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52Books: Severance Package by Duane Swierczynski

It’s bad enough to work a 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, but to be called in to a special meeting of key personnel on a Saturday really sucks. It can’t get much worse, but for Jamie DeBroux, a PR copy man, husband and new father, it’s going to be the worst day of his life.

Set in Philadelphia, Duane Swierczynski’s Severance Package hits you over the head in the first chapter by killing Paul Lewis, a non-essential character to events of the book, though essential to the underlying character of Molly Lewis. Then you are shuffled through the cast of characters who work for Murphy Knox & Associates, a front company for the hybrid intelligence agency CI-6. It’s a bit confusing as we are raced through the roster, but quickly comes together once the meeting convenes.

Murphy Knox & Associates is being liquidated and unfortunately in the world of CI-6 that means the employees, agents and civilians, are to be terminated.


Jamie DeBroux can’t believe it when David Murphy, their boss, announces that they must all die and there is no escape from the building. But when co-worker Stuart drinks the deadly mimosa at David’s suggestion, Jamie clearly understands this is no joke.

Swierczynski then proceeds to take our PR protagonist through an ultra violent ride with the help of his “office wife” Molly Lewis as his fellow co-workers are taken out one-by-one. With violence cranked up to 11, Jamie DeBroux’s only desire is to survive, escape the building and get back home with his wife and child.

Severance Package is hi-octane fiction that burns hot and fast. I could easily see it adapted into a movie by Guy Ritchie or the likes.

I enjoyed Duane Swierczynski‘s book well enough that I picked up The Blonde and pre-ordered Expiration Date.

Next up is J.C. Hutchins7th Son: Decent.