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Swann Dives In (Henry Swann) Hardcover – November 9, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Henry Swann
  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (November 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432826220
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432826222
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,783,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

A book you can't put down.
Amazon Customer
I think Swann is a great character, likeable and interesting.
James L. Woolridge
This mystery keeps the reader's attention.
Cheryl Livingston (Golden, CO and Rockport, TX)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Conrad Guest on November 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's difficult to write, and to break new ground, in the mystery genre. More so in the hard-nosed detective genre. Consider those who have come before: Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, Ross MacDonald, and Robert B. Parker, to name a few.

Hammett is considered the granddaddy, but Chandler, with his creation of Philip Marlowe, is considered the best. Now you might wish to add to the list the name Charles Salzberg.

In Swann Dives In, the sequel to Swann's Last Song, Henry Swann, former tracer of lost persons turned cable guy, is lured back into his old profession, not only by the handsome fee offered, but also by the thrill as well as the challenge of righting the wrongs in our modern world.

Like Marlowe, Swann is a critic of our society, its pursuit of money and materialism as a means to find happiness. Also like Marlowe, Swann can handle himself with his fists but prefers to talk his way out of a jam. Swann panders to no one, least of all the guy paying for his services. His dialogue is sharp, his wit quick, and even if the reader thinks no one talks that cleverly in real life, they'll hope that, maybe, someone somewhere does. Those expecting a lot of action may be disappointed; Swann Dives In is driven by its dialogue and its mystery, which Swann peels away layer by layer, like an onion minus the tears.

Tasked with locating the daughter of a well-to-do lawyer and collector of rare books, Swann's investigation takes him to Boston and London, before returning him to New York. Although the denouement is less than neat--but such is life in our real world (rarely do we find our happily ever after)--Salzberg teases with the possibility of a third Swann novel.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elliot Ravetz on November 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charles Salzberg introduced us to the private investigator Henry Swann in his terrific, mold-breaking novel, "Swann's Last Song," which was nominated for a Shamus Award. The surprising outcome of Henry Swann's previous case had so utterly shaken him that Swann quit his profession.

As Swann explains it in Charles Salzberg's brilliant sequel, "Swann Dives In," his last case left him "an emotional and physical wreck"; it had all but destroyed his most fundamental beliefs and assumptions about life and about the existence of laws of reason and order that govern the universe.

For the three years since he quit, he's been working as a cable company technician. But that job has been wearing him down and starving Swann's restless and hungry mind. So when his unsavory friend Goldblatt offers him a relatively simple missing person case, Swann reluctantly accepts it, rationalizing it as an excuse to take a short break from the tedium of his cable work. However, when he quickly tracks down his prey, Swann is jolted by a powerful adrenalizing rush that reminds him that he has always felt most alive when he is "Finding people, finding answers, solving mysteries, bringing order to chaos..."

"Swann's Last Song" -- a swift-paced, globe-trotting page-turner -- offered a different and riveting take on the classic P.I. novel, but its greatest reward was Swann himself, Salzberg's irresistible sleuth.

Its sequel, "Swann Dives In" is also a wonderful novel: it is richly imagined, witty, gracefully written, cleverly and unobtrusively philosophical, and delightfully allusive.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nora CK on November 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm a slow, skeptical, fussy reader. Salzberg manages to draw me in and keep me thinking and guessing and committed. Maybe it's because Swann has a unique combination of self-awareness, cynicism, and curiosity that makes me want to hang out with him for a few days and makes me look forward to the next opportunity to see what he's up to. But I don't want to get all mushy and sentimental. I'm sure Swann wouldn't like that. Maybe this: It's a fast, smooth, cool read, and a classic-type mystery that delivers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Baker on March 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Detective Whodunits" aren't my genre of choice but the Henry Swann books are so imaginative, witty, and quick moving, I can't resist them. Henry Swann is a New York archetype, a lonely smart guy surrounded by people who are richer, smarter, and better dressed. While Henry marks time as a cable guy, he gets drawn back into a previous life as a skip-tracer, the detective world's equivalent of a bill collector, a lowly finder of missing people and things. As he follows up each fragmentary clue in search of a young literature student gone missing, our jeans clad, aging hero is thrown into contact with people smug in high power careers. But Henry gets by. He entertains himself and us by shaking up the arrogant with wit and verbal panache. He makes use of his outsider's disassociation to gage and play the emotions of the egotists he encounters. Here's one of my favorite passages, a scrap of Henry Swann practical philosophy:

"You're much better off thinking everyone's smarter than you are, even if it isn't true. It wasn't difficult with Phillips because I was pretty sure he was smarter than me, knew more than I did, but the fact that he did, and he knew it, could work to my advantage. The smarter he thought he was, the smarter I'd turn out to be."

I like this, the second of the Swann books, even better than the first. Swann seems to be sharper, more firmly Swann, the solitary literatus underdog, just trying to do his job and not get hurt.
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