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COLD LIGHT by John Harvey


by John Harvey

Pub Date: Aug. 11th, 1994
ISBN: 0-8050-2046-2
Publisher: Henry Holt

 Sixth in the author's superb series of police procedurals featuring complex Detective Inspector Charlie Resnick and his colleagues in a Northern English city (Off-Minor, 1992, etc.). Dana Matthieson, librarian in a firm of architects, has invited roommate Nancy Phelan, a social worker, to a company Christmas dance at a local hotel. Nancy, seen late in the evening getting into a car, has now vanished. The two major suspects are hot-tempered Gary James, jobless father of two, who threatened Nancy, his caseworker, in her Welfare Dept. office; and Robin Hidden, a neurotic suitor who loved her passionately and was turned down flat. As backgrounds and alibis are painstakingly sifted, we observe Nancy's anguished parents; the grubby, violence-infused life of Gary and his sweet non-wife Michelle; and Dana's short-lived involvement with DI Charlie. The case nears a dead end, but when yet another victim turns up missing Charlie and his team make all the right moves to a tensely emotional windup. A suspenseful, unfailingly engrossing procedural enhanced by its clipped, faintly sardonic style--the best yet in Harvey's unbroken string of winners. (Mystery Guild main selection; author tour)