A down-and-dirty thriller with real heart from an author who knows what he's talking about. This is firmly in George Pelecanos territory and it doesn't get much better than that
David Swinson pulls off a masterly piece of characterization: he creates a damaged, damned protagonist who no sane person would want to get close to, and then he grabs you by the collar and hauls you into Frank Marr's mind so fast and so thoroughly that none of that matters. The writing throws sparks, and the ferocious plot peels back layer after layer of Frank's character as we - and he - find out how much of his humanity is still left.
Once you're drawn into Frankie Marr's world (in, oh, the first few pages of this fine novel), you won't want to leave. Marr is one of the most compelling and complex protagonists to come along in years. And, not content with just creating a memorable hero, author Swinson also offers up a breakneck plot, which he recounts in muscular prose and with a commanding knowledge of cops, bad guys and the streets of Washington, D.C. Reminiscent of The Wire and the writing of George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane, The Second Girl is a winner
A non-stop drive through American crime, punishment and even an alley or two of justice.
Like the very best of classic crime writing, THE SECOND GIRL made me want to read faster and slower at the same time. Now I want David Swinson to write faster
An excellent addition to the noir genre...Readers of Dennis Lehane and Richard Price as well as fans of The Wire will appreciate
A gripping, authentic tale (the author is an ex-cop) of a man's journey into the heart of darkness that will appeal to fans of The Wire
The first book in your favorite new thriller series
Imagine Philip Marlowe upped and transplanted to contemporary Washington with a mountain of stolen coke hidden in a secret safe rather than a bottle of bourbon in his desk drawer, and you're close to Frank Marr, the winningly debauched private investigator hero of this gritty thriller...A complex, vulnerable but brilliant creation, with a unique personal morality, his spare narration is laced with wry humour but entirely lacking in self-pity...More is promised from Swinson and Marr, and for fans of tough, urban US crime that is very good news indeed.
The delight of The Second Girl is how smoothly its engine runs and how wisely it avoids the pitfalls of overstuffed, half-considered thrillers. The premise is straightforward: former cop seeks subtle redemption by reuniting missing girls with their families. The action reads like a real crime story you'd hear on the nightly news