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A Detailed Man [Kindle Edition]

David Swinson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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  • Length: 344 pages
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Book Description

"A relentless tour of DCs most crime-ridden streets, with many beautifully written surprises, and darker than the deepest noir."

~ Madison Smartt Bell

"The best crime novel I have read in many years. Written in a
sparse but affectionate style, every word feels like filtered through the
writers owns experiences and emotions. This creates something truly moving and
gripping. A Detailed Man is a tale full of true suspense and drive. But most
important of all: you can feel a strong compassion for the human being
vibrating from the pages. There is not a fake sentence in the book. Everything
comes together in a both horrifying and beautiful way: Just as in all the truly
great crime novels of our time."

Mons Kallentoft - International Bestselling author of the Malin
Fors crime fiction series (Atria/Emily Bestler Books)

"It is this authentic voice
that penetrates your head from start to finish and stays with you when you have
read the last line. No monotony here. The voice has an amazing range, playing
on images that we do not always immediately recognize as images."

Dorothy James,

"From corner boys to call girls, Swinson sketches his characters with the authority of a seasoned detective who knows every alley in town."
Dave Jamieson, award winning journalist and author of, Mint Condition (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2010)

"David Swinson grabs you by the scruff of the neck and never lets you go. With clean, tight, enticing writing, Swinson provides authentic detail about Washington, D.C. and some of its crime-flush neighborhoods. He also captures perfectly the jaded attitude of a veteran cop in the big city."
~ Alan Lengel, editor of

"While it's difficult to find a retired cop who hasn't written a book, it's rare to
find one as beautifully written as "A Detailed Man."
~Tim Grobaty, the Press Telegram of Long Beach

Half of DC Police Detective Ezra Simeon's face is immobilized from a persistent case of Bell's Palsy--he must drink through a straw and eat carefully to avoid chewing through his own cheek. He has been detailed from robbery to the cold case department while he heals.
"How odd to dream with one eye open, like having one foot in reality," Sim muses in the dark, bluesy vein that is typical of his Chandler-esque narration. "That's what makes dreaming dangerous and why I moved my gun farther from the bed."
Detective Simeon's half-frozen world begins to heat up when a friend from his Academy days drops dead of a heart attack, and Sim is tapped to replace him, detailed now to homicide, where he inherits the high-profile case of a murdered escort he alone thinks may be the victim of a serial killer.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Swinson spent the 1980s as a punk rock music promoter and film producer, booking acts like Social Distortion, Nick Cave, John Cale, Chris Isaac and the Red Hot Chili Peppers into clubs and producing spoken word events with Hunter S. Thompson, John Waters and Jim Carroll. He produced the cult classic film Roadside Prophets, starring John Doe of X and Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys and featuring Timothy Leary, John Cusack, David Carradine and Arlo Guthrie. In 1994, Swinson returned to his hometown of Washington DC and joined the police force, where he worked robbery, homicide and narcotics and became one of the city’s most decorated detectives. In 2000 he was promoted to the Special Investigations Bureau/Major Crimes, where he was often called upon by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, The Treasury Department and The US Attorney’s Office for assistance with sensitive cases. A Detailed Man is Swinson’s first novel.

