cover image Trigger


David Swinson. Mulholland, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-26425-9

George Pelecanos fans will welcome Swinson’s gritty third novel featuring PI Frank Marr (after 2017’s Crime Song). Marr, who’s finally off the cocaine that led to his early forced retirement from the Washington, D.C., police department, receives a call that Al Luna, his best friend on the force, has shot and killed an apparently unarmed African-American teen. A dedicated cop with a perfect record, Luna swears that the kid came at him with a gun, but investigators find no weapon at the scene. As the community demands justice for the slain youth, several D.C. cops are targeted in fatal retaliatory strikes. Marr devotes himself to clearing his friend’s name and hits the street, ably assisted by Calvin Tolson, a sharp ex–street slinger doing his best to play it straight. The two men slip into a shadowy world of drug runners, confidential informants, and criminal alliances—a place both know intimately, and one full of triggers to their own personal demons. Swinson, a former police officer, writes with authority and honesty, giving readers a timely, informed look at the mean streets from an insider’s perspective. Agent: Jane Gelfman, Gelfman Schneider/ICM. (Feb.)