This November, Mulholland Books are due to publish Sweet Thing, the latest crime novel by David Swinson. In this book, the author returns to Washington, D.C., the setting of his excellent Frank Marr trilogy — one of my favourite crime series — albeit with a new protagonist, and as a standalone novel. One of my most-anticipated reads of the year, here’s the synopsis:
In a red brick house on a tree-lined street, DC homicide detective Alex Blum stares at the bullet-pocked body of Chris Doyle. As he roots around for evidence, he finds an old polaroid: the decedent, arm in arm with Arthur Holland, Blum’s informant from years ago when he worked at the Narcotics branch.
But Arthur has been missing for days. Blum’s only source: Arthur’s girl, Celeste — beautiful, seductive, and tragic — whom he can’t get out of his head. Blum is drawn to her and feels compelled to save her from Arthur’s underworld. As the investigation ticks on and dead bodies domino, Blum, unearths clues with damning implications for Celeste. Swallowed by desire, Blum’s single misstep sends him tunnelling down a rabbit hole of transgression. He may soon find the only way out is down below.
Set in 1999, Swinson, a former DC cop, offers a look back at a rougher, grittier, bygone DC replete with seedy strip clubs, pagers beeping, and Y2K anxiety. It’s here we’re taken inside sting operations, fluorescent-tinged interrogation chambers, and rooms that have seen irreversible mistakes. At once authentic, gritty, tragic, and profound, SWEET THING asks how far can you fall when the world teeters on the edge?
David Swinson’s Sweet Things is due to be published by Mulholland Books in North America and in the UK, on November 7th.
Also on CR: Reviews of The Second Girl, Crime Song, and Trigger