cover image Lonely Hearts: A Charlie Resnick Mystery

Lonely Hearts: A Charlie Resnick Mystery

John Harvey. Henry Holt & Company, $16.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-0982-8

British poet and novelist Harvey introduces an appealing and memorable new series character in this, his seventh mystery. Charlie Resnick, a detective in an unnamed city in the North of England, is middle-aged, overweight, divorced and disillusioned. He is also deeply burdened by the evils that his job forces him to confront each day: child abuse, rape and murder. As one old friend puts it after seeing his photograph in the newspaper, ``You are always descending steps, Charlie, after giving evidence against some dreadful man. You always look so sad and angry.'' Featuring a variety of well-drawn cops and a fascinating array of suspects, this police procedural follows Resnick and his team as they investigate the murders of two women who shared nothing except their use of the local paper's lonely hearts column to meet men. As the investigation unfolds, an attraction develops between Charlie and welfare worker Rachel Chaplin--a romance that comes as a welcome respite from the mawkish, psycho-babbling seductions typical of current mysteries. (June)