Darkness, Darkness: Resnick's Last Case by John Harvey
|Darkness, Darkness: Resnick's Last Case by John Harvey|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The swansong for detective and author - both have gone out at the top of their game. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 432||Date: September 2014|
|External links: Author's website|
It's difficult to believe that it's thirty years since the miners' strike, not least because a lot of the enmities still live on. It wasn't so much that it was the miners against the government and the police as the fact that it was neighbour against neighbour - and sometimes the problem was within a family. The Nottinghamshire miners were less militant than some of their northern counterparts - and many continued to work. And so it was in Bledwell Vale. The pit there was just about played out and was scheduled for closure, so many men were continuing to work, despite the picketing. Six months after the end of the strike the pit did close, but there was no magic solution for Bledwell Vale and thirty years on another row of the old Coal Board houses was being demolished when the skeleton of a woman was discovered.
The hatred was still there. There were those who would still not speak the name of that woman, who sneered when she died in her bed at the Ritz. Charlie Resnick knew a lot of the people. He'd been involved in the policing of the strike, albeit not on the right end of a baton or the wrong end of a stone. He knew about the disappearance four days before Christmas 1983 of Jenny Hardwick: militant union activist, mother of three and wife of Barry, a scab. Barry had thought that she'd just gone off. The kids grew up thinking that she was living a life somewhere else - not that her body was buried just a few yards away.
Resnick's retired now, but much like Ian Rankin's Rebus he's back on the force as a civilian investigator. Because of his specialist knowledge of the time the murder was committed he's assigned to help Inspector Njoroge and there's a suggestion from above that he might ensure that the situation is kept under control. Catherine Njoroge is black - very black - as well as imposing and younger than some of those who are working for her. Not everyone is keen on the situation.
It starts in almost leisurely fashion: Rebus is pleased that his educated guess as to the identity of the body is correct, but not really bothered beyond that point. He's got no rank now, but he's pulled into the case and into supporting Catherine Njoroge. He sees her potential, her professionalism. Before you're too far into the book you will be reluctant to stop reading. The subtitle tells us that this is Resnick's last case. My press release tells me that this is John Harvey's last book. Both have gone out at the top of their game: this is an excellent plot with great characters and a twist at the end which I wasn't expecting.
If you want to know what the miners' strike was really like, if you want to know what it did to the people and communities involved then read this book. It's superb and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For another police procedural which stretches back some time - this time to 1964 - we can recommend Remember, Remember by Lisa Cutts.
You can read more book reviews or buy Darkness, Darkness: Resnick's Last Case by John Harvey at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Darkness, Darkness: Resnick's Last Case by John Harvey at Amazon.com.
Darkness, Darkness: Resnick's Last Case by John Harvey is in the Top Ten Crime Novels of 2014.
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