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Lonely Hearts by John Harvey

Lonely Hearts (1989)

by John Harvey

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332833,233 (3.51)16
  1. 10
    Jar City by Arnaldur Indriðason (ansate)
    ansate: Erlendur and Resnick remind me a lot of each other, and both series paint vivid pictures of the cities where they take place.

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
It was okay. I didn't care for the ending. ( )
  Oodles | Feb 16, 2016 |
Lonely Hearts is the first (1990) in a highly regarded 10 book series by John Harvey that continues with a new addition expected in 2014. Charlie Resnick is a Detective Inspector investigating the murder of a woman approaching middle age, killed in her flat by strangulation. Interviews with neighbors point the police to an ex-boyfriend who wanted to continue the relationship. Within a few weeks there is a second murder, but the method and circumstances are very different, though once again it is a woman in the same age range and alone in her flat when attacked. Charlie and team begin to broaden their investigation in their search for other suspects.

There are a number of things I liked about the story including most of the characters, particularly Charlie, a no-nonsense, hard working guy, with no obvious addictions or other serious flaws save his divorce of five years ago. In the course of the investigation he begins a relationship with Rachel, a social worker coming off an unsatisfactory relationship, and also a divorcee. The story moves along at a good pace, and the plot is above average.

But the book does have its flaws. One of the characters describes a suspect's behaviors and inadvertently answers the motive question far better than any other theory. So the reader knows fairly early on who the killer is but the police can't seem to figure that out until the very end. Secondly, Rachel has moments when she exhibits an unusually sharp tongue (stay away, Charlie). I'm not exactly sure if Charlie's description of the killer's end is accurate, and if so it doesn't seem to fit circumstances. Finally, I got a bit tripped up with some of the prose, particularly a fair amount of the slang which didn't make sense to me even in context.

So, I'm on the fence about reading book #2 in this series. On the other hand, one of my all-time favorite series, Ian Rankin's John Rebus, started with 3 or 4 books that I thought were well below par. Fortunately I started that series at book #7 or I may not have read all 17 or 18 or?? (Rebus has been resurrected)books. ( )
  maneekuhi | Jan 5, 2014 |
This is the first volume in an English mystery series whose lead character is a Detective Inspector named Charlie Reznick. He is always a bit disheveled with something from breakfast on his tie and lives alone with four cats. He listens to Billie Holliday and Duke Ellington and likes to cook a little less than he likes to eat. In the book he gets several comments on his need to exercise.
The plot centers around two murders where the victims met their killer through answering lonely hearts ads in the newspaper. The first murder was a simple strangulation but the second was a violent beating. This type of case goes to the front page in England and Charlie got constant calls from his superiors.
Early in the story when Charlie testifies in a child molestation case he meets a social worker named Rachel Chaplin. She is attractive and very independent and their relationship grows when she leaves her live-in boyfriend.
I really enjoyed reading English as opposed to American. One character in telling another he would call them said, "I'll give you a bell". At times the language barrier made the story a little hard to follow.
The story moves along well and I grew to like Charlie for his character and decency.
The action picks up quickly in an abrupt ending which is rather obvious. I have another in the series and will read it soon. I enjoyed reading a good story about interesting people. ( )
  wildbill | Oct 9, 2010 |
Low key, but compelling ( )
  malcrf | Mar 28, 2010 |
policeman. At end of series, does cameos in Harvey's new series. ( )
  fordbarbara | Jan 5, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Dulan Barberille —
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099421526, Mass Market Paperback)

Shirley Peters is dead. Murdered. And her rejected boyfriend is the obvious prime suspect. But then another woman is murdered and suddenly there appears to be too many connections between these seemingly unrelated crimes. Detective Inspector Resnick is sure that the two murders are the work of one sadistic killer — two lonely hearts broken by one maniac. And it’s up to Resnick to put the record straight — and put the killer where he belongs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:34 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When Shirley Peters is found strangled, her common-law husband is arrested, but a second victim appears while he is in custody, and Inspector Charlie Resnick has only a lonely hearts column to direct him to the killer.

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