David Swinson grew up in Washington, DC, Beirut, Mexico City and Stockholm, following his father's career in foreign service. As a young adult, he studied film at California State University. After graduating, Swinson promoted punk rock and alternative music at various venues in Long Beach, California, and started a weekly spoken-word event at Bogart's Nightclub. After several years, he had established lasting relationships with people like Timothy Leary and Hunter S. Thompson, which paved the way for him to transition into developing and co-producing Sound Bitesfrom the Counter Culture, an album of uncensored spoken word performances, for Atlantic Records in 1990. Following this project, he and his colleagues imagined a concept that would become the cult classic film Roadside Prophets (1992).
In 1994, Swinson switched gears and returned to Washington DC, where he joined the Metropolitan Police Department as a uniformed police officer. Soon after, he given an undercover assignment targeting narcotics and crimes-in-progress. In 1998, Swinson became an investigator in the Third District Detectives Office covering offenses like burglary, armed robbery, and homicide. In 2000, he was promoted to detective and was eventually assigned to the department's Special Investigations Bureau/Major Crimes, and was the lead investigator in the District of Columbia for investigating serial burglaries, high profile cases and organized criminal operations related to narco-fencing.
Swinson retired as a highly decorated member of the Metropolitan Police Department, his achievements include Meritorious Service Medals for significant, outstanding and sustained achievements; Achievement Medals of Honor for a significant case investigation and several Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Annual Law Enforcement Awards for significant case investigations. Swinson drew upon his experience in law enforcement to begin writing crime novels, the first of which, A Detailed Man was published in 2011. Since then he's written three more books composing his Frank Marr series and another standalone novel. He lives with his wife and daughter in Northern Virginia.