Cover image for
The second girl
Swinson, David,
Personal Author:
First edition.
Physical Description:
354 pages ; 25 cm
Pub Date:
Mullholland Books, Little, Brown and Company, 2016.


Home Location
Material Type
Shelf Number
Central - Houston Public Library Adult Mystery Fiction Book SWINS
Heights - Houston Public Library Adult Mystery Fiction Book SWINS
Ring - Houston Public Library Adult Mystery Fiction Book SWINS

On Order



He's a good detective...with a bad habit.
One of the best crime novels of 2016! - 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 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 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 the start of a refreshing new series from an author who knows the criminal underworld inside and out.
Don't miss Frank Marr's next case, CRIME SONG, out now!

Author Notes

David Swinson is a retired police detective, having served 16 years with the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department. Before joining the DC police Swinson was a record store owner in Seal Beach, California, a punk rock/alternative concert promoter in Long Beach, California, and a music video producer and independent filmmaker in Los Angeles, California. Swinson currently lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, daughter, bull mastiff, and bearded dragon.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* 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.--Tran, Christine Copyright 2016 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

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 Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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