Keeping in line with my new year’s bookish resolutions, I decided to go back and reread a favourite of mine, EXPIRATION DATE by Duane Swierczynski. It tells the tale of a down-on-his luck and out of work newspaper reporter who moves into his grand pop’s apartment in a downtrodden and seemingly dangerous part of town. There, Mickey Wade discovers an innocuous bottle of pills in the medicine cabinet which he greedily takes in hopes of them having some medicinal purpose as a means to pre-empt his impending hangover. Rather than take the edge off, they send Mickey back in time, to the date he was born. Being a reporter and naturally inquisitive, Mickey soon learns family secrets best left buried and confronts his father’s killer only to learn things aren’t quite what they seem.
Wow. EXPIRATION DATE is just as, if not more, impressive the second time round. Like with any reread I found myself noticing details that I didn’t take in before, such as the complexity associated with Wade’s predicament and the ‘butterfly effect’ his time travelling sojourns have on the present.
There are some great twists that complement the story, as well as an ending I didn’t envision (yes, despite having read it close to its original publication).
With EXPIRATION DATE, author Duane Swierczynski explores the cause and effect of actions of the more violent nature and how a split second decision, one that even seems right, can have dire consequences years down the track. I enjoyed every moment and will no doubt go back for yet another read.