JOHN HARVEY Last Rites: (Resnick 10)

ISBN 13: 9780099567929

Last Rites: (Resnick 10)

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9780099567929: Last Rites: (Resnick 10)

Lorraine Preston’s brother, Michael, was sent down for life for the murder of their father — and now he’s being allowed out for their mother’s funeral. A hardened criminal, Michael Preston is the last person Resnick wants back on the streets, especially now when Resnick is struggling to contain an explosive situation on the streets, where the spread of guns has led to a frightening escalation in drug-related crime. With his previously stable relationship with Hannah Campbell wavering, Resnick is forced back on his self-belief, and his understanding of people.

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Review:

"Back outside, walking away from the hospital toward Old Lenton, Resnick's step was springier, lighter. He couldn't remember the last time he'd struck a blow outside of self-defense; couldn't recall when he'd last used force of any kind. And although he knew that later his conscience would be giving him gyp, right now he felt one hundred percent better."

That, of course, is Nottingham's own Charlie Resnick, a smart British policeman of Polish origins who would rather eat a sausage sandwich or listen to a Duke Ellington record than threaten a criminal. But threaten a drug dealer is exactly what he has just done; times are changing, and this will be Charlie's final case. John Harvey says he's ending his distinguished series because he no longer lives in Nottingham.

Resnick's last stand involves a prisoner named Michael Preston, who was incarcerated for murdering his father, but absconds while he's out on compassionate leave. He vanishes into the streets of Nottingham and begins to torment his family. Meanwhile, rival drug gangs are shedding blood on Resnick's turf, and a corrupt copper is at large in the department. This is typical John Harvey fare: Charlie's sporadic affair with social worker Hannah is more off than on; dozens of greasy sandwiches are consumed; Charlie's many cats nap while Art Tatum and Thelonius Monk play quietly in the background. It's a fine, rich atmosphere, now so familiar that it's hard to say good-bye. Although there have been stronger, more spectacular entries in the Resnick series, Last Rites has enough of the familiar ingredients and the gritty street poetry to make a satisfying finale. --Dick Adler

About the Author:

John Harvey is the author of the richly-praised sequence of ten Charlie Resnick novels, the first of which, Lonely Hearts, was named by The Times as one of the ‘100 Best Crime Novels of the Century.’ In 2004, William Heinemann published Flesh and Blood, the first novel featuring retired Detective Inspector Frank Elder. He is also a poet, dramatist and occasional broadcaster.

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