“His Nottingham dekalog stands as an impeccable monument to the craft and depth of British Crime Fiction”
Maxim Jakubowski, The Guardian
“In total, Harvey paints a sensitive portrait of social and moral confusion in post-industrial and post-Thatcherite England, with its isolation, poverty, unemployment, and rising violence. On a more general level, he also paints a picture of life’s miseries, stroke by bluesy stroke; those indefinable emotions that are so difficult to talk about: life passing, death approaching and love which does not last. And all with a keen sense of observation and an unerring eye for detail, well served by an understated style.”
“Nobody writes police procedurals better than John Harvey. Nobody.”
Bill Ott, Booklist
Named one of the 100 Best Crime Novels of the Last Century by The Times.
The first major case for Resnick and his team concerns a number of increasingly serious attacks on women who have been using the Lonely Hearts column of the local newspaper to meet men. Simultaneously, Resnick becomes involved with Rachel Chaplin, the social worker assigned to a family caught up in allegations of child abuse.
“Harvey has made the material his own. He gives a distinct sense of his Nottingham and of the people who live there, and makes good points about the relationship of the police to that community, the relationship of women to the police, and the question of what constitutes a ‘good cop’.”
John Williams, The Face
Shortlisted for CWA Dagger for Best Novel
Grice and Grabianski are an ill-matched pair of burglars working Resnick’s patch. When they break into the house of television director Harold Roy, however, they get more than they bargained for; Grabianski (like Resnick of Polish ancestry) falls in love – or is it lust? – with the director’s wife, and the pair of them become enmeshed in a devious and dangerous plot to sell the cocaine that was loitering in the safe back to its supplier.
“The rough slice of English life is cut from the cold, grey industrial heart of the Midlands, the same spot frequented by Alan Sillitoe, and Harvey exposes it with Sillitoe’s unflinchingly sardonic vision.”
Peter Robertson, Booklist
Several members of staff at the local hospital have been seriously attacked at night with a scalpel. Resnick strives to find a connection between them before assault becomes murder.
“Cutting Edge sings the blues for people too bruised to carry the tune for themselves.”
Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Review of Books
Short-listed for French CWA Best Foreign Novel
Raymond Cooke, a none-too-bright youth working in a slaughterhouse, finds the body of a six year old girl in an empty warehouse; when another young child goes missing, Raymond is high among the list of suspects.
“Off Minor by John Harvey is a police procedural story plotted on acts of gross inhumanity yet infused with common humanity. These characters are breathing entities, so convincing and so compelling that crime detection and absorbing personal dramas become one and the same.”
Sherryl Connelly, The New York Daily News
A series of armed robberies bears an uncanny resemblance to a spate of similar crimes Resnick investigated ten years previously, at a particularly painful time when his marriage was on the rocks and divorce staring him in the face.
“From Resnick’s bruised marriage to his flamboyant sandwiches, from the precisely drawn characters to the surprising (yet strangely inevitable) climax, from the wonderfully telling details to the desolation of a decaying city, Wasted Years is a novel without one false note.”
Alix Madrigal, San Francisco Chronicle
William Heinemann, 1994
Awarded Grand Prix du Roman Noir Etranger du Cognac
When Nancy Phelan, a young woman who works at the Housing Department, is kidnapped from outside an office Christmas party, suspicion falls on a young client who attacked her earlier that day. Little in Resnick’s life is that simple, however, especially at Christmas, and as the mystery of Nancy’s disappearance deepens, the most trusted of his team, Lynn Kellogg, unwittingly puts herself in the path of danger.
“There is an improbable technical grace to John Harvey’s Cold Light, in addition to being a electric page turner for the high-end reader. Much like Elmore Leonard and James Lee Burke, John Harvey has far transcended his genre and will especially appeal to the intelligent reader of detective fiction.”
William Heinemann, 1995
Resnick’s hands are full enough, tracking down the prostitute who is stabbing her clients, without having to baby sit a strong-mouthed American crime writer, visiting the city with her husband, and prey to threats of violence.
“”Harvey’s seventh procedural is smartly paced, slyly humerous, unsentimental about police work, violence and other alientations of affection – altogether one of his best. Just like his first six.”
William Heinemann, 1996
Nicky Snape, a youth known to Resnick as a persistent small time thief, is arrested after a vicious attack on two elderly people; while in custody he takes his own life. The investigation into how and why this happened, becomes horrifyingly bound up with a series of male rapes which have been taking place in the city. Adding a little light to all this dark, Resnick finds himself becoming romantically involved with Hannah Campbell, one of Nicky’s teachers.
