Harvey, John - 'Good Bait'
Detective Chief Inspector Karen Shields is called to a murder scene where a seventeen-year-old Moldovan boy is found dead on Hampstead Heath. His naked body had sustained two deep knife wounds to the lungs and the corpse was frozen in ice as it was a few days before Christmas and bitterly cold. Karen is under political pressure from her hostile Detective Chief Superintendent to get a quick result but she has several other cases that she is working on and is feeling the strain. She feels some isolation as she is a black female in a top job, but tries not to let it get to her.
She is helped by her Detective Sergeant Mike Ramsden and with his cockney cheerfulness, she is kept from feeling too glum. Soon other elements relating to gang warfare tie into her Moldovan case and organised crime.
In Cornwall, Detective Inspector Trevor Cordon gets involved in protecting a girl and her child from the organised criminals she was tangled with and eventually takes some leave from his job and goes into hiding with her.
These different elements all come together in this multi-faceted novel in the final conclusion.
This is the first John Harvey novel that I have read for several years since he finished the Charlie Resnick series of novels and I found it really gripping and a real page-turner. Harvey has a real gift for noir-style low-life situations, which enhance the style of his stories in a similar tradition to some of the greats of American crime fiction such as Charles Willeford.
Read another review of GOOD BAIT.
Terry Halligan, England