He's a good detective...with a bad habit.
"One of the Year's Best Crime Novels"-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 high-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 -- but 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 marks the start of a refreshing series from an author who knows the criminal underworld inside and out.
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.
The Second Girl
I disliked the lead character. It's hard to get behind an individual who is an addict and takes the law into his own hands. Regardless of the good he does.
I won't buy another book by this author. To each his own.