The Second Girl

Written by David Swinson

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.

The Second Girl
Mulholland Books
RRP: £14.99
Released: June 2 2016

Frank Marr is a man with problems, a high functioning addict driven out of a successful police career by his addictions into a shadow life as a private eye on the mean streets of Washington.

Rescuing a teenage girl from a drug den makes him an unlikely hero; the man that the family of another missing girl turn to as their last best hope. Reluctantly drawn into the investigation Marr will have to put his life and fragile reputation on the line to bring it to a conclusion.

This brilliantly conceived thriller digs deep into the dark heart of America's capital city as much as it does that of its ex-cop protagonist. Swinson exposes the grimy dog eat dog existence of the drug gangs and the communities they prey on acted out within sight of the seat of unimaginable power.

He also writes with messily convincing realism about a man trapped in the cage formed by his own addictions. The endless comic, tragic game of hiding the desperate need for the next fix, and the transient false relief of the high when it arrives; that Frank Marr can function at all, let alone mix up it with desperate criminals is a triumph of denial over sordid reality.

This book takes no prisoners, where order isn't so much restored, rather is a crumbling and disreputable facade propped up for a little longer.

The action scenes are brutally believable, the setting starkly realised and the (anti) hero compelling; this could be the start of a gripping new series.

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