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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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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!
I was even willing to forget the authors using the names of literary figures of centuries gone by (a pair of partners called Beaumont and Fletcher, a technician called Marvell, and more). Still didn't break the spell of the main character's narration.
I will be one of the first to grab his second novel as soon as it is released.
The 2nd novel is always the most difficult. I hope David can do it. I'm also going to suggest that he find a really god editor. A skilled editor would have turned this book into a 4-star book. Maybe even a 5-star.
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that I suspect is why not one credible author mentioned that Swinson can...Read more