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Off Minor (1991)

by John Harvey

Series: Charlie Resnick (4)

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235490,728 (3.83)6
Two months after she disappears, a six-year-old child is found dead Raymond Cooke is looking for revenge, not corpses. It’ s been six weeks since the gang of four young punks attacked him, since the one with the knife slit open his belly and left him to die on the street. After that Raymond bought a knife of his own, and has spent his nights lurking in Nottingham’ s worst pubs, hoping for a chance at vengeance. Instead, walking home one night, he encounters a smell that reminds him of his work at the abattoir. It’ s coming from the body of Gloria Summers. For over two months, police inspector Charlie Resnick has looked for the missing six-year-old. Now that she’ s been found, Raymond Cooke becomes Resnick’ s chief suspect. But to find the killer, the disheveled detective may have to look within the girl’ s own family.… (more)
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English (3)  Danish (1)  All languages (4)
Showing 3 of 3
This is number four of the Charlie Resnick series. This series grows on a reader and for those that enjoy books with stories with a large amount of back story and development, then this series is for that type of reader.

Also, readers that enjoy this author and Charlie Resnick would most likely enjoy books by Ian Rankin (Rebus series) and Henning Mankell (Wallender series). I am kind of surprised how often these three authors are not mentioned in the same breath.

Off Minor deals with the subject matter of a child murder investigation. Harvey has a practice of developing characters, both the vile ones and decent ones, in a way that does not turn them into simple, plot based characters created to simply drive a plot forward. This is not to say he makes villains likeable, but he does develop them to breathe life into them.

One thing odd about Harvey's writing to this reader is how his books appear to sometimes abruptly end, but that may be to show that this is really about a string of related tales involving people over a period of time instead of tying each book up in a neat, tiny bow.

Another thing I like about authors like Harvey is how when be brings up a part in a book from one of his previous books, he offers just enough information to remind the reader in case the reader has forgotten the exact details of the previous book. ( )
  EricEllis | Sep 2, 2017 |
This is one of those books that burns slowly to begin, but inexorably increases in tension as one reads. It was written in the early 1990's and is heavily influenced by TV: each chapter, only around ten pages long, is split into two or three sections taking the story on through different characters.

The story concerns the abduction of two young girls, at different times, the first has been found dead in a disused railway carriage, where is the second? I particularly like the lack of sensationalism: we do not need, or get, detailed descriptions of gore; a good writer can make one understand the unpleasantness, without i and, John Harvey is a good writer.

This is a fairly light whodunit and only takes a few hours reading. It is much better than most of the current crop of television detectives and leaves the reader having guessed the answer; unsurprising, really, as I had guessed that each character had committed the crimes, at some stage during the reading thereof. A good, solid crime story, well told. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Sep 16, 2013 |
Charlie Resnick knows that slow and steady is what actually may win the race, or at least finish it most successfully. This particular race is finished with some happy as well as some very sad moments. There are some of those musical allusions that always confound me such as 'Hands that attacked tunes from corners, oblique and disarranged.' This was referring to Thelonius Monk's music. ( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
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To Colin
for having the faith
and keeping it
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He sat across the bar from Raymond, staring, daring him to walk over and say something: the youth who had stabbed him, the one with the knife.
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Two months after she disappears, a six-year-old child is found dead Raymond Cooke is looking for revenge, not corpses. It’ s been six weeks since the gang of four young punks attacked him, since the one with the knife slit open his belly and left him to die on the street. After that Raymond bought a knife of his own, and has spent his nights lurking in Nottingham’ s worst pubs, hoping for a chance at vengeance. Instead, walking home one night, he encounters a smell that reminds him of his work at the abattoir. It’ s coming from the body of Gloria Summers. For over two months, police inspector Charlie Resnick has looked for the missing six-year-old. Now that she’ s been found, Raymond Cooke becomes Resnick’ s chief suspect. But to find the killer, the disheveled detective may have to look within the girl’ s own family.

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