Friday, 23 January 2015

darkness, darkness by John Harvey

"The final DI Charlie Resnick novel, from the Cartier Diamond Dagger winner and Sunday Times bestselling author of Cold in Hand.

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."


What a great book!

The storyline took me back to my early teenage years and I recall watching the news about the miners strike with my parents but, not coming from a mining community and being quite young, I never fully appreciated what was really happening. I have since seen a couple of things that have touched on the subject but I felt this book brought me new perspectives to this difficult time in British history particularly from the point of view of the striking miners, the "scabs" and the families caught on both sides. Although this is a work of fiction, I found it very believable with a feel of authenticity and I particularly enjoyed the way the author switched from the present to the past throughout which, for me, worked very well.

The book was full of interesting and colourful characters many of whom have their own demons to deal with not least Resnick himself who I felt came across as a sad and melancholic man who appears disillusioned with not only his work but also his life. Many of the characters had “issues” outside of the main focus of the book and I felt these were seamlessly woven throughout which added further dimensions to this engrossing story. This is all written at great pace which kept me engaged throughout and, to cap it all, it kept me guessing who the killer was right until the end.
Where have I been? I must have had my head in the sand for many years not to have come across John Harvey and Charlie Resnick before! This is Resnick's last case and my first foray into the world of this very interesting character ... it won't be my last and I will go back to the start of the series in order to find out how it all began.

I am grateful to the publisher, Randomhouse UK Cornerstone and for sending me a copy in return for an honest review and for introducing me to another new author to add to my ever-growing list of great writers.

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