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A Detailed Man

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Half of DC Police Detective Ezra Simeon’s face is immobilized from a persistent case of Bell’s Palsy—he must drink through a straw and eat carefully to avoid chewing through his own cheek. He has been detailed from robbery to the cold case department while he heals.
“How odd to dream with one eye open, like having one foot in reality,” Sim muses in the dark, bluesy vein t
Kindle Edition, 346 pages
Published November 29th 2011 by Dymaxicon
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  242 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Sam Wiebe
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A DETAILED MAN by David Swinson is a procedural about a cop afflicted with Bell's palsy. An amazingly good read, with some of the best and most authentic interrogation scenes I've read. Like Michael Connelly or Joseph Wambaugh, but with more heart. Highly recommended.
Jann Barber
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I do not know how I learned of the existence of this book, but I am glad I found it!

There are many crime novels out there that are great reads. There is something about A Detailed Man that, to me, placed it above most of the others I have read to date.

It takes place in the DC area, so that is appealing to me. The main detective is Ezra Simeon. When we meet him, we learn that his face is compromised on one side due to Bell's Palsy. He has to wear a patch over one eye to sleep, as it won't close.
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, kbr
Review for and on behalf of the Kindle Book Review (KBR).

So, this was the first book I was asked to review as part of the KBR and I wasn’t disappointed!

The story is told from the point of view of Ezra Simeon, a seasoned Washington DC investigator. Simeon is sent to the Violent Crimes Unit (homicide) and it is here he picks up the case of an escort girls murder. Essentially the story follows Simeon as he makes links between this and ‘cold’ cases he has seen. The book cleverly explores the relatio
Ross Cumming
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the third David Swinson novel that I've read in a row, having read read the two Frank Marr books first. This is Swinson's debut and it's also a cracker but is a different beast altogether from the Frank Marr series.
Ezra Simeon is a Washington D.C. Police Detective and is suffering form Bell's Palsy, which paralyses one side of his face and as a consequence, is currently on 'light duties' in the cold case department. Due to a death of a detective in the Homicide Department, Sim, as he is
Mark Miano
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I came across David Swinson in 2016, after reading his breakout novel, "The Second Girl." It's a fantastic police procedural about a drug addicted MPD investigator, Frank Marr, who stumbles across a kidnapped girl in the home of an Adams Morgan drug gang that he's broken into with the hopes of scoring drugs. I loved the unreliable narrator, the Washington, D.C. setting, the clued-in knowledge about policing, and the way the story unfolds within Marr's addled head. Recently I found out that Swins ...more
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
As an avid reader and a writer myself I tend to lean only toward bestsellers; but David Swinson took me for a ride with his first book. From the first sentence, I was enthralled by life in Washington D.C. from the eyes of a homicide detective named Ezra Simeon. The characters he has created, the relationships he builds, the bonds shared by officers of the law, and societal dynamics that exist between criminals and "normal" citizens and the media: Swinson has managed to captivate this reader and ...more
Chris Callahan
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it
(3.5)-I thought this was a good police procedural and I particularly enjoyed how the protagonist handled interrogations and interviews as well as some unusual personal challenges. There were other elements of the plot that didn't seem like a good fit and were a distraction from the main story. A good read for me, but would have been better if the narrative had been more focused.
Toby Neal
Dec 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
David Swinson's well-written narrative takes the reader straight into the streets. Never having been to Washington, I still was completely transported into his gritty world each time I read--and like sipping bourbon, reading this book is better done in small doses, savored and considered.
His protagonist struggles physically and emotionally with the cop job, while still persuing his cases with dogged persistence in the face of budget cuts, snafus and setbacks. A case of Bell's Palsy adds daily p
Suzanne Williams
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
My first impression of this book is that it reads like a cop is telling the story. After reading the bio of the author, I know why. It's a bit like Law & Order come to life on the page. I appreciate being drawn into a world known only to those who have worked it. The start of the story is a bit slow and drawn out. It wasn't until halfway through that the action started. The main character was likeable; I was cheering for him to have a closer relationship with his "girl" friend, but that perhaps ...more
Jan 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
You got to look to a cop to get it right when it comes to crime novels. Dave Swinson had a stellar career in the D.C. area. I read this a couple years and a couple hundred books ago. What still sticks with me about this is the nuances. His first person narrator was a decent, capable detective felled by Bell's Palsey, a facial paralysis that has him sidelined to a backwater desk job, stuck with other misfits and broken men running out the clock til retirement.