Product Details

  • File Size: 499 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006G3WPMQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,540 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Nordic Mystery Set in D.C. December 6, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you enjoy dark, stark Nordic mysteries with introspective, brooding detectives, then you'll enjoy this page-turner set in a wintry Washington, D.C., as much as I did. Detective Simeon's story draws you in from the first page, taking the reader on a twisting, often surprising ride through the streets of our nation's capital. Swinson depicts in fascinating detail the everyday routine of an inner city cop and the toll it takes on the individual trying to serve justice within a rigid system. Even more important, he draws a disturbingly empathetic portrait of the too often stereotyped inhabitants of those streets. I highly recommend this first-time novel--the plot's riveting, the main characteer is fascinating, and you'll learn plenty about police procedures and human nature.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Detailed Man December 21, 2011
As an avid reader and a writer myself I tend to lean only toward bestsellers; but David Swinson took me for a ride with his first book. From the first sentence, I was enthralled by life in Washington D.C. from the eyes of a homicide detective named Ezra Simeon. The characters he has created, the relationships he builds, the bonds shared by officers of the law, and societal dynamics that exist between criminals and "normal" citizens and the media: Swinson has managed to captivate this reader and hold my life hostage for a full 24 hours, which is how long it took for me to read this book. I could not put it down. Each chapter is woven tightly and succinctly with perfection. For me, it would take a tremendous amount of research to write a book of this magnitude. Swinson's story is a recipe for the human condition, blended with empathy and the politics which exist in the legal system. This book showed me a life I could never comprehend, being a suburban dweller. It took me to places that I very likely will never go and into a world that for most of us would break our spirits and manages to write this marvelously balanced book. I hope there are sequels!A Detailed Man
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
David Swinson's well-written narrative takes the reader straight into the streets. Never having been to Washington, I still was completely transported into his gritty world each time I read--and like sipping bourbon, reading this book is better done in small doses, savored and considered. For me, a little went a long way.
His protagonist struggles physically and emotionally with the cop job, while still persuing his cases with dogged persistence in the face of budget cuts, snafus and setbacks. A case of Bell's Palsy adds daily pathos as he drinks with a straw and wonders if he'll make it past his friend Spanns' early and ignominious death.
My only reservation about this well written book is it's pacing--kind of like life, David's detective wanders a bit. The chapters seem a little unrelated to each other, more like standalone essays, and the overall tone is dark if leavened by ironic humor and wry observations.
A worthy read by a detective with a literary way with prose.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DETAILED MAN February 9, 2012
Short and Sweet: I love COP novels and have been reading them for several years. There are a lot of writers out there who have written fictional accounts of the NYPD or LAPD and even Seattle, Washington PD. Few have accurately written about the MPDC (DC Police Department).
My book reviews are always honest and if I don't like what I read, I just ditch the book and move on to the next one. No sense creating a bad review.
Since I personally know this writer and have actually worked with him I believe that he may be the next John Mackey. In time, Detective Alex Cross may have to move over because D.C. won't be big enough.
This is a well written novel and is supurbly realistic. I started reading this book recently and I am having a hard time putting it down. The story flows so well that it mentally puts me back on the streets of D.C. as a crime fighter. I hope Mr. Swinson continues writing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read that won't disappoint! January 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
So, this was the first book I was asked to review as part of the KBR and I wasn't disappointed!

The story is told from the point of view of Ezra Simeon, a seasoned Washington DC investigator. Simeon is sent to the Violent Crimes Unit (homicide) and it is here he picks up the case of an escort girls murder. Essentially the story follows Simeon as he makes links between this and `cold' cases he has seen. The book cleverly explores the relationships between officers and civilians and we see the inner workings of an investigators mind as Simeon works to get to the bottom of the murder.

For a first novel I was really impressed with the writing style; it's easy to read and is more akin to that of a seasoned writer. As a Brit reading this book, I enjoyed getting a taste of America and life as a US cop. It's clear that Swinson has a background in this work and his attention to detail and clear explanations is testament to this.

The book isn't a fast paced thriller, and things don't happen just for the sake of it. It's almost set at a day by day pace which works. I felt tired for Simeon as he describes his shift patterns and sleep patterns (or lack of it).

Despite being about a murder (and gruesome treatment of the body), there isn't the usual gratuitous gore that you might expect. Injuries and case notes are presented in a clinical manner; much as I expect you'd find in a real life crime situation. What you do find is a really considered, well written and well paced book, with all lose ends tied up.

All in all, I found this to be a dark but detailed look at life as a Washington DC Detective and I hope we see more of Ezra Simeon; I feel there is much that could be uncovered with this character, including relationships with colleagues set before this book, and of course how his relationship with Clem develops, if it does.

