I remember watching the Robert DeNiro/Charles Grodin movie Midnight Run when it first came out and looking at my watch after about an hour and a half and thinking: “Fantastic! There is another hour to go!”
I had a similar reaction after about 200 pages of this book: “Great! There is another 100 pages to go!”
Screwed is the second in Eoin Colfer’s series about the misadventures of ex-Irish Army sergeant Daniel McEvoy on the fringes of the New Jersey criminal underworld. In this novel Dan is required to deliver a package to a criminal in New York in order to part-pay a debt to another local crime lord. Nobody says “Its a midnight run, for crissake!” but you know, because this is Dan’s world, that the rest of the book is going to chart a couple of days for Dan similarly fraught to the ones Grodin and DeNiro endured all those years ago. Indeed, nothing is ever as straightforward as Dan would like it to be and the novel charts Dan’s subsequent antics hoping from frying pans to fires and back again.
The series seems to be finding its feet with this novel: its funny, exciting, and with a welcome reduction on some of the wise cracking of the previous novel even if Dan does tend rather too often to “with one bound” free himself from some terrifying situations. Still the novel is knowing enough to forgive this and leaves one looking forward to the next installment.