In his last case, former DI Charlie Resnick revisits a mystery from his own past in Harvey’s moving and moody 12th series installment.
The discovery of a body under concrete at a Nottinghamshire home ignites a long-dormant investigation: the search for answers concerning the disappearance—and now murder—of Jenny Hardwick in 1984. Thirty years ago, Resnick was a newly promoted DI amid the increasingly violent British Miners’ Strike and the growing hatred for Margaret Thatcher. He ran undercover operations, sending coppers disguised as union sympathizers into the ranks of the protesters to gather intel. Now, three decades later, he’s officially retired but working as a civilian investigator when the skeletonized remains are identified as Jenny Hardwick. DI Catherine Njoroge, a friend of Resnick’s in the East Midlands Serious Organised Crime Unit, lands the cold case and asks Resnick for help given his familiarity with the tense months of the strike. While women joining the striking miners was not unusual, Jenny’s situation was complicated by the fact that her husband, Barry, still worked in the mines, dividing their household into “scab” and protester. Harvey (Cold in Hand, 2008, etc.) seamlessly weaves together the present-day investigation into Jenny’s death—a process complicated by not only the passage of time, but also the lingering distrust stirred up by the strike and its aftermath—and the last weeks of Jenny’s life.
As Resnick revisits one of Britain’s most painful events, he wrestles mightily with his own grief over the death of his girlfriend and struggles with the inevitability of his finite time as a detective.