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The Second Girl: Frank Marr Series, Book 1
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Published:
Little, Brown and Company 2016
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Description

He's a good detective...with a bad habit.


One of the Year's Best Crime Novels - The New York Times Book Review, Booklist


Frank Marr knows crime in Washington, DC. A decorated former police detective, he retired early and now ekes a living as a private eye for a defense attorney. Frank Marr may be the best investigator the city has ever known, but the city doesn't know his dirty secret.


A high-functioning drug addict, Frank has devoted his considerable skills to hiding his usage from others. But after accidentally discovering a kidnapped teenage girl in the home of an Adams Morgan drug gang, Frank becomes a hero and is thrust into the spotlight. He reluctantly agrees to investigate the disappearance of another girl—possibly connected to the first—but the heightened scrutiny may bring his own secrets to light, too.


Frank is as slippery and charming an antihero as you've ever met, but he's also achingly vulnerable. The result is a mystery of startling intensity, a tightly coiled thriller where every scene may turn disastrous. THE SECOND GIRL is the crime novel of the season, and marks the start of a refreshing series from an author who knows the criminal underworld inside and out.

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Format:
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Street Date:
06/07/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780316269858
ASIN:
B0169ATL90
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

David Swinson. (2016). The Second Girl: Frank Marr Series, Book 1. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

David Swinson. 2016. The Second Girl: Frank Marr Series, Book 1. Little, Brown and Company.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

David Swinson, The Second Girl: Frank Marr Series, Book 1. Little, Brown and Company, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

David Swinson. The Second Girl: Frank Marr Series, Book 1. Little, Brown and Company, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • bioText: David Swinson is a retired police detective, having served 16 years with the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. He is the author of the Frank Marr novels, including The Second Girl and Crime Song. Swinson currently lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, daughter, bull mastiff, and bearded dragon.
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fullDescription

He's a good detective...with a bad habit.


One of the Year's Best Crime Novels - The New York Times Book Review, Booklist


Frank Marr knows crime in Washington, DC. A decorated former police detective, he retired early and now ekes a living as a private eye for a defense attorney. Frank Marr may be the best investigator the city has ever known, but the city doesn't know his dirty secret.


A high-functioning drug addict, Frank has devoted his considerable skills to hiding his usage from others. But after accidentally discovering a kidnapped teenage girl in the home of an Adams Morgan drug gang, Frank becomes a hero and is thrust into the spotlight. He reluctantly agrees to investigate the disappearance of another girl—possibly connected to the first—but the heightened scrutiny may bring his own secrets to light, too.


