Post Script: Good Bait – John Harvey

Good Bait

John Harvey

Pegasus Books

ISBN: 9781453271568

Synopsis( Pegasus Books)

A stunning new crime novel from the Cartier Diamond Dagger winner and London Times bestselling author.

When a 17-year-old Moldovan boy is found dead on Hampstead Heath, the case falls to DCI Karen Shields and her overstretched Homicide & Serious Crime Unit. Karen knows she needs a result. What she doesn’t know is that her new case is tied inextricably to a much larger web of gang warfare and organised crime which infiltrates almost every aspects of London society.
Several hundred miles away in Cornwall, Detective Inspector Trevor Cordon is stirred from his day-to-day duties by another tragic London fatality. Travelling to the capital and determined to establish the cause of death and trace the deceased’s daughter, Cordon becomes entangled in a complicated situation of his own. A situation much closer to Karen’s case than either of them will ever know.
Brilliantly plotted and filled with rich, subtle characters, John Harvey’s latest novel reveals him once again as a masterful writer with his finger firmly on the pulse of twenty-first century crime.

My View:

A very complicated plot, and a dual story line that left me uncomfortable with my dual feelings about this book. On one hand I enjoyed the reading what felt like a episode of  The Bill – seeing the police procedures and methods come to life juxtaposed against the lives of the poorly developed characters who we dont get to know very well at all . DCI Karen Shields is a sad and lonely character worthy of more attention; I felt her character was a little one dimensional, she had the potential to be so much more; a black female DCI in the Homicide and Serious Crimes Unit has so much more to offer the reader than cardboard cut out I experienced. I did not think the sex scene between her and Alexandria added anything