John Harvey is the winner of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, among a host of other awards and honors. Through the years Auntie M has enjoyed both his Charlie Resnick and Frank Elder series.
When two teenaged girls go off on a camping trip to Cornwall, only one will return. Heather is the daughter of Ruth and Simon, and when the girl’s body is found in in an old mine, the strain causes her parents to divorce. Each parent copes very differently; Ruth remarries and moves away and tries to start a new life. She even has another child with her new husband. Beatrice is almost same age as Heather was when she died when the unthinkable happens: Beatrice disappears.
Enter Detective Helen Walker, whose investigation takes her to Cornwall to seek a connection between Heather’s death and Beatrice’s disappearance. The officer in charge of the case, Will Grayson, fears a recently paroled child abuser has abducted Beatrice.
But as the two officers wade through the past and closely examine the present, Will becomes suspicious the person who took Beatrice knew her. A race against time begins to rescue an innocent child.
One of the pleasing aspects of Harvey’s police procedurals is the depth he manages to give his officers, from their private lives to their professional. His characters throughout his novels are described by Marilyn Stasio of the New York Times Book Review as “defiantly alive and unruly.”
If you haven’t read a John Harvey novel, it’s not too late to discover master of the genre.