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Cold Light (1994)

by John Harvey

Series: Charlie Resnick (6)

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215899,846 (3.89)34
In Nottingham, England, detective Charlie Resnick investigates the disappearance of a social worker after a dance and in the process has a romantic affair with her flatmate. Sixth novel in the series by the author of Lonely Hearts.
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» See also 34 mentions

English (6)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (8)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Cold Light is the 6th book in John Harvey’s Charlie Resnick series and I am finding this series just keeps getting better and better. We learn a lot more about Charlie in this book, and not necessarily to his good. He has a phobia about relationships, he is indecisive, and avoids direct confrontation in his personal life at all costs In his professional life, he is all business and follows the procedures as he and his team work on the case of a missing women who left a party on Christmas Eve and simply disappeared.

I like how the other characters in this series are also being developed and by now the reader can pretty much predict how the various members will respond. John Harvey writes clear and concise police procedurals, allows the suspense to build and isn’t afraid to show his dark side. This gripping story of a very disturbed killer isn’t overdone or littered with so many bodies that it’s not believable.

I would call John Harvey a specialist at urban crime novels, and he excels at writing realistic characters, settings and dialogue. Cold Light is a gritty, well written police procedural that I enjoyed thoroughly. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Feb 27, 2013 |
Excellent...........................typical John Harvey/Resnick.............................can't find fault ( )
  malcrf | Nov 25, 2012 |
I do really like the fictional Charlie Resnick. Sure he's another loner cop with a fractured personal life and a work ethic that sometimes seems to veer dangerously close to avoidance of the mess of the personal life, but he's also a man who loves his cats, is good to his friends, seems quite attractive to the ladies, and makes a very mean sandwhich.

There is a pool of these good, solid police procedural series coming from a similar time, and I am working my way back through them on occasions. Some of the books are re-reads, some of them are new, all of them are hopelessly out of series order. Which means that each of the books has to work on its own, which they do. Some of the plots are more complex and believable than others, and whilst COLD LIGHT does seem to rely on a few red herrings liberally dotted throughout, there is a good sense of pace, and urgency about the search for a missing young woman. As well done as the sense of rage in her father, and the attraction that builds between Resnick and her flatmate. There's some nice touches of coincidence, that are quite believable in a confined geographical location, there's also some complications in the case, and in the personal that flesh the whole thing out.

I must admit I am quite a fan of the Charlie Resnick series, although I do like most of the books by this author that I've read. Definitely one for fans of solid, believable police procedurals from what is, after all, a pretty large British pool.

http://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/cold-light-john-harvey ( )
  austcrimefiction | Nov 9, 2012 |
Charlie Resnick polices the mean streets - of Nottingham, in this case, a city that has put Robin Hood and Maid Marian behind it and really does have a reputation for violent crime. Resnick is another one of these emotionally scarred coppers, childless, a divorce behind him, no partner although attractive enough to pull (not pull in!) a witness early in the action. He seems to live a slightly precious solitary life with several cats named after modern jazz musicians he admires, and a very fastidious approach to club sandwiches.

This is an efficient and well-written 'police procedural' with enough interlocking threads to keep the pages turning fast as the tension mounts. Whether the ending will be bleak or reassuring remains in doubt almost to the last page.

Generally the characters, including glum Charlie, are believable and well described, although surely Reg Cossall is a bit of a caricature as the male chauvinist pig of a DI, even for the mid 1990s when the book was written. Equal opportunities both for women and ethnic minorities are clearly on the author's mind.

For style, pace and plot, this is worthy of its place in the Times 50 best crime writers list.
  abbottthomas | Dec 16, 2008 |
John Harvey has given us the Charlie Resnick books, about a detective inspector based in Nottingham, then the shorter Frank Elder series about a retired detective inspector who keeps getting called back to Nottingham to sort out cases that have a connection with his past. Both are solid English police precedurals. The first in the Charlie Resnick series, Lonely Hearts, was named by The Times as one of the ‘100 Best Crime Novels of the Century.’ This is the sixth in the series.
Resnick is full of foibles and flaws, in particular in his relationship issues. But his humanity, decency and intelligence make him a credible and sympathetic character.
A cabbie has been beaten up, there’s a drunk and disorderly in the interview room and a possible child abuser is on his way in. Just a pretty normal Christmas Holiday for Resnick and his team. Then Dana Matheison calls to report her flat mate, Nancy, missing.
Separate threads that eventually intertwine, largely due to the movement of the characters. There is, eventually, a murder. And it involves that most overused of crime figures, a psychopathic serial killer. But in Harvey's attention to character, dialogue, and setting make this an outstanding read. ( )
  Jawin | Oct 12, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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In Nottingham, England, detective Charlie Resnick investigates the disappearance of a social worker after a dance and in the process has a romantic affair with her flatmate. Sixth novel in the series by the author of Lonely Hearts.

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