The Thruway Killers is the seventh of nine novels by Harvey Havel, a former SUNY Albany and Bergen Community College writing instructor and novelist.
Droogan McPhee is the unemployed, unsympathetic son of a wealthy curmudgeon who owns a chain of liquor stores in the Northeast. In tandem with his adulteress stepmother (who is closer to Doogan’s age then his father), he schemes to murder his ornery father in order to claim his inheritance. The plan goes awry, and Droogan is forced to skip town. With the police hot on his heels, the chase ensues across three states in a short span of time, ratcheting up the drama to make for a quick read.
While Havel’s characters are transparent, the fast-paced plot compensates for the singularly focused objectives of each larger than life main character. He doesn’t shy away from controversial topics like race, as the book’s beginning details the forays of Droogan’s relationship with one of the mansion’s maids, Angela. Droogan’s father intervenes in the relationship, quickly catapulting the drama into a high stakes race against time. The Thruway Killers taps into the socioeconomic classism that pervades the 24-hour news cycle, creating a relatable dialogue for the reader to absorb.
Havel’s novel invites insight into a story where money and class tear a family apart, and reads like a top notch episode of “Law and Order.”
Twisted Talk: What are you favorite kind of novels? Do you like thrillers? Discuss below!