The Second Girl by David Swinson is the first in a series featuring retired cop Frank Marr. He is damaged like the cop in Swinson’s first book “A Detailed Man.” Marr is worse though. Marr is a junkie.
Even when faced with a chained scarcely clad teen his mind drifts. Whether it is the pain in the second girl’s parents’ eyes or plain empathy, I am not sure but the second girl flips a switch inside Marr. I was not convinced though that he would become a likeable character. But Marr loves grapefruits too so I gave him another chance. I kept reading.
The story is a parent’s nightmare. It brings up all too familiar images of young girls hanging out with the wrong crowd. Young teens being held captive, being groomed for prostitution, and what strength is left gets broken with drug dependency. You want the girls safe. I wanted Marr to succeed. So I kept reading.
The story races you through DC and I wanted to grab a map. Maybe next time I visit DC I can get Swinson to drive me around!
The more the story unfolded the more unpredictable Marr became. I was sick of him checking his nose for white powder. At the same time I wanted this idiot of a retired cop to get his act together and do the right thing. And when he finally did the right thing I felt like taking a long hot shower to get Marr’s smell out of my head.
Highly recommended reading if you love a fast-paced detailed crime story that often comes too close for comfort and makes you look twice out of your suburban bedroom window.
Note: I bought this book myself at the launch on June 7, 2016, in Washington, DC. David then kindly signed my copy. This review is my honest opinion about the book.