A welcome return for Nottingham Inspector Charlie Resnick, who’s been absent from novel-length crime-fighting since Last Rites (1999).
Stepping in to stop a knife fight between two teenage girls, DI Lynn Kellogg grabs Kelly Brent and pivots with her just as shots are fired, hitting her and killing Kelly, whose father accuses Kellogg of causing his daughter’s death by using her as a human shield. A manpower shortage moves Charlie Resnick from low-level paper-shuffling to solving the murder despite his personal involvement with Lynn, who’s shared his home the past few years. Among his immediate questions, two stand out: Who was the real target, Kelly or Lynn? And where did the Baikal semi-automatic that spat out the fatal bullets wind up? When Lynn recovers, she has to deal with another murder. A massage worker at a sleazy parlor run by the Zoukas brothers is dead. First one, then the other of two witnesses disappear. And Stuart Daines from the Serious Organized Crime Agency warns Kellogg off with the admonition that she’s intruding on a major gun-running bust that stretches from Lithuania to Albania to the back alleys of Nottingham. Both Charlie and Lynn are making incremental inroads when the unthinkable happens, leaving Charlie sodden with grief.
Harvey is widely acknowledged as an expert at grit, police politics and the noir rumblings that crisscross Nottingham. But who knew he had such a fine ear for the nuances of grief? If you can read this without crying, you have no heart.