Darkness, Darkness
John Harvey
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Darkness, Darkness
John Harvey
352 pages
September 2014
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Click here to read reviewer Michael Leonard's take on Darkness, Darkness.

Harvey is clearly ending the long career of Detective Inspector Charlie Resnick with Darkness, Darkness. The tale brings Resnick out of virtual retirement to revisit a murder that occurred thirty years ago during the infamous Minerís Strike in England that nearly brought the country to its knees on Margaret Thatcherís watch as Prime Minister. With few left who witnessed those bloody years, authorities have little hope for a solve when the body of a woman is discovered in Nottingham. Her remains date to the time of the strike. Unfortunately, a recent investigation into some of the police actions in 1984 requires the case to be afforded at least the semblance of a serious investigation.

The body is identified as that of Jenny Hardwick, a young wife and mother sympathetic to the strikers whose husband was still working in the mines. Charlie has a feeling he might have something to add to the case, at least peripherally. Though his short-term memory is showing the signs of advancing years, his recollection of names and places thirty years prior are as clear as the living of them, a time of violence, contention and political unrest, the country a tinderbox close to being ignited by a stray flame.

Under the supervision of Detective Chief Inspector Martin Picard, DI Catherine Njoroge, a beautiful, statuesque Kenyan, is given the authority and limited staff to address the case, which has been determined a homicide. When Catherine approaches Resnick in the Office of Civilian Investigations, he is not only willing to join her team but thrilled by how well they get along. They synchronize their efforts between Njorogeís system and his memories, building a case that threatens to reveal long-buried secrets better left to the past.

Chapters between past and present set the stage for murder, the Minerís Strike fraught with treachery, greed, passion and betrayal, volatile and unsafe working conditions causing the miners to rebel against the mine owners. Putting themselves in danger the closer they get to the truth, both Catherine and Charlie realize the risks entailed in uncovering years of subterfuge. Contrasting the agonizingly slow progress of a thorough investigation with the sudden violence that erupts along the way to the answer, Harvey captures the seething threat that lurks behind the face of normalcy, whether during a notorious strike or a modern day murder investigation when a killer is about to be unmasked.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Luan Gaines, 2014

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