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Revolver by Duane Swierczynski
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Revolver is a story about a family stretching over three separate time periods. It's 1965 and Officer Stan Walczak together with his partner George Wildey is patrolling an area of Philadelphia known locally as the Jungle. This is not a good chapter in American History and events attributable to racism are an everyday occurrence. The police officers have arranged to meet local snitch ,Terrill Lee Stanton, at a nearby taproom where in unexpected incident has devastating and far reaching consequences.

It's 1995 and homicide detective Jim Walczak is made aware that Terrill Lee Stanton is about to be released. Jim suspects that Stanton was to blame for the death of his father but he was never actually incarcerated for this offence. Jim is determined to find the truth whatever the cost.

2015 and Jim Walczak's daughter, as part of her dissertation, is reinvestigating the death of her grandfather Stan. What she discovers will question everything that went before and lead to surprising and shocking revelations.

The author of this story has embarked on a difficult balancing act. In attempting to rediscover the truth, he needs to hold the reader's attention as the storyline flits between the harsh and difficult reality of policing a racially divided 60's Philadelphia and the modern world as seen through the eyes of granddaughter Audrey. Duane Swierczynski performs this task with ultimate ease creating a thoughtful story that challenges the reader as he expertly brings all the separate threads together in a surprising yet very fitting conclusion. ( )
  runner56 | Feb 8, 2017 |
A generational tale of a family of Philadelphia police officers, chock full of period detail with only a few hollow notes interspersed throughout - most of which can probably be chalked up to personal preference and not any fault of the author. ( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
In 1965, I was being raised in the city of Chicago, a neighborhood much like the one depicted in this novel. A neighborhood of Polish, Irish and Italian decent, a neighborhood where cops in one generation were followed by those of the next. So much of the feeling, the atmosphere, the tone were so familiar to me that I couldn't help but be drawn into this story, a story of three generations of cops.

In this story and starting in 1965 a policeman named Stan and his partner Wiley, one white of Polish ancestor, one black whose father had also been a policeman are gunned down in a bar, the shooters never discovered nor punished. Though in 1985 when his son Jim, now also a policeman believes the shooter was known and is being released from prison. These events will reverberate through the family with disastrous results. A novel of family, race relations and secrets, within the family and without. A novel of sorrow and pain but at the end also hope as a new generation will attempt to resolve the unanswered questions of the old.

I really enjoyed this novel, it is well written, just gritty enough without being graphic and really showed what is was like to live in a city divided by race and ethnicity. Also the toll police work takes on family members and how many times the past comes back to haunt the future. Good stuff. ( )
  Beamis12 | Nov 22, 2016 |
I think it's impossible for Swierczynski to write a bad book. The only drawback for me (and I MEAN FOR ME) was the triple story telling, with each story alternating a chapter. My old brain couldn't handle it, so I read the stories as 3 different novellas with a tie up of the three stories in the last three chapters. Worked for me, but most people will probably won't have a problem with reading the story the way it was written. ( )
  bjkelley | Oct 29, 2016 |
Good story with an unexpected finish. ( )
  velopunk | Oct 5, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316403237, Hardcover)

Three generations torn apart--by bullets fired fifty years ago.

Philadelphia, 1965: Two street cops--one black, one white--are gunned down in a corner bar. One of the fallen officers, Stan Walczak, leaves behind a 12-year-old boy, Jimmy.

Philadelphia, 1995: Homicide detective Jim Walczak learns that his father's alleged killer, Terrill Lee Stanton, has been sprung from prison. Jim stalks the ex-con, hoping to finally learn the truth.

Philadelphia, 2015: Jim's daughter Audrey, a forensic science student, re-opens her grandfather's murder for a research paper. But as Audrey digs deeper, she comes to realize that Stanton probably didn't pull the trigger--and her father may have made a horrible mistake...

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 22 Jun 2016 23:51:15 -0400)

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