cover image Darkness, Darkness

Darkness, Darkness

John Harvey. Pegasus Crime (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-60598-616-6

Diamond Dagger Award–winner Harvey’s elegiac 12th Charlie Resnick novel (after 2008’s Cold in Hand) will be the final one, according to his afterword. The destruction of an old apartment terrace in the Nottinghamshire village of Bledwell Vale, in England’s coal-mining country, reveals a human skeleton. Dental records identify the remains as those of Jenny Hardwick, missing since 1984. An outspoken advocate for the miners, Jenny was the wife of a scab, one of the men who crossed the picket lines to keep providing for their families. Det. Insp. Catherine Njoroge takes charge of the investigation, and recruits Res­nick, who has been working as civilian investigator on cold cases, since he has first-hand experience of the divisive, violent miner’s strike of the mid-1980s. The hunt for Jenny’s killer runs in parallel to the scenes from the strike in this ambitious narrative, and the reader is also given a shocking glimpse into Catherine’s troubled domestic life. Some readers may find the Thatcher-era politics a slog, but the excellent writing, strong characterizations, and the genial, jazz-loving Resnick make this a suitable conclusion for Harvey’s fictional creation. Agent: Sarah Lutyens, Lutyens & Rubinstein (U.K.). (Sept.)