Crime Song is the second book in David Swinson’s series featuring anti-hero Frank Marr. As with the series debut, The Second Girl, Swinson excels at the policing elements of the plot due to his own history with the occupation. David Swinson’s attitude toward the occupation is one of respect without straying into fanaticism. He understands that there are good and bad people in all lines of work.
It is worth noting that Crime Song is a much more contemplative outing than the series debut. This slower pace serves the character of Frank Marr well. Readers are allowed to continue to bond with this man who is not always the easiest person to care about. Of course, there are also enough high-octane moments to never let readers forget that this is a thriller.
Frank Marr’s problems in this new novel are much more personal than readers have seen before. When he tries to help out his family, he ends up with a dead body in his home and his revolver stolen. Since this revolver was likely the murder weapon, Frank has much at stake in finding out who took it. Meanwhile, he must also worry that in examining the crime scene, the authorities might discover his less-than-legal pastimes.
Also stolen from his residence was Frank Marr’s music collection – a sentimental artifact of, and from, his past. Since readers likely know that there is a long-standing tradition of music in crime fiction, this inclusion makes for a nice recurring theme throughout the investigation. And it doesn’t hurt that David Swinson also has a storied past with that industry.
David Swinson wastes no time with elaborate exposition before launching into the crux of this novel. This accelerated start marks the beginning of the roller-coaster ride of Crime Song – with ebbs and flows continuing throughout the tale. By the time readers reach the end, they will have a deeper understanding of Frank Marr – as both a flawed man and a decent human being.
There are still plenty of avenues to explore with Frank Marr – no doubt, deep, dark avenues – so readers should expect more of his exploits in time. For now, Crime Song is a worthy refrain within the soundtrack to Frank Marr’s life.
Other books in the series: The Second Girl – The BOLO Books Review
Disclaimer: A print galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.