Canary by Duane Swierczynski | Review

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<strong>Canary</strong> Book Cover
Canary Fiction, Crime Mulholland Books Hardcover 400 pages Amazon

It’s dangerous enough when an ordinary college girl turns confidential informant. Even more dangerous when she’s smarter than the killer, kingpins, and cops who think they control her.

Honors student Sarie Holland is busted by the local police while doing a favor for her boyfriend. Unwilling to betray him but desperate to avoid destroying her future, Sarie has no choice but to become a “CI” — a confidential informant.

Philly narcotics cop Ben Wildey is hungry for a career-making bust. The detective thinks he’s found the key in Sarie: her boyfriend scores from a mid-level dealer with alleged ties to the major drug gangs.

Sarie turns out to be the perfect CI: a quick study with a shockingly keen understanding of the criminal mind. But Wildey, desperate for results, pushes too hard and inadvertently sends the nineteen-year-old into a death trap, leaving Sarie hunted by crooked cops and killers alike with nothing to save her — except what she’s learned during her harrowing weeks as an informant.

Which is bad news for the police and the underworld. Because when it comes to payback, CI #1373 turns out to be a very quick study…

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


This is the first Duane Swierczynski book I have read and I must say I’m glad I did.

19-year-old Sarie Holland gets busted by a narcotics cop when taking a friend unknowingly on a drug run.  She is then turned into a Confidential Informant and must learn about the drug trade and give up some names.  Naive and innocent at first, Sarie quickly learns the rules of the game and does what she must to stay alive and out of jail.

Canary is a gripping crime novel full of suspense and action. Told from multiple perspectives, readers get to see events unfold through the eyes of different characters. This unique way of storytelling shows how people interpret their surroundings in individual ways. Although the content is strong and could be gruesome, Swierczynski writes in a way that spares readers of gory details and leaves images to the reader’s imagination.

This novel is a must-read. It is suspenseful, faced-paced, and intriguing. Once I got started, I couldn’t put Canary down.

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