Tuesday, February 19, 2019



Frank Marr was a good cop, until his burgeoning addictions to alcohol and cocaine forced him into retirement from the D.C. Metro police. Now, he’s barely eking out a living as a private investigator for a defense attorney–also Frank’s ex-girlfriend.

Ostracized by his family after a botched case that led to the death of his baby cousin, Jeffrey, Frank was on a collision course with rock bottom. Now clean and clinging hard to sobriety, Frank passes the time–and tests himself–by robbing the houses of local dealers, taking their cash and flushing their drugs down the toilet. When an old friend from his police days needs Frank’s help to prove he didn’t shoot an unarmed civilian, Frank is drawn back into the world of dirty cops and suspicious drug busts, running in the same circles that enabled his addiction those years ago.

Never one to play by the rules, Frank recruits a young man he nearly executed years before. Together–a good man trying not to go bad and a bad man trying to do good–detective and criminal charge headfirst into the D.C. drug wars. Neither may make it out.

Book Details:

Title: Trigger

Author: David Swinson

Genre: Suspense, thriller

Series: A Frank Marr novel, book 3

Publisher: Mulholland Books, (February 12, 2019)

Print length: 352 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours



I never count the days. Why would I want to know how long it’s been since I quit? It’s only a reminder of what it is I’m trying to let go of. I loved the fucking lifestyle. I loved cocaine. Didn’t want to let it go. I still have cravings. Pops in my head like it’s a good thing, visit from an old friend, but all I got to do is remind myself of why it is I quit—because of all the people I hurt, even got killed. And yes, it is something I did for me, too, but not for the reasons you might think.

Sometimes what gets me through the day is doing what I’m best at.

It still gives me a rush, even more so without the cocaine high. You realize how reckless it is. Just how dangerous.

I slip on my tactical gloves, grab my suit jacket from the front seat, step out of the car. I put the suit jacket on, reach back in to take my backpack. I shoulder it and lock the car door. The house I’m going to is up the street, second from the corner, an unattached, paint-peeled, light-blue two-story with a large patio.

I ring the doorbell. Wait. Ring again. Open the storm door and knock on the door a few times.

When enough time passes so I feel comfortable, I take the tactical pry bar out of my backpack, wedge it in between the door and the frame, about half an inch below the dead bolt. I smack the heavy flattop of the handle hard with the palm of my hand, and with one solid push inward, I pry the door open, bending the dead bolt out with the door. I scan the area, slip the pry bar back in my pack, and enter. Once inside I stand and listen, then secure the backpack over my shoulders and quietly shut the door. There’s a fold-up chair leaning against the wall beside a filthy sofa. I take the chair and prop it against the door to keep it closed.

My stun gun is clipped to my belt at the small of my back. My Glock 19 is in a holster on my right side, but I don’t want to have to use it unless I find myself facing another gun. I’d figure out a good story after. That’s why the stun gun is preferable. Saves me having to think up a good story.

I’ve known about the occupants of this house since I was a detective working narcotics. It’s low-level. Detective Al Luna, my former partner at Narcotics Branch, and I hit it a couple of times. Sent a CI in to make a buy, then drafted an affidavit in support of a search warrant and rammed the door in the next day. A good quick hit, and we always got enough to make us look good when other work was slow. Luna’s still on the job. Me? Well, that’s another story.

Nothing has changed with how the boys in this house operate, except a couple of new faces that replaced the two who are doing a bit of time. They’re working the same park area a couple blocks north of here, where some of the local drunks and junkies still hang, but not near as many as back in the day. Gentrification has seen to that, pretty much cleaned everything up. Lot of the dealers had to change up their game. These guys didn’t have enough sense to. From what I’ve been able to learn, they haven’t been hit by the police in a while. That can be good for me.

What has changed is who the boys cater to and all the homes in this neighborhood, once vacant shells, now worth a million bucks. They’re dealing mostly to young clean-cut men and women who drive nice cars with Virginia tags and consider themselves social users, pulling up and making their deals without stepping out of the cars. Times change. Old street junkies die or go to jail for getting caught up in something bad. The boys gotta move up if they wanna make a living.

My cell phone vibrates inside my blazer’s inner pocket. Nearly sends me through the roof. I don’t pull it out. Instead I just let it go to voice mail.

Excerpt from by Trigger.  Copyright © 2018 by David Swinson. Reproduced with permission from . David Swinson. All rights reserved.


David Swinson is a retired police detective, having served 16 years with the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. He is the author of two previous novels featuring Frank Marr: The Second Girl and Crime Song. Swinson currently lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, daughter, bull mastiff, and bearded dragon.

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