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Fred Reed Books In Order

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Publication Order of Dawson DC Metro Mystery Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Great Possum-Squashing and Beer Storm of 1962 (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nekkid In Austin (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Curmudgeing Through Paradise (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Au Phuc Dup and Nowhere to Go (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Brass Pole in Bangkok (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Fred Reed is a former marine that created a reputation by writing for big names like the Wall Street Journal and the Washington post, not to mention Playboy. Every once in a while Fred will dabble in fiction.


Fred Reed comes from Crumpler in West Virginia. The author was born in 1945 in a coal Camp not so far from Bluefield. Fred’s father worked on the destroyer USS Franks, though, as a mathematician, he didn’t see much action.

One might say that Fred was born with math in his blood. After all, the author’s grandfather was also a mathematician, a dean, and professor at Hampden-Sydney College to be exact.

Fred’s family had always been literate, even going back generations into the past; though, from Fred Reed’s point of view, he had the disadvantage of coming from a clan of truly dull human beings. And it didn’t help that they were Presbyterians.

As a naval brat, Fred had the opportunity to see the country, his father’s postings forcing them all to follow him to San Diego, Alabama, Mississippi and various other locations.

Because of all the time he had to himself, Fred took to reading with a hunger. He absorbed everything he came across. Unfortunately for his teachers, Fred didn’t care much for school. It was largely accepted that Fred was a bad student.

It didn’t help his attitude that, by the time he was eleven, Fred could handle his BB gun like a pro, working with elevation and windage in ways that would have left some professionals envious.

Fred was always busy, and even though his grades were nothing to talk about, he wasn’t stupid. He hadn’t even reached his teens before the author began to make his teachers and guardians lives miserable.

When he discovered the formula for thermite at the age of ten, Fred got it in his head to steal the ingredients from the Athens College chemistry lab, blend them together in a pan and make a few explosions. Anyone responsible for keeping Fred Reed in line will tell you that it was no easy task.

Yet Fred did well enough to make it through school, eventually making his way to High School in King George County in Virginia. By this time, Fred had made a name as that kid that everyone else needed to avoid playing with, mostly for their safety.

Not that Fred needed the company, to begin with. The author was too busy canoeing and shooting, not to mention drinking copious amounts of alcohol. Fred still managed to successfully navigate high school.

At Hampden-Sydney, the sciences called to Fred Reed. He took a liking to chemistry biology and oceanography. But just like his previous experience with education, Fred soon grew bored. He ended up spending more time running all over Mexico and traversing the eastern seaboard than studying.

It wasn’t long before he joined the marines, certain that the path held more adventure for him that several more years of education and ordinary work. Fortunately, there was more than enough adventure to keep the author engaged.

Besides a purple eye and shrapnel, Fred left Vietnam with a boatload of stories. And having finally had his feel of excitement, the author got his Bachelor of Science degree from Hampden-Sydney.

Not that the certification kept him anchored for long. Fred found an excuse to go exploring all over Europe and Asia. As with his army days, he continued to stock up on interesting stories.

Journalism did not call to him until 1973 during which time the Middle East had become embroiled in war. Of course, Fred wouldn’t be content sitting behind a desk and designing headlines.

Life as a war correspondent was the only way for him to go. He continued to trot all over the globe for the next several years, and by the time he returned and found work at a magazine as a freelancer, Fred knew that it was time to unload all the noise that had been building in his head.

Fred Reed writes hard-boiled police fiction. As one might expect, a lot of the books Fred writes are informed by his own experience. The author has been criticized for his sardonic tone and choppy writing style.

Fred’s books are usually all over the place, rarely staying on track.

+Triple Trap

The first book in the Dawson DC Metro Mystery series introduces and chronicles the adventures of Robert Dawson. A freelance police reporter, Robert was in the Marines, so he is no pushover.

When Robert and his girlfriend are drawn into a dangerous web involving a group of crazy ex-special forces, not to mention a litany of drug dealers, Robert isn’t willing to sit down and roll over, not when there is a story to be told and lies to be revealed.

Fred Reed has compared his work to the likes of Raymond Chandler, and he makes no apologies about the approach he takes to his story, warning those fainthearted readers with a thirst for political correctness and niceness to look elsewhere.

Of course, that isn’t the only audience that might have trouble enjoying this book.

The book’s strongest aspect is its pace. It makes quick progress, never slowing down to allow readers a moment to breathe. And the descriptions Fred provides are often surprisingly realistic.

The fact that the author has so much experience with journalism and the workings of the police explains the spark of authenticity in the novel. However, the book has formatting issues, not to mention a litany of typos.

Additionally, the storyline doesn’t hold well together.

+Killer Kink

When a string of bizarre murders draw the interest of the public, aside from basic journalistic curiosity, Robert Dawson doesn’t give them much thought. But then his girlfriend begins to receive some of the body parts of the murder victims.

Robert, who is a police reporter, begins to suspect that someone out there, probably someone involved with the murders, could have an axe to grind with him.

This book provides a very gritty glimpse into the workings of crime reporters. The world that Fred Reed paints is quite dark. The author isn’t afraid to shine a light upon the worst aspects of humanity.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Fred Reed

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