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A Dredging in Swann

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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 hung 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 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 hung 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 ax 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.


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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 hung 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 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 hung 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 ax 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.

30 review for A Dredging in Swann

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    Convoluted plot but very interesting, well narrated by Bronson Pinchot.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Keith Chawgo

    Garvin’s new novel A Dredging in Swann is an interesting book that rounds out its characters in a small town in North Carolina. The first couple of chapters are quite staccato but it finds its flow after this point to immense the reader into the workings of this small town. Lulling the reader into the quiet surrounds of Swann County, we are introduced to a murder that has a more complex reasoning than first envisioned. Written in the third person, the story jumps back and forth from Seb Creek, th Garvin’s new novel A Dredging in Swann is an interesting book that rounds out its characters in a small town in North Carolina. The first couple of chapters are quite staccato but it finds its flow after this point to immense the reader into the workings of this small town. Lulling the reader into the quiet surrounds of Swann County, we are introduced to a murder that has a more complex reasoning than first envisioned. Written in the third person, the story jumps back and forth from Seb Creek, the everyman detective who has a military background and Cody, a man with a troubled past. What starts out as a straight forward murder mystery intertwines itself with the life of Cody extremely successfully. The characters are very well balanced and drawn given a three dimensional approach. Garner has an incredible talent of making these characters varied in their emotional approach which lifts them up beyond the page. The second and third tier characters have the same emotional depth as the main characters and long after reading the book, they do stay with you for quite some time. The plot is very complexed but easy to get into. The juxtaposition between the murder of Leo to the theft of missiles is very well handled and it takes a mastermind to be able to pull this off effectively which Garner does with aplomb. The plot becomes tangled the more we get into the novel but in the final third, it is pure enjoyment as these get untangled to give a realistic approach to the solving of the crime which sets this apart from most novels of this ilk. Overall, this is an fascinating read that keeps the reader involved. I enjoyed learning about the Venus flytrapping, the small town life and the military approach to the proceedings. The murder mystery of the aspect has a life of its own as we have to uncover the past to work out the present. I haven’t read the other books in this series and Garner is meticulous to ensure the reader can get just involved and invested without having prior knowledge. This is an incredible book and one that is enjoyable, involving and entertaining without losing its focus. Highly recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marian

    Got about a third way through the book and had to give it up. Very slow moving, boring.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I mystery with heart and depth. Loved it. I can’t wait for the second one to be released.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dickensfan

    A procedural with heart A couple of mysteries, a new and one many years old, A detective who is falling in love, a bit about racial injustice...the characters are what make this. It has an easy tone. My main dislike of procedural is they move dislike a case. But I will look for other books by Garvin.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Robert D Shecterle

    What a great character I am a big fan of murder mysteries with a strong lead. This intelligent, empathetic flawed character touched me like few others. A complete experience. Thank you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    John Machata

    A seriously good book. I was awed by writing- nothing was forced. The author set the scene cleanly and the characters came alive in a real North Carolina. This police procedural mirrors how law enforcement really works- one clue at at time adding up to a theory of how the crime was committed. Mr. Garvin's description of a trailer park pleasure palace where a hot tub, alcohol, drugs and sex could be had for a price penciled in a bit of Americana. The love interest back drop felt just right comple A seriously good book. I was awed by writing- nothing was forced. The author set the scene cleanly and the characters came alive in a real North Carolina. This police procedural mirrors how law enforcement really works- one clue at at time adding up to a theory of how the crime was committed. Mr. Garvin's description of a trailer park pleasure palace where a hot tub, alcohol, drugs and sex could be had for a price penciled in a bit of Americana. The love interest back drop felt just right complete with the trepidation, desire, and regret. The bad actors were portrayed with sensitivity. A Dredging in the Swann is filled with an emotional sensitivity uncommon in mysteries, whose protagonists too often echo the false image of the soul less American tough guy. Mr. Garvin fills his pages with compassion for all from the PTSD singing group to the sceptical black daughter of the deceased. The book painted a wonderfully nuanced slice of life that just happened to be a murder mystery. An emotional journey exploring mistakes, guilt, redemption and hope. I can't wait to read Tim Garvin's Sep Creek Mystery #2!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Indre

    Part police procedural, part military/veteran survival story. The police detective Seb gets called into a murder of recently released, falsely accused inmate. The victim was given a large sum of money as an inheritance from unrelated woman and the circumstances of his death are questionable. That same night two military helicopters crash, and some missiles go missing. Now what seems two unrelated events are told from two different POVs, and as investigation goes on we get the mystery of an old m Part police procedural, part military/veteran survival story. The police detective Seb gets called into a murder of recently released, falsely accused inmate. The victim was given a large sum of money as an inheritance from unrelated woman and the circumstances of his death are questionable. That same night two military helicopters crash, and some missiles go missing. Now what seems two unrelated events are told from two different POVs, and as investigation goes on we get the mystery of an old murder being revealed. Yes, a lot of different aspects to remember. It was a bit slow for me. The dry conversations, and unrelatable characters didn't help this story for. There were a lot of veterans, and their dealings with surviving after being deployed, etc. There were not a lot of emotional connection for me. The love interests seemed forced, some story details as well. Even if the mystery was twisty and turny, it wasn't mind blowing or that interesting. In the end, this was not for me. It was too dry and a tad boring.

