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A Detailed Man Paperback – November 29, 2011
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
There are many crime novels out there that are great reads. There is something about A Detailed Man that, to me, placed it above most of the others I have read to date.
It takes place in the DC area, so that is appealing to me. The main detective is Ezra Simeon. When we meet him, we learn that his face is compromised on one side due to Bell's Palsy. He has to wear a patch over one eye to sleep, as it won't close. He drinks from a straw, and still has difficulty keeping food and drink from dribbling down into his beard. While he heals, he has been sent from robbery to cold case.
He finds positive reasons to stay in cold case until he can retire, and he has a good success rate, as he did in robbery. He finds one case that follows him when he is suddenly transferred again after the death of a friend in homicide. He inherits a high profile case of a murdered escort and realizes there are commonalities between that case and the cold case he was working on.
Swinson does a fantastic job of making a reader feel as if this is actually what police work is about. It is not glamorous, cases are not cracked within the time frame of a made-for-TV movie, and the characters are fleshed out.
I was surprised to learn that A Detailed Man is Swinson's first novel.
It definitely rates five stars in my book list!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
that I suspect is why not one credible author mentioned that Swinson can...Read more