RARA-AVIS: John Harvey and British Police Procedurals

From: T. Kent Morgan (tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 16 Sep 2008

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    Harvey's Charlie Resnick series is set in Nottingham. His latest book, Cold In Hand, received rave reviews in the British press. Carla McKay in the Daily Mail wrote. "Harvey is as good a chronicler of modern British life as the Ten O'Clock News." Susanna Yager of the Sunday Telegraph wrote, "His finest book in a long time, if not ever."

    Lonely Hearts, his first Resnick novel, was chosen by the London Times as one of the 100 Best Crime Novels of the Century. Harvey won the first-ever Sherlock Award for the best detective created by a British author. He will be in Baltimore Oct. 9-12 for Bouchercon as he's the International Guest of Honour.

    Harvey also is a big jazz fan and wrote a novel titled In a True Light that takes his main character Sloane into New York jazz clubs. I can highly recommend this novel that meets the criteria of this list. Kirkus Review called it "a lovely, jazzy noir Tale of Two Cities" while the Washington Post said,"A rare example of crime embellished by art, the crime novel as art." In a blurb, George Pelecanos wrote, "a pitch-perfect, pulp noir cocktail from a true master." That should be enough for list members to track the book down. It was published in the US in TPB in 2003 by Carroll & Graf although I found my copy in Murder One in London during a trip across the pond.

    Harvey distributes a newsletter titled In A Mellotone and his website is www.mellotone.co.uk.

    Kent Morgan


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