David Swinson returns with a thrillingly dark novel, featuring Frank Marr, 'a masterly piece of characterisation.' (Tana French)
Frank Marr, a retired D.C. police detective working as a private eye, has a serious problem. He is secretly a drug addict, and his supply of cocaine is about to run out.
While staking out an upscale nightclub in an attempt to identify criminals whose homes he might hit for drugs, he settles on a young college student. After spending a long night following his target, Marr returns home to find he has been burgled. Although Marr's drugs are safe, several items are missing: his .38 revolver, and his cherished music collection that includes dozens of records that belonged to his deceased mother. Marr reports the burglary to the police, but immediately begins investigating the crime himself.
And then comes even worse news: the cocaine dealer Frank was following is stabbed to death in his own fortified home. Frank knows in his gut that the burglary and murder are related. With good cops, bad cops, and exceptionally dangerous drug lords on his tail, Frank is determined to find out the truth, even if it kills him.
This time, it just might.
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. - Mark Billingham
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. - Tana French
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 - Shortlist
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. - Jeffery Deaver