Thursday, June 17, 2010
I truly love John Harvey mysteries. They are among the best of British police procedurals and in each of the series, from Charlie Resnick and Frank Elder to D.I. Will Grayson, the characters are sympathetic and fully drawn. The stories develop in their own time, but with no wasted words and misjudged feints. The fog of the Cornwall coast feels as real as yesterday's weather report and the miserable lives behind the crimes can get a good man down, if he doesn't take good care. In this particularly strong offering, Harvey introduces us to two crusty male detectives who insist on fuller investigations than their colleagues, and bear their emnity for it. A female assistant D.I. is so clearly ready for more challenges that we fear her professionalism may become compromised while she struggles to fill the gaps in her life. Harvey patiently wraps us in strands from several cold and current cases. No need to read this in conjunction with any of Harvey's others, but you'll probably want to, simply because Harvey makes you feel you spent a week away.