We know something is going to jar hi
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
A well-written mystery/police procedural/crime book featuring DC Police Detective Ezra Simeon. Simeon was recently detailed to the Homicide Cold Case squad to give him a break and hopefully to give him the chance to recover from a persistent case of Bell's Palsy. Simeon's break doesn't last long and he's soon on the homicide squad handling a well publicized case. Written with a dry humor and an intimate knowledge of the DC Police, Swinson has written a good first book that is impossible to pigeo ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Initially put off by the present tense narration and slow opening, when i was expecting a fairly standard police procedural. Went back later and got hooked in. An interesting narrator, and portrays the job of a detective that makes it feel like a real job: sometimes interesting, sometimes tedious, lots more paperwork than anyone wants. Turns out the author has some firsthand experience. Not my usual preference, but glad i picked this one up.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The book takes readers on a wonderful journey through the life and trials of not only a cop, but the difficulties affecting someone that has a disease. Granted its not a quick read, but it was wonderfully written and well detailed.
Angela Alvey
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good novel by a retired DC police detective. I hope he writes some more. This is free on Kindle right now.
John Sheridan
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, favorites
For my full review please visit The Mystery Bookshelf:
Dorothy James
May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
[This review first appeared on Blogcritics]

A Detailed Man is destined to be categorized as a “police procedural.” David Swinson is destined to be categorized as an ex-cop. He is that. He spent sixteen years detailed to robbery and homicide in the Washington DC Police Force. He is also a first-rate writer, and his Detailed Man is not easily to be slotted into any sub-genre of crime-writing.

Yes, standard police-related topics crop up: forensics, autopsies, the gathering of evidence, the use of sea
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Man, this book's not so great. I mean, I guess it's okay. Yeah, not the best but... I guess I'll keep reading. Gee, I've been reading it for four hours straight. What, it's over? Oh, man."

It snuck up on me, how good it is. The detective is delightful and dark, obsessive and weird, lonely and kind of crazy. The dialogue is fun. The internal monologue is killer.

It gets a little claustrophobic, in our narrator's head. But that honestly is part of the joy of it. The book itself feels real, with a k
Patricia Duhon
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great Read !! Highly recommend. Looking forward to the next one

Mr Swinson certainly knows his territory and expresses himself in an interesting and somewhat unusual way. I really enjoyed this story and finished it in two sittings. Can't wait for the next.
Jun 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Washington DC setting, police procedural, narrator a loner detective with a personal problem (of course). OK, but not George Pelecanos.
Ramon A Carabeo
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The more I read the better it gets

Great book with an intimate knowledge of real police work and procedures, he is the real thing watch out Michael Comely
Timothy M. Gorman
Not as good as the Frank Marr series. But not bad.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book moved so slowly I spent my time while I was reading it watching the kindle percentages go up and wondering when something was going to happen. It's about a policeman working on homicide cases but none of the cases are really compelling and the whole thing just crawls along at a snail's pace. When I read at the end that the author was a former DC cop, it made more sense because a lot of the book was the main character (a DC cop) going to different office buildings in DC to get reports a ...more
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
A wonderfully gripping and well-written police procedural, as much a hero's journey as a mystery its writing held me in the grip of its story. Detective Ezra Simeon has always been driven in his work - so much so that he has begun suffering from Bell's Palsy and is living with a partially paralyzed face. In a holding pattern waiting for retirement, Simeon is called by an old friend to take over a high profile case from their mutual friend who has been murdered. The course of the case, the discov ...more
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Reading this book felt like moving through a fog. The narrator is foggy - depressed, sleepless, and battling Bell's Palsy. The title is appropriate - we get a lot of detailed, blow-by-blow descriptions of his investigations and daily routine. It's very well described but feels tedious. I'm sure it's realistic but it isn't always the most riveting reading.
Bill Hart
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Good story

This was a somewhat dark but excellent read. We follow the course of a Washington detective who is been on leave and covers a cold case that links to a more recent case involves two men some prostitutes and a long simmering anger. Dark and long read but good nonetheless
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Interesting take on the detective novel as the main character not only deals with working the cases that he's been assigned, but he also has to deal with the onset of Bell's Palsy and the questions surrounding his life outside of work.
angela s thompson
Jun 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic police detective thriller!

Hard to believe it's author's first novel, with the in depth & personable characters. Intense & thrilling with lots of twists. Keeps you on edge until the end. I highly recommend this book & looking forward to more writing from this author.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
A dark thriller. The lead detective does not have a happy personal life but is likeable nonetheless. An enjoyable story with sort of a happy ending. Worth reading if you like Henning Mankell type books.
Dorothy Ottinger
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it
ok, but gets boring near end
Nov 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
I only got about 5 chapters in and was totally bored with this book. I stopped reading it because based on some reviews I read, it wasn't going to get any better.
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David Swinson is the author of THE SECOND GIRL, CRIME SONG, and the forthcoming TRIGGER, by Mulholland Books/Little, Brown& Co. He is a retired DC police detective, and a former alternative and punk rock promoter in Long Beach, CA in the eighties. ...more

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