Frank is as slippery and charming an antihero as you've ever met, but he's also achingly vulnerable. The result is a mystery of startling intensity, a tightly coiled thriller where every scene may turn disastrous. THE SECOND GIRL is the crime novel of the season, and marks the start of a refreshing series from an author who knows the criminal underworld inside and out.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: @shoedog11 (George Pelecanos)
      • content: The Second Girl is a terrific DC crime novel.
      • premium: False
      • source: Tana French, author of The Secret Place
      • content: Within the first couple of pages, 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.
      • premium: False
      • source: Jeffrey Deaver, author of The Kill Room
      • content: 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.
      • premium: False
      • source: Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
      • content: It's actually refreshing to pick up The Second Girl.
      • premium: False
      • source: Hillary Kelly, Washingtonian
      • content: This is the DC crime novel you should be reading this summer . . . The delight of The Second Girl is how smoothly its engine runs . . . [Marr's] character just works. He's damaged enough to prove interesting, and self-aware enough not to drive a reader batty.
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist (starred)
      • content: Frank Marr turns the PI mold on its head; he's an addict with a self-serving vigilante streak. But he's also a pretty decent guy deep down who works the streets with expertise, and readers will be fascinated by the day-in-the-life perspective of an unrepentant cocaine addict. A gritty knockout debut that screams for a series.
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews (starred)
      • content: An auspicious, and gleefully amoral, series debut . . . Swinson, himself a former D.C. police detective, brings the neighborhood and its criminal underworld to gritty life. . . . Marr may be a disaster on legs, but he gets inside a reader's head with ease. . . . It's good news that this is merely an introduction to a character who plans to return.
      • premium: False
      • source: Jack Batten, Toronto Star
      • content: The book's action is forever on the boil.
      • premium: False
      • source: Long Beach Press Telegram
      • content: [A] sweaty, suspenseful saga . . . This book will sell like crazy.
      • premium: False
      • source: Ron Rash, author of Serena
      • content: Like Dennis Lehane and Richard Price, David Swinson gives us a gritty urban crime novel populated with morally complex, utterly believable characters. Swinson knows how to build suspense, and he has a great ear for the patois of the streets, but it is detective Frank Marr's tightrope walk between his noble and darker impulses that makes The Second Girl such a rewarding read from start to finish.
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: [A] highly original noir...Swinson keeps the outcome in doubt to the end. He also does a fine job portraying the varied neighborhoods of contemporary Washington.
      • premium: False
      • source: Michael Robotham, author of Life or Death and Shatter
      • content: 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.
      • premium: False
      • source: James Grady, author of Six Days at the Condor
      • content: David Swinson steps into the mean streets of American fiction with an unforgettable character, Frank Marr, and that journey takes readers into realities most people never see. The Second Girl is a non-stop drive through American crime, punishment and even an alley or two of justice. It's bracing to see fiction created by an author who paid his dues to learn our hidden truths.
      • premium: False
      • source: Chris Holm, author of The Killing Kind
      • content: In a world of pretenders and wannabes, David Swinson is the real deal. The Second Girl crackles with authenticity, and introduces an antihero in Frank Marr as compelling as the habit he can't shake. In Swinson's hands, Marr is a reflection of the mean streets of DC he calls home: tarnished, drug-addled, but maybe-just maybe-not too far-gone to save.
      • premium: False
      • source: Peggy Blair, author of Hungry Ghosts
      • content: The Second Girl is as good as it gets. Deeply compelling crime fiction that is gritty, authentic, and with an anti-hero you end up rooting for. It reminded me of The Wire and I enjoyed it every bit as much. A great read; close to perfect.
      • premium: False
      • source: Owen Laukkenen, author of Stolen Ones
      • content: Brimming with equal parts authenticity and heart, The Second Girl boasts a
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 7, 2016
        PI Frank Marr, the narrator of this highly original noir from Swinson (A Detailed Man), has a big problem: he’s a cocaine addict. When the former Washington, D.C., police detective breaks into a house in search of a stash he hopes to score, he finds Amanda Meyer, who can’t be more than 15, chained to the floor in the bathroom. Instead of calling 911 or taking Amanda to the hospital, per standard police procedure, he delivers the girl to his sometime employer and lover, attorney Leslie Costello, who ensures that the teenager is reunited with her parents. Frank becomes a hero, and Leslie refers him to another set of parents seeking help in locating their missing daughter, 16-year-old Miriam Gregory. As he searches for Miriam, Frank must spin an ever-murkier web of lies to conceal his activities from his friends and the authorities. Frank constantly makes bad choices, and Swinson keeps the outcome in doubt to the end. He also does a fine job portraying the varied neighborhoods of contemporary Washington. Agent: Jane Gelfman, Gelfman Schneider/ICM.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 1, 2016
        Old habits die hard, and sometimes cause collateral damage, in this character-driven crime story. Retired D.C. cop Frank Marr works as a private investigator. He's a pro at the job but uses it as a means to fuel his drug addiction. While looting a house of its stash--he had it under surveillance for just this reason--he finds a kidnapped girl, and doing the right thing threatens to unravel the life he's built. Author Swinson, himself a former D.C. police detective, brings the neighborhood and its criminal underworld to gritty life and gives the drug trade's handoffs and turf disputes an insider's intimate view. Marr is a compelling mess, saving the day not once but twice while constantly checking his nostrils for powder residue or the odd trickle of blood. When it suits his purpose (or covers his hobby) he'll take a life, but the lines he will or will not cross seem to be in constant motion, and that unpredictability keeps the tension high. Threats from some who know Marr's "early retirement" was a de facto firing don't cow him so much as push him to rebel. If the bad guys kill first and worry about the details later, doesn't justice require someone equally unconstrained to take them on? Marr may be a disaster on legs, but he gets inside a reader's head with ease; when he leaves someone to die then doubles back with second thoughts, it's shocking to note how infectious his perspective is. The ethical questions about his lifestyle aren't settled here, so it's good news that this is merely an introduction to a character who plans to return. An auspicious, and gleefully amoral, series debut.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2016
        Retired Washington, D.C., narcotics detective (and coke addict) Frank Marr is robbing a stash house when he finds a kidnapped girl held captive in the bathroom. He can't take her to the police without explaining why he was in the house, so he takes her to defense attorney Leslie Costello's office and hightails it back to the house to finish cleaning out the crew's drugs. As Frank dodges the detectives investigating Amanda Meyer's kidnapping, Costello makes it clear that the only way Frank can atone for landing her in the middle of the investigation is to agree to look for another girl who has gone missing from Amanda's neighborhood. So Frank is forced into his personal nightmare of a juggling act, using his narcotics-squad sting tactics to find an informant who can lead him to the pimps orchestrating the kidnappings, all the while keeping his addiction hidden from his police contacts. Frank Marr turns the PI mold on its head; he's an addict with a self-serving vigilante streak. But he's also a pretty decent guy deep down who works the streets with expertise, and readers will be fascinated by the day-in-the-life perspective of an unrepentant cocaine addict. A gritty knockout debut that screams for a series.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 15, 2016

