5
The one thing that Duane is the best at is fly by your seat non-stop action and this book has that in spades. It never lets up, propelling from one action set piece to the next as the characters play out their deadly game. However, the one thing that Duane does really poorly is characterization. You never understand his characters, as their pasts and motives are given minimal effort, and once again this novel has that in spades. This is a b-movie in written form. Fun and then quickly forgotten. ...more
Mar 09, 2015 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing ride! This is my favorite kind of book.....a thriller with a sense of humor and a protagonist facing Them. Can hardly wait for the next book!
Kelly Hager
Nov 16, 2011 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charlie Hardie used to be a cop but after his partner was murdered (along with the partner's entire family), he's opted for a less dangerous line of work. Now he house-sits. He's pretty in demand, too, and travels all over the country to take care of people's houses. (No pets or plants, though. He has limits.) So anyway, he heads to this house in LA and it all falls apart. He finds this woman living in the house, a woman who should NOT be there. Then he realizes that it's a famous actress. And t ...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

Fun and Games opens with a bang,like a shotgun blast,and never lets up! Lane Madden,beautiful,rising young actress,is out for a ride on Decker Canyon Road when she sees a pair of headlights behind her. Very close behind her. She begins to suspect she’s being followed and after nearly having an accident,her suspicions turn out to be true,when the “good Samaritan” that stops to help her turns out to be not so good at all.

Stephanie Griffin
Feb 06, 2012 Stephanie Griffin rated it really liked it
Wow. Charlie Hardie, the protagonist of Duane Swierczynski’s crime novel FUN AND GAMES, is pretty much unkillable in this book, the first in a trilogy. Not to say that people don’t try their best to do him in. The action never stops in this story set in Hollywood, as Hardie heads to a quiet boozy house-sitting job and ends up in the middle of a high-octane mess involving an evasive actress, killing drugs, lethal hit-and-runs, and nasty home invasions.
Hardie is up against some very mean people wh
The Bookish Dame Reviews :

Talk about fun and games! Take a wild ride with Duane Swierczynski (czyn=sin). If he's driving you're being slammed left and right, high and low and you're scared to death. He writes like a heart attack on wheels, and you'll have to tear yourself away from his book before your ride is over.

Oh, this is good and furious, and peppered with reckless people who riddle the book throughout making you hold your breath while they find a way through impossible sit
Jeff James
Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.

Duane Swierczynski is a name I’ve come across several times before. It’s a hard one to forget, even though I probably couldn’t spell it if my life depended on it. Amazon has been quite sure that I would enjoy his work, and has recommended him many times over. Swierczynski seems to write the kind of genre fiction I find myself enjoying lately, intense crime thrillers that occasionally edge into mor
No Name
Nov 19, 2013 No Name rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
High adrenaline & fast-paced. It's difficult not to tear through the pages of this book in one sitting. It's amazing and comical how Charlie endured so much physical pain and abuse and still kept running from the bad guys. He's not just a stereotypical ex-cop drunk hiding from his dark past but he also has some big balls to complement his lizard brain. And all this action happened in less than 24 hours? It made my head spin.

To be honest, had I known beforehand that this book entailed the con
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Duane Swierczynski is an American crime writer who has written a number of non-fiction books, novels and also writes for comic books.
More about Duane Swierczynski...

Other Books in the Series

Charlie Hardie (3 books)
  • Hell & Gone (Charlie Hardie, #2)
  • Point & Shoot (Charlie Hardie #3)

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“The world will run you down and slam a tire over your exploding skull and not even wonder what it had just hit.” 2 likes
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