Sarah Burns, from the Kindle Book Review
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazingly good read, with some of the best and most ...
A DETAILED MAN by David Swinson is a procedural about a cop afflicted with Bell's palsy. An amazingly good read, with some of the best and most authentic interrogation scenes I've... Read more
Published 3 months ago by S. Wiebe
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
So long ago I cant remember this
Published 3 months ago by diane sexton
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Great read. Swinson has the great ability to paint a vivid picture so much you almost feel a crisp fall DC day. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jeff F
5.0 out of 5 stars Real life
It is obvious that the author lived the life he writes about. His loyalty to realism is evident through the lack of fakery in the characters and dialogue, in the gritty description... Read more
Published on December 28, 2012 by DCV
4.0 out of 5 stars Police procedure at its best ...
A wonderfully gripping and well-written police procedural, as much a hero's journey as a mystery its writing held me in the grip of its story. Read more
Published on December 26, 2012 by Caitlin Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant surprise
Unlike a couple of other people, I really enjoyed this novel "The Detailed Man". I got it as one of the daily freebies and expected very little. Read more
Published on September 27, 2012 by Stillwood
1.0 out of 5 stars I don't know what novel other reviewers were reading.
I'm honestly not sure what novel others were reading, but I found this book to be weak and poorly written. Read more
Published on September 20, 2012 by DC girl
4.0 out of 5 stars Great plot, poor editing
I read this book cover to cover in my Kindle in a couple of days, and I like the narrator a lot and I hope that this is the first book of a series about him. Read more
Published on April 17, 2012 by baldyblogger
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me a Detailed Fan
A Detailed Man is a true police story. It's credible, extremely well written, and told by a man who clearly knows what he's talking about. Read more
Published on April 11, 2012 by Skuhnbook
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!
Brooding detective Ezra Simeon doesn't necessarily like being detailed to the Cold Case unit, but until the Bell's Palsy subsides he's grateful to be working - period. Read more
Published on April 11, 2012 by L. Gondelman
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More About the Author

David Swinson began his career at the height of the punk rock movement in the early 1980s. After attending California State University as a film major, he booked and promoted punk rock and alternative music at Fender's Ballroom, Melody Dance Center and Bogart's Nightclub in Long Beach, California.

Swinson also started a Wednesday night evening of conversation and spoken word at Bogart's with luminaries such as Hunter S. Thompson, Dr. Timothy Leary, John Waters and Jim Carroll. After several years of booking, promoting, as well as developing lasting relationships with such people as Timothy Leary and Hunter S. Thompson, it was a natural segue to develop and co-produce Sound Bites from the Counter Culture for Atlantic Records in 1990. This spoken-word compilation featured writers, orators and politicians, including Thompson, Leary, Carroll, Abbie Hoffman, and Eugene McCarthy. Billboard called the album "essential listening."

In 1990, while having drinks with Timothy Leary and friend Billy Henderson, an idea for an offbeat buddy film entitled "Roadside Prophets" was conceived. The film eventually found a home with FineLine Features and was distributed theatrically by New Line Cinema. The film starred John Doe (of the band X) and Adam Horovitz (of the Beastie Boys) and featured Timothy Leary, John Cusack, David Carradine and Arlo Guthrie. Over the past few years, "Roadside Prophets" has become a cult classic among young viewers.

In 1994, Swinson pursued another passion - law enforcement. He returned to his home base of Washington DC, where he joined the Metropolitan Police Department. Swinson began his career as a police officer in uniform. He was then assigned to the Gun Recovery Unit as a tactical officer. Shortly after that, Swinson was assigned as a plainclothes/undercover officer, targeting narcotics and crimes in progress. In 1998, Swinson was assigned to the Third District Detectives Office as an investigator, where he covered offenses ranging from burglary and armed robbery to homicide. In 2000, he was promoted to detective and was eventually assigned to the department's Special Investigations Bureau/Major Crimes, and was the lead investigator in the District of Columbia for investigating serial burglaries, high profile cases and organized criminal operations related to narco-fencing.

Swinson is a highly decorated member of the Metropolitan Police Department, having received numerous awards including the department's prestigious Detective of the Year Award for 2003; Meritorious Service Medals for significant, outstanding and sustained achievements; Achievement Medals of Honor for a significant case investigation and several Department of Justice, United States Attorney's Annual Law Enforcement Awards for significant case investigations.He has also received to major awards from Target Corporation for outstanding community service.

Swinson's forthcoming book, THE SECOND GIRL, is due to be released in Summer 2016 by Mulholland Books/Little, Brown and Company.


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