“At his best, the crime novel illuminates the society we live in, showing us the painful truths that lie just outside our peripheral vision. When he is on form, no one does the British police procedural better than John Harvey. In Easy Meat, he has hit a peak seldom achieved by any writer, inside the genre or out.”
Val McDermid, Manchester Evening News
“The ending, a ghastly example of the circularity of viciousness, is devastating. Yes, Harvey has his finger on the pulse all right.”
Brian Case, Time Out
“This novel has joy, warmth and extreme violence: the compulsion to turn the page is almost painful.”
Frances Fyfield, The Mail on Sunday
William Heinemann, 1997
The naked body of a young woman is found floating in the still waters of an inner-city canal. Not the first, nor the last. When another woman disappears, following a seminar on women and violence, everyone fears for her safety – especially those who know about her husband’s controlling character. Is this a one-off domestic crime, or part of a wider series of murders? As Resnick explores deeper, he finds disturbing parallels between the couple he’s investigating and his own evolving relationship with Hannah Campbell.
“Over the course of nine Charlie Resnick novels, he has proven to be as astute a chronicler of England’s social canvas as any of the ‘literary’ novelists of the decade. By reinventing the police procedural genre, his series takes the temperature of its age, placing him in a tradition that owes as much to Dickens as it does to Conan Doyle.”
Graham Caveney, Arena
William Heinemann, 1998
Guns and drugs on the streets, armed police and gang warfare. Into the midst of his lethal and heady mix, Michael Preston, sentenced to life for the murder of his father, is allowed out of prison for his mother’s funeral and goes on the run. Heartsore and weary, Resnick struggles to keep the lid on an increasingly volatile city, while around him the local force is riven with petty rivalries and rumours of corruption; as if this weren’t enough, his relationship with Hannah Campbell is on the wane and his friendship with colleague Lynn Kellogg becomes increasingly complex.
“Brings down the curtain on the best British ensemble police series. Set in a gritty urban East Midlands, acutely observed, often melancholy, always human, the Resnick books flow like a Duke Ellington suite. And if Resnick does not go out with a bang, it is far from a whimper.”
Mike Ripley, Sunday Telegraph
Cold in Hand
William Heinemann, 2008
A Valentine’s Day dispute between rival gangs ends with one teenage girl dead and her father out to lay the blame on the police. Resnick, nearing retirement, is hauled back into the front line to deal with this, while Lynn Kellogg – now his partner – is drawn deeper and deeper into a dangerous murder case with links to international crime.
“Cold in Hand is a powerful, uncompromising, perhaps brave book, vividly mapping Nottingham’s meaner streets with a gritty realism. As the body count begins to rise, Harvey’s complex characters and terse, essential prose raise uncomfortable questions about policing and society.”
“Harvey is a good as they come; a writer of consummate elegance and deft characterisation, never wasting a word in what amounts to a master class in crime writing. Gripping and heartbreaking in equal measure, this is a must-read for anyone craving a beautifully written and literate page-turner.”
Mark Billingham, Daily Mail
The final DI Charlie Resnick novel.
Thirty years ago, the miners’ strike threatened to tear the country apart, turning neighbour against neighbour, husband against wife, father against son – enmities which smoulder still.
Resnick, recently made up to inspector, and ambivalent at best about some of the police tactics, had run an information gathering unit at the heart of the dispute. Now, in virtual retirement, and still grieving over the violent death of his former partner, the discovery of the body of a young woman who disappeared during the Strike brings Resnick back to the front line to assist in the investigation into the woman’s murder – forcing him to confront his past in what will assuredly be his last case.
‘There is no end to Charlie Resnick. He lives in the imaginations of all those lucky readers who have picked up a book and traveled with him like an old friend. Darkness, Darkness is yet another superb telling of the character by John Harvey. As distinctly as I remember reading the first Resnick I will always remember this one. Rich in wistful telling, the story holds your heart steady in a tight fist. It doesn’t let you go. It doesn’t let you let go of the man either.’
‘In this masterful unearthing of the grudges and resentments left behind by the Miners’ Strike of three decades ago, John Harvey has found the perfect case for Resnick to get his teeth into. All the ingredients are here: social history, the problem of male violence, the shadow of death, and, of course, the search for a decent cup of coffee. Anyone new to Resnick’s world should probably start here; John Harvey has saved the best for last.’
Now’s the Time
Slow Dancer, 1999. Enlarged edition, William Heinemann, 2002
A collection of 12 short stories featuring Charlie Resnick, together with an introduction outlining the genesis of the Resnick series.
“Charlie Resnick is one of the most fully realized characters in modern crime fiction; complex and capable, a man who not only loves justice, jazz and cats, but who can turn the construction of a sandwich into a work of art.”
Inspector Resnick radio adaptation