  9. 4 out of 5

    John Rumery

    Probably closer to a four star review, but I will give it five for it's heart. Refreshing take on a tough guy, ex-Marine, detective. This dude is a singer, poet, suffers from PTSD, has the benefits (insights) of a near death experience and treats his co-workers, friends and subordinates with kindness and empathy. He does have a temper, is tenacious, smart and clever. So he manages to get the sh*t done, solve mysteries and catch the bad guys but does it in a really laid-back, cool hand Luke, soul Probably closer to a four star review, but I will give it five for it's heart. Refreshing take on a tough guy, ex-Marine, detective. This dude is a singer, poet, suffers from PTSD, has the benefits (insights) of a near death experience and treats his co-workers, friends and subordinates with kindness and empathy. He does have a temper, is tenacious, smart and clever. So he manages to get the sh*t done, solve mysteries and catch the bad guys but does it in a really laid-back, cool hand Luke, soulful way. This is not necessarily a quick read. So many characters that I constantly lost track of who was who, but I persisted and was rewarded with a nice story set in the swampy, buggy coastal Carolinas. Recommend and would certainly read another book in this series. But please, don't ruin Seb and turn him into a more traditional bad *ass detective.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Heather L

    This was a good read. It was engaging and kept my attention. That and I learned about Venus Flytraps, who knew?! Two events occur at the beginning that set the stage for the rest of the book. A black man who had spent 48 years in prison is released and inherits money, a house and land. Not long after he is murdered. The other event involves two military helicopters, they are returning from a drill when one of the helicopters accidently loses its load – several loaded Stinger missiles and a launc This was a good read. It was engaging and kept my attention. That and I learned about Venus Flytraps, who knew?! Two events occur at the beginning that set the stage for the rest of the book. A black man who had spent 48 years in prison is released and inherits money, a house and land. Not long after he is murdered. The other event involves two military helicopters, they are returning from a drill when one of the helicopters accidently loses its load – several loaded Stinger missiles and a launcher. Seb Creek is assigned the task of solving the murder. Cody Cooper happens to be camping on the military base and witnesses the missiles fall not far from where he is. So of course he steals them. The murder investigation and Cody’s predicament with the missiles dove tail with a satisfying conclusion. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Nagel

    This is a slow-burn mystery that layered on the personal backstories without bogging down the flow of the story. I listened to the audiobook, and got excited to see a narrator's name I recognized. Unfortunately, Bronson Pinchot's flat inflectionless reading nearly turned me off before I got to the second chapter. I will not dock the author for that, since it's not his fault, and the writing rose above that issue by far. This is a slow-burn mystery that layered on the personal backstories without bogging down the flow of the story. I listened to the audiobook, and got excited to see a narrator's name I recognized. Unfortunately, Bronson Pinchot's flat inflectionless reading nearly turned me off before I got to the second chapter. I will not dock the author for that, since it's not his fault, and the writing rose above that issue by far.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shari Stinton

    A good read This book was a little hard to read. It jumped and jumbled. However as I began to read and wondered if it was worth the effort I realized it had grabbed me and I had to continue he reading. I couldn't wait to see how Seb would solve the cass. This was a very good dead. Can't wait to read another one. A good read This book was a little hard to read. It jumped and jumbled. However as I began to read and wondered if it was worth the effort I realized it had grabbed me and I had to continue he reading. I couldn't wait to see how Seb would solve the cass. This was a very good dead. Can't wait to read another one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Laura Poppenwimer

    What a great mystery, plots and subplots that seem to weave in many directions while coming together to a cohesive conclusion. The writing style is east to read, characters are well developed and believable. This was a hard book to put down and never dragged in any parts.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Schweitzer

    Hard to follow the complex plot, but interesting characters and a hard-boiled approach. At least I learned something about Venus fly trap poachers! The setting is different and it took me away to another world for a few hours.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Camisa

    I enjoyed this story and Seb grew on me as the tale continued. I will be interested in future adventures along the North Carolina coast.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Delores Alger

    No rating as after a few chapters I could not get interested in the story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Judith Pollack

    True Literature Excellent story and great characters. Reminisent of Steinbeck and Faulkner. Well worth reading; looking forward to next in series. Author to follow.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    North Carolina mystery Rambling. Several issues--murder, wrongful imprisonment, Federal vs state vs local police departments, family love and conflict, post war trama, revenge

  19. 5 out of 5

    Heath

    Beautiful writing. Very moving and deep and real. It’s “just” a mystery, but it is a joy to read. Highly recommend. (It captures some of the North Carolina flavor, too!)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mark Anthony

    Review posted at BookBrowse: https://www.bookbrowse.com/mag/review... Review posted at BookBrowse: https://www.bookbrowse.com/mag/review...

  21. 5 out of 5

    FLJimmy

    Outstanding dialogue, great story, great characters. Totally enjoyable all the way through. Unnecessary violence, harsh language, mayhem, and sex were avoided.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Seb Creek is a detective with a tendency to let violence creep out. He is working on his PTSD with a group of singers with the same problem. He inherits a murder case that has definite ties to a murder 40 years past. So to find one murderer he must find two?? Interesting first novel.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sheila Turner

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diane Hobson

  25. 5 out of 5

    Harold D.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Heather O'Brien

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rita M. Larimore

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz

  29. 5 out of 5

    Charles Montgomery

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shauna W. Chandler

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