3 01 2015

Darkness, Darkness by John Harvey


Thirty years ago, the Miners’ Strike threatened to tear the country apart, turning neighbour against neighbour, husband against wife, father against son – enmities which smoulder still.

Resnick, recently made up to inspector, and ambivalent at best about some of the police tactics, had run an information gathering unit at the heart of the dispute.

Now, in virtual retirement, and still grieving over the violent death of his former partner, the discovery of the body of a young woman who disappeared during the Strike brings Resnick back to the front line to assist in the investigation into the woman’s murder – forcing him to confront his past in what will assuredly be his last case.

This gripping tale represents an excellent conclusion to the wonderful series of Nottingham-based Resnick crime novels. Marking 30 years since the miners’ strike this compelling novel brings back many of the divisive issues from that era. As a murder mystery it really is outstanding and sees Charlie Resnick bow out in some style.



Easy does it

4 01 2009

Easy Meat by John Harvey

More slightly misleading back cover description:

Why would a fifteen-year-old boy commit suicide? Mind you, who cares when he’s a no-good kid on trial for bludgeoning an elderly couple to death? But when the senior investigating officer is then found brutally murdered, DI Charlie Resnick is put on the case, and uncovers some sinister and startling revelations. It also brings Resnick into contact with Hannah Campbell, with whom he finds himself falling unexpectedly and awkwardly in love…

Really is a pretty rich and interesting case and of course Resnick’s love interests are always awkward in one way or another. Best one yet. Am increasingly concerned though about getting to the end of this excellent series – only two to go I think.


4 star

More Nottingham fun and games

1 01 2009

Living Proof by John Harvey


When a man is found in the middle of Alfreton Road in the early hours of a Sunday morning, stark naked and bleeding heavily from a chest wound, he is the latest victim in a series of vicious attacks on men. But enquiries in the mean streets of Nottingham’s red-light district have brought the investigations to a dead end. Charlie Resnick is the man for the job. And as if he hasn’t had enough to deal with, he now has to provide police protection for a celebrity at the annual crime convention – an author with the some very unpleasant ‘fan’ mail. Chronically short-staffed as he is, it’s a guessing game as to when Resnick’s lack of manpower will have fatal consequences…

The problem with this kind of blurb is that it makes these books sound like a run-of-the-mill crime caper and really they are far from it. And this is another intelligent, well-plotted and excellently written book in a series which just keeps getting better.


Cold light of day

3 09 2008

Cold light by John Harvey

From the back cover:

A cabbie’s just been beaten up, there’s a drunk and disorderly in the interview room and a possible child abuser on the way in. Nothing unusual there, then, just a pretty normal Christmas holiday for DI Resnick and his team. Normal, that is, until Dana Matheison calls to report her flatmate, Nancy, missing.

Another fast-paced and compelling outing for Resnick. They do seem to get better each time.

Cutting it fine

30 08 2008

Cutting Edge, Off Minor, Wasted Years by John Harvey

Cutting edge

Another set of ripping yarns from Harvey in which we learn more about Resnick, his life, failed marriage, sandwich preferences (in not insubstantial detail) and a whole lot more besides – all as part of really pacey, exciting crime narratives. Really very good indeed.

Rough stuff

30 03 2008

Rough Treatment by John Harvey


Really good yarn centred on a pair of smart(ish) crooks who strike lucky when burgling a failing TV producer’s house resulting in an affair with the lady of the house and a kilo of cocaine being held to ransom. The Nottingham setting is compelling and Resnick’s sandwich options, as he moves towards solving the case and failing to sell his house, even more detailed. The critique of the hopeless end of the TV production business is entertainingly damning too.

Still can’t understand why the Resnick novels are hailed for being “the finest police procedurals” when first and foremost they are excellent stories – the procedural stuff seems pretty incidental.

3 star

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