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4.0 out of 5 starsOne the UK's best series of thrillers
Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2014
The Faaraday and Winter series are masterful -- with living characters and plausible plots. They become an engrossing companion as you work through the set in order. Sad and moving as the characters evolve.
Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2018
Well enough written; two parallel cases of men dead or missing, presumed dead. In one case the police haul in the usual suspects in Portsmouth, even though they are pretty sure it isn't the drug dealer's style. A man was left chained to a train track in a tunnel, and the parallels are also clear to the method of killing discovered in the second case. Joe Faraday is more clean cut and I was sad to read about him knowing what happens in a later book. I still don't believe that incident, given how much this man enjoys birdwatching and his own company.
Paul Winter is an older and less politically correct copper, I don't much like him but there is an equivalent in just about every police series. He has recently survived a brain tumour operation. Here he rather stupidly denies having talked with Baz McKenzie the drug lord when half the town saw them sit down in a restaurant. Again, I know where this leads, and could see the set up coming. Winter spends more time working alone than seems feasible but we do learn about the co-operation given by phone firms.
Not for the squeamish, but we know the difference between police procedurals and village cosies. I found the many names get thrown at us rather as labels and if you put the book down for a few days you will be confused as to which character is part of which investigation and why. I presume the author works with name cards on a corkboard, or similar, as he writes. This is an unbiased review.
5.0 out of 5 starsAn excellently constructed plot!
Reviewed in the United States on September 4, 2007
Anyone who has read my review of Hurley's "Blood and Honey" will know that I rate him highly as an emerging talent. Perhaps with this book, the seventh in the series, there is an indication that he has 'arrived'. It would be invidious to give away too much about the plot, save to say that's constructed around two main incidents, with a host of cunning and devious sub plots, that in no way detract from the path to the denouement. Another major strength of his writing is his range of characters, some good, some bad, some nondescript, but all recognisable as being part of a wide and developing tapestry of personalities that inhabit this excellent series.He places them all within a City that both embraces and constricts them, and within a police force that is full of human beings with foibles, quirks,affection, personality disorders and naked ambition. The book is also mercifully bereft of his son, JJ, who texts his father from around the world. However there is a still growing bond between Faraday, the central character and DC Paul Winter (who is trying to recover from an almighty dressing down from the powers that be) who also has a secret that is only revealed towards the end of the book. He also further develops the character of Dawn Ellis, and the plot also throws in shocks like the attack on one of their other colleagues, Jimmy Suttle. Hurley is also capable of creating female characters who populate the book and makes them believable and recognisable even if in several cases you really can't ever like them. Perhaps best of all was I didn't really work out the ending until it happened! The final teaser: Will it all work out with Gabrielle? Don't hesitate, buy it. However be warned you'll need to buy all the others in the series to see how the characters arrive at where they start from in this book.
2.0 out of 5 starsA Very Serious British Crime Novel that doesn't involve Sherlock Holmes
Reviewed in the United States on July 20, 2009
This book gets two stars because giving it one wouldn't be fair. I know I don't like "serious British crime novels that don't involve Sherlock Holmes", I'm a bigot that way, and yet I still picked up this book. A Serious British Crime Novel that didn't involve Sherlock Holmes. The plot was good, it was the characters I couldn't stand, nor the way the author introduced a subplot so full of coincidences that it made my teeth ache.
Some teeth aching subplot are acceptable, and even expected in crime novels, but I couldn't get past the Britishness of the characters, and lacking a background in British criminology, I had a difficult time wrapping my head around why they did many of the things they did, or how they got away with doing many of the things they did.
I was beginning to read Graham Hurley untill I bought the One Under book. It is a total fascist book! he is an individual who is manipulating the poublic opinion in favour of the most agressive policies agaisnt individuals human rights and represents the perfect example of the New wave which announces the arrival of a Totalitarian Fascist and corporative State. In his books the police is a bunch of idiots, the State is justified to transforms the people who do not think as the bankiers and the politicians into the evildoers of the World! I am sorry for buying two of his books. Is a pity that people who pretend to be "writers' are propaganda geeks for the Power which justifies every crime against the Opposition and the people who is depicted as criminals and beasts. This book is a shame! He relates an Idealist, a man who is Enviornmentalist and Politically opposed to the crimes of the British Government with drug cartels, as if everything that opposes the Police and the Homeland Security is a sign for cirminal. Venezuela becomes the land origin for drugs. Hurley has never been in Venezuela and G.Hurley imagines that everybody who fights for the rights of his peope against corporations is a criminal government! Untill now and efter living in Latin America for long periods I thimk that before throwing stones against George Galloway and all progressive thought Graham Hurley should begin to research for his stupid novels where policemen become mob and mob policemen. What a shame that he makes money from the lies and the Corruption. Do NOT BUY BOOKS from this pig.
Another well-plotted story in that den of iniquity, Portsmouth. Faraday is the main detective character in this series of crime novels though it was what his assistant Winter gets up which is usually more interesting. Winter The investigation of a particularly gruesome murder becomes two as Winter does his own thing again and gets his own spin-off investigation well underway before sharing it with Faraday. Winter is 5 years on from the death of his wife Joannie and it's been a year since he had surgery in the US to remove an almost fatal brain tumour. He seems even more 'independent' than usual in this case, acting as investigating officer, jury and judge. Things are not as they seem and the manner in which the threads of these parallel deaths are untangled then rewoven culminates in a final picture which may or may not leave you feeling that justice has been served.
This is not Agatha Christie however where by the end, at least, you know 'the goodies' from 'the baddies' and 'the baddies' get their just desserts. Life, alas is much more complicated than that. I won't spoil the end but you can feel it coming from a little way out, just like the train which the book title alludes to. I was hoping that I was misreading the signs. I wasn't, and for me the ending was satisyingly unsatisfactory - unsettling, just because I would have liked things to have worked out differently for all the protagonists.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2009
No, I don't think this is his best, but that still puts it pretty high up in my opinion. Hurley has to be the best this country has in trerms of police-procedural. As others have said, begin with the first one [Turnstone] and read them all [this one is N07]. So why not 5*? I think he may have taken on too much here. There are two inquiries with inevitably a whole heap of characters which I tended to find confusing. He does go into psychology quite a bit as well and I'm not sure if I like the ending. I'm another one who didn't know Faraday had a beard!!!!!!! As in other books, Winter tends to dominate, even if he's a bit different this time [for an obvious reason to those who've read thus far] but he's nonetheless likeable. I don't know Portsmouth that well but I do get the feeling Hurley has it spot on. Excellent feeling of place. I'm already looking for the next one!
I really enjoy the Joe Faraday book and this s is no exception. The usual great mix of detection, investigation and Joe's private life makes for an interesting read. I was kept guessing about the guy who met an unfortunate end in the tunnel! Athough they don't always work closely, the sidekick Winter is a good foil to Joe - he has a different more edgy style of policing. Sad to see that Graham has already killed of Joe (or has he?) I've only read the blurb on the latest book!