Live Stream: David Swinson presents City on the Edge, in conversation with Ryan Gattis

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In the wake of a baffling tragedy, 13-year-old Graham moves with his family to Beirut, Lebanon, a city on the edge of the sea and cataclysmic violence. Inquisitive and restless by nature, Graham suspects his State Department father is a CIA operative, and that their family’s fragile domesticity is merely a front for American efforts along the nearby Israeli border. Over the course of one year, 1972, Graham’s life will utterly change. Two men are murdered, his parent’s marriage disintegrates, and Graham, along with his two ex-pat friends, run afoul of forces they cannot understand. 

The City on the Edge is elegiac, atmospheric, and utterly authentic. It’s the story of innocents caught within the American net of espionage, of the Lebanese transformed by such interference, of the children who ran dangerously beside the churning wheel of history. One part Stephen King’s “The Body” and another John le Carre’s A Perfect Spy, it’s a transformative crime story told with heart and genuine experience.


David Swinson grew up in Washington, DC, Beirut, Mexico City and Stockholm, the son of a foreign service officer. He is a retired police detective from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, DC, having been assigned to Major Crimes. Swinson is the author of The Second Girl, Crime Song and Trigger. He lives with his wife and daughter in Northern Virginia.

Ryan Gattis (ryangattis.com) is the author of SAFE, KUNG FU HIGH SCHOOL, THE SYSTEM, and ALL INVOLVED, which won the American Library Association’s Alex Award and the Lire Award for Noir of the Year (France). He lives and writes in South Los Angeles, where he is a member of art collective UGLARworks and a PEN America Prison Writing Mentor.

Event date: 
Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 6:00pm
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Virtual event
City on the Edge Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316528542
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Mulholland Books - May 25th, 2021

The System: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374130312
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD - December 8th, 2020

$0.00
SKU: x672389
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