The Midatlantic boasts a rich history of crime novelists, with Wire alumnus and detective fiction master George Pelecanos at its center. But now, there’s a new face in the crowd: retired D.C. detective David Swinson, whose noirish debut novel A Detailed Man hits stores later this month. Swinson may not be a deadly sharp writer yet—he occasionally indulges in too-poetic, maudlin prose—but his characters are surprisingly well-sketched with depth beyond their hard-boiled skins. Swinson’s protagonist is Ezra Simeon, a Bell’s Palsy-afflicted detective who inherits a high-profile murder from a dead buddy’s case file, and comes to suspect a serial killer. Cue a slow-burning trek through the dark and dangerous corners of D.C., replete with thugs, johns, cold cases, and all those details muddled in shows like C.S.I.
In this District, crime is anything but polished.
David Swinson signs and discusses his book at 3 p.m. at One More Page Books, 2200 N. Westmoreland St., No. 101, Arlington. Free. onemorepagebooks.com. 703-300-9746.