Novelist David Swinson has lived many lives. After college, he was a booker and promoter of punk rock and alternative bands in southern California. There, he organized literary events where he spent time with creatives such as Hunter S. Thompson and John Waters.

After returning to Washington, D.C. –a city he considered his home base despite growing up around the world– he entered law enforcement as an officer for the District’s Metropolitan Police Department. Figuring the work would make him a better writer, he rose through the ranks to become a tactical officer in the District’s Gun Recovery Unit, an investigator in the Third District and a detective in the Special Investigations Bureau.

Swinson’s latest novel “Trigger” is the latest in his crime fiction series starring Frank Marr, an alcoholic cop with a cocaine addiction. In “Trigger,” Frank is struggling with newfound sobriety when his best friend and former cop colleague Al is implicated in a police-involved shooting of an unarmed civilian.

Swinson joins us to talk about his career, his characters and the “good cop, bad cop” tropes of crime fiction.

Produced by Ruth Tam


  • David Swinson Author, "Trigger"

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