cover image Good Bait

Good Bait

John Harvey. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25 (336p) ISBN 978-1-60598-378-3

The leads of this stand-alone from Harvey (A Darker Shade of Blue), London Det. Chief Insp. Karen Shields and Cornwall Det. Insp. Trevor Cordon, pursue cases in parallel without ever meeting, to intriguing but frustrating effect. A rash of killings beginning with young Moldovan immigrant Petru Andronic, found encased in an icy pond, occupy 30-something Karen, while Corton, nearing retirement age, tries to help prostitute Letitia Carlin. Driven by a confused mixture of fatherly protectiveness and lust, Trevor goes on the run with Letitia, her three-year-old son, Danny, in tow and her former lover, Ukrainian mob boss Anton Kosach, in pursuit. Karen’s investigation, meanwhile, points to a mounting turf fight between native-born gangsters and Eastern Europeans led by Anton. Harvey’s skill is evident in his atmospheric prose and sensitive look at how two very different cops deal with policing’s personal toll, but the meandering story line, which never manages to satisfactorily conclude, marks this as a lesser display for his talent. Agent: Sarah Lutyens, Lutyens & Rubinstein. (Jan.)