Swann's Down

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 May 2019

Member Reviews

The second book I've read by Salzberg,
Competent, steady pace and full immersion into Swann's character
Salzberg is always worth your time
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Very well written story, with great characters and dialogue. It's very easy to read, with a straight timeline, and the plot is very good as well. Even though this book is far out in a series, it's no problem reading it as a stand-alone.
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In Charles Salzberg’s SWANN’S DOWN, Henry Swann takes on two cases. The first case presented is one featuring a questionable fortune teller who has taken Swann’s partners former wife for most of her inherited fortune. While Swann has just begun to start tracing the medium, he is approached by an attorney he’s worked for in the past who wants him to track a young woman he needs to provide an alibi for his client.
	Throughout the book, Swann moves between the two cases, sometimes with the questionable aid of his partner, Goldblatt. This is the fifth book in the Henry Swann series, and the explanation of who Goldblatt is and why he is now attached to Swann as an unwelcome partner may be explained in earlier books. No matter, it has nothing to do with these two cases or Swann’s activities as he works to track down the two principal’s for each case. That said, Goldblatt offers some interesting syncopation to Swann’s activities and reporting of his efforts such as when he accompanies Swann to the attorney’s office or when he shows up at a restaurant where Swann has set up a meeting.
There is just enough action to keep the book moving at a good pace along with just enough action to underscore the reality that Swann’s chosen profession is not without danger. Swann himself is not a stranger to difficulty, nor to a lack of funds which is a major part of what drives him. Still, he comes across as a man with a reasonably good moral compass whose approach to his cases and his dealing with people while doing his job is colored by his basic sense of what might best be described as a belief in “doing the right thing.”
Swann’s activities in this book take him to two vastly different coastal communities. On the one hand, he travels to Fairhope, Alabama, across the bay from Mobile in search of a witness. For the other case, he travels out to Coney Island on the hope that a promised meeting with an unknown man will yield some needed information without causing him bodily harm.
Throughout the book, Swann reminds himself of his job, it’s scope and its limitations. It’s possible for him to abdicate long-term responsibility for end term results by the often employed idea that “it’s not my job”. Somehow, as a reader, this seems to be an acceptable answer when employed by Swann.
In summary, I’m delighted to have decided to step out from my typical read to try something new. This book has several things going for it:
1. The story is engaging with just enough mixture of suspense and lightheartedness to keep you entertained and wanting to read further.
2. Interesting characters who help round out the story and make you want to read other books in the series to find out more about them and how they relate to Henry Swann.
3. A protagonist who is entertaining and who has a number of positive characteristics, but who also has his dark side.
One caution for those who prefer their books free of profanity. Many of these characters, including Henry Swann and Goldblatt, are rough around the edges people with lots of street smarts as well as street language.
My thanks to NetGalley and Down and Out Books for an Advanced Read copy of this book. It stands alone as it is completely self-contained. I’m delighted to have found a new author and a new protagonist to add to my list of future reads.
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A very good, enjoyable and entertaining mystery.
I loved the style of writing, the well written characters and how the engaging plot was developed.
A very good mystery, it's the first I read in this series and had no problems in understanding the plot or the characters.
I look forward to reading other books in this series.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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This is a fast and fun read solving two mysteries at once. The writing is superb. Streetwise and intelligent dialogue kept me glued to the pages. 

Our main character Henry Swann doesn't call himself a private eye, but he does know how to find people and things and that's why he gets hired.
In this story there are two women missing. One is a charlatan who took a huge sum of money from a friend. The other is the girlfriend of a hitman, who's needed in court.
The path to discovery is well crafted and doesn't give anything away until the end, in the meantime fully entertaining the reader with New York's 'finest'.

Swann's Down is the fifth book in the Henry Swann mysteries, which I didn't know, and I fully intend to read them all!

Thank you Netgalley and Down and Out Books for the ARC.
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Swann’s Down appears to be the fifth book in the Henry Swann mystery series.  This is an enjoyable mystery novel set in Manhattan and Alabama featuring a mismatched pair of operatives, skip tracer Swann and disbarred lawyer Goldblatt.  It is a low key mystery without gunfights, Chase scenes, or voluptuous redheads.  But it is the story of a plodding operative - he doesn’t like being called a private eye - who tackles two mysteries and gets involved with con games, Fortune tellers, hit men, and missing witnesses.  What it lacks in direct action is more than made up for with the cool narrative voice and the constant banter.  Definitely going to pick u the other books in the series.
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