Darkness, Darkness by John Harvey – 4*s

Darkness, Darkness

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.

Retro Review (first posted on Goodreads May 2014)

I first came across Charlie Resnick via Tom Wilkinson as his TV persona in the early 90’s. Being suitably taken with the character and having lived in Nottingham the books were a great find and I really enjoyed them. I was therefore delighted when I had the opportunity via Netgalley to review this latest offering. As with previous titles I was not disappointed.

As a character Resnick has always been likeable because while he is a realist, he has never succumbed to the worn down cynicism that hangs over many detectives, he always shows his humanity.

In this, sadly, final novel he finds himself seconded to a cold case team searching for the killer of a young woman who went missing during the Miners’ Strike. As he had run an information gathering unit at the heart of the dispute, this case brings him into contact with characters from his past. As well as being a well written murder mystery, it is an interesting insight into the Strike and how it was perceived, as well as how it was manipulated by the authorities. A subject that is topical given ongoing reviews of how the South Yorkshire Police in particular handled the situation.

While Resnick confronts the past, he is also very much in the present, as he is still coming to terms with the violent death of his partner.

Despite the long gap between the last book and this, John Harvey has not lost his touch, and as a final outing for Resnick, this novel is a fitting end.

Buy in UK, Buy in US


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