        Longtime addict Frank Marr was a decorated police detective in Washington, DC. Now two years after his retirement, he works sporadically as a private investigator to support his drug habit. Leslie, a defense attorney and Marr's occasional bedfellow, keeps him on retainer to investigate cases for her clients. But one day when Marr's stash of drugs runs low, he discovers a teenage girl in a closet while canvasing a local gang's safe house for illicit drugs. Upon delivering the abducted girl to Leslie, Marr is hired by a family from the suburbs of Virginia to investigate the disappearance of another girl--who has a connection to the first girl. VERDICT Swinson (A Detailed Man) delivers an excellent addition to the noir genre as he unveils layer after layer of his gritty protagonist. Readers of Dennis Lehane and Richard Price as well as fans of The Wire will appreciate the bleak description of inner-city Washington, DC.--Russell Michalak, Goldey-Beacom Coll. Lib., Wilmington, DE

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2016

        In a debut folks at Little, Brown are cheering, decorated Washington, DC, police detective Frank Marr has retired early. He's hiding his drug addiction, a secret that might come out after he rescues a kidnapped girl he chances upon at a drug gang's den and is proclaimed a hero. Swinson himself is a retired DC police detective; with a 40,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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shortDescription

He's a good detective...with a bad habit.


One of Booklist's Best Crime Novels of the Year!


Frank Marr knows crime in Washington, DC. A decorated former police detective, he retired early and now ekes a living as a private eye for a defense attorney. Frank Marr may be the best investigator the city has ever known, but the city doesn't know his dirty secret.


A long-functioning drug addict, Frank has devoted his considerable skills to hiding his usage from others. But after accidentally discovering a kidnapped teenage girl in the home of an Adams Morgan drug gang, Frank becomes a hero and is thrust into the spotlight. He reluctantly agrees to investigate the disappearance of another girl—possibly connected to the first—and the heightened scrutiny may bring his own secrets to light, too.


Frank is as slippery and charming an antihero as you've ever met, but he's also achingly vulnerable. The result is a...

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