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Reviews of A Dredging in Swann by Tim Garvin

A Dredging in Swann

The Seb Creek Mysteries #1

by Tim Garvin

A Dredging in Swann by Tim Garvin X
A Dredging in Swann by Tim Garvin
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2020, 304 pages

    Paperback:
    Jan 2021, 300 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Mark Anthony Ayling
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About this Book

Book Summary

Two investigations start at the same time in Swann County, North Carolina, one by the FBI, the other by the sheriff. The feds want to know who stole three Stinger missiles during a helicopter crash. The sheriff wants to know who hanged a black ex-con in a well.

Seb Creek, a sheriff's detective, gets involved in both investigations and fights through lies, secrets, and murder to find the killer. The trail involves a long-ago axe murder, the ravages of combat, an outdoor gas chamber, a mystery at the bottom of a well, and finally a last killing and an ancient testament.

A Dredging in Swann is a tale that deals powerfully with themes of war, race, justice, and, in the end, with healing.

Sometimes justice has to wait.

Sometimes it won't.

BIG DOG

Leo Sackler woke that morning and felt the free-from-prison gladness come again, waking him with its ordinary kindness. He was drifting on gladness, is how he thought about it. It was like a hungry man, a starving man, and now he's in a food-everywhere place, and the food is not tricky. You turn and there it always is—at your fingertips, at your elbow, right up on you everywhere—only it's freedom instead of food, the gladness of freedom, deeply better than food—to be free every morning and anything whatsoever to do. First go out on the porch, urinate off the porch into the morning trees and sun, then cross the big room into the big kitchen, fry a plate of eggs, eat them all or not, have toast, a pot of coffee, then out to the well, free to work or not to work. But definitely work.

He had been out seventeen days, but he hadn't found the letter until the second week, so he had only been digging out the old well for five days. But he was already down more than ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Garvin's novel is an assured crime story that ticks the right genre boxes without ever feeling manufactured. Swamp noir vibes blend with the standard detective novel or whodunnit, as the parallel investigations involving Seb Creek and the FBI become inextricably entangled. The novel is fun, fluid and packed full of smart dialogue...continued

Full Review (717 words)

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(Reviewed by Mark Anthony Ayling).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Investigating the two mysteries will take Seb all over the county, giving debut author Garvin a chance to display a true ear for dialogue and a talent for character portrayal...This polished, beautifully written novel makes one hope Garvin keeps exploring Swann County for a long time.

Booklist
The prose is gin-clear and occasionally striking.

Publishers Weekly
[An] intriguing series launch...Garvin skillfully draws together the many plot threads while also shining a compassionate light on PTSD sufferers bearing the scars of war.

Author Blurb C. Hope Clark, author of the Edisto Island mysteries
I've never read half a book in one sitting, but this time I did...The book is full of rich deep characters and an amazingly complicated weave of plot. It's written in strong, colorful prose and with a pace that sucks you in and holds you...Highly recommended

Author Blurb Kris Lackey, USA Today bestselling author of Nail's Crossing and Greasy Bend
Tim Garvin's shrewd debut novel churns with unsettled scores. His wily and disarmingly sentimental detective Seb Creek dredges the past of tidewater Swann County to settle them. Creek's subtle interrogations make this novel a signal launch.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

From Herodotus to Vietnam: A Brief History of PTSD and Combat

Words Associated with PTSD in Brain-Shaped Design Post-traumatic stress disorder was first officially recognized in 1980 in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) by the American Psychiatric Association.

However, the history of conflict-related PTSD is long and varied and can be traced back to the ancient world. One of the first-known records of a warrior experiencing combat stress is from Herodotus, whose account of The Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. related the tale of a man stricken blind during fighting. At the time, explanations for the blindness were elusive, and the incident was subsequently attributed to "hysterical blindness," which is now known as a form of conversion disorder.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the ...

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