MysteryPeople Review: THE SECOND GIRL by David Swinson

  • Post by Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery

9780316264174The wounded private eye has become a way for writers to give emotional weight to their crime fiction. Since Lawrence Block introduced us to Matt Scudder, detectives have been chasing their own own demons as well as their suspects. In his debut The Second Girl David Swinson gives us Frank Marr, junkie detective.

Marr feeds his habit by robbing drug dens. When he busts into one, he finds an abducted girl. Becoming a local hero with a secret, he is hired to find another girl who may have been taken by the same criminals. Marr hits the D.C. streets, searching for the girl and a fix.

Swinson portrays Marr as a anti-hero on a heroes’ quest. He works to manage his habit, instead of kicking it, resigned to being a junkie. Swinson avoids giving Marr a tragic background to manufacture sympathy. Sympathy is developed through the fight of who he is.

The Second Girl gives us a gritty streetwise detective story with a believably flawed detective. I’m looking forward to more books in the series and to seeing how Frank continues to deal with his addiction. The Second Girl already has me caring about him.

You can find copies of The Second Girl on our shelves and via

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