RARA-AVIS: Re:Most Hard-Boiled?

From: JIM DOHERTY ( jimdohertyjr@yahoo.com)
Date: 22 Dec 2006


Re your question below:

"Could you tell me a little bit,about Bill James,i'm not sure i've ever heard of him."

Bill James is a Welsh writer, who worked for several years as a reporter in London (the DAILY MAIL, I think). He also writes as David Craig.

He is best-known for an ultra-hard series of police novels about a pair of cops, Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur and his immediate superior, Assistant Chief Constable for Crime Iles.

Harpur is basically a decent, honest copper who tries to do the right thing, but he's also seriously flawed, and does a lot of not particularly admirable things. Iles, bigoted, perhaps a bit psychopathic, but with a surface gentility and a well-spoken, educated manner, is far more scary, and Harpur spends as much of his time reining in his boss as he does fighting bad guys.

They are contrasted with the Organized Crime community in their town, and the books are about the series of encounters and uneasy truces between the flawed defenders and curiously sympathetic offenders of the law.

The town in which the series is set is unnamed, but some have assumed that the city is Cardiff because of James's Welsh background. Further, a TV-movie, HARPUR
& ILES, based on the fourth book in the series, PROTECTION, was filmed in Cardiff.

James, however, is on record as saying that the town is NOT Cardiff. Cardiff, he insists, doesn't have the structure of Organized Crime that other British cities like London, Manchester, or Glasgow have. He has made an effort to keep the city fairly nondescript.

Under his "David Craig" pen name, he HAS written another procedural series that is set specifically in Cardiff.

Hope that helps.


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