David Freed

Flight instructor Cordell Logan is a man with a dark history and dwindling savings who shares a converted garage apartment in California’s ritziest beach towns with the world’s most intellectually challenged cat. A quick-witted, sardonically humorous man struggling to come to terms with his violent past by flirting with Buddhism, Logan is going nowhere fast—until his ex-wife, Savannah, approaches him years after their divorce and begs him to investigate the unsolved murder of her second husband, Arlo Echevarria. 

At first Logan declines. After all, Savannah left him for Echevarria, and Logan’s bitterness lingers. But he knows something Savannah doesn’t and few others do: he and Echevarria were once “go-to guys” assigned to a top-secret military assassination team code-named “Alpha.” Was Echevarria’s death the result of the team’s clandestine activities?

Logan realizes he has no choice but to find out.

Relying on his aging Cessna, the Ruptured Duck, along with the deadly skills he learned working for the government, Logan sets out to find Echevarria’s killer. His hunt will take him from the Los Angeles haunts of ruthless Russian mobsters to the penthouses of Las Vegas billionaires, risking his life while struggling to come to terms with the woman he still loves, despite her having broken his heart.

Praise for Flat Spin

“Freed is a superb writer. His prose is at once muscular and musical—and sometimes verges on poetry.”

–Associated Press

 “Virtually impossible to out down. If murders and mysteries are your passion, this is a book for you!”

–Portland Book Review

“Cordell Logan, a retired National Security assassin, just wants to be a flight instructor with his beloved 1973 Cessna, the Ruptured Duck. Then his beautiful ex-wife Savannah asks him to help the killer of her husband, Logan’s former friend and fellow agent. Freed, a pilot, screenwriter, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist makes his debut with a wisecracking on-the-wagon protagonist who finds his violent past still has its uses. This series launch is a delightful romp through the hard-boiled scene with a literate hero who admits he is so far failing to find tranquility with the Buddha. Highly recommended.

–Library Journal (starred review)

“When you write your first thriller, it’s wise to stick with what you know, and Freed, a superb writer, knows his turf. He mixes a hard-boiled attitude with flashes of wry humor. The riveting plot and fine prose are sure to make Flat Spin one of the best debuts of 2012.”

–Huffington Post

“Pulitzer-winning reporter Freed brings his knowledge of aviation, the military and law enforcement to his fiction debut. His story is full of interesting episodes and feels authentic.”

–Kirkus Reviews

“Flat Spin is a superior whodunit-style mystery, written in such an effortless manner that it is difficult to believe this is the author’s first crime novel. The characters are all well-drawn, tweaked in all the right ways to be ever so slightly larger than life. The plot is credibly developed…Flat Spin will almost certainly be remembered as one of the best mysteries of the year; don’t miss it.”

–Mysterious Reviews

“Deftly plotted, capably balancing humor and serious themes. Readers will find Cordell Logan, intrigued by Buddhism and still emotionally vulnerable from his divorce, an engaging protagonist.”

–Publishers Weekly

“Flat Spin will almost certainly be remembered as one of the best mysteries of the year… This is the first work of fiction by Freed, a Pulitzer Prize winner for journalism—but hopefully not his last.”


“The only thing I didn’t like was that the book came to an end. This is definitely a book to add to your shelf.”

–Clay Stafford, Killer Nashville

“The real appeal here lies in Cordell’s wise-cracking persona (there’s a definite touch of Robert. B. Parker’s Spencer) and in the flight scenes, melded seamlessly into the story. Has there been a pilot-sleuth since Sky King, star of the 1950s TV series? There is one now, and he’s a keeper.”


“Best international thriller Tom Clancy didn’t write.”

–Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

“A perfect takeoff.”

–Michael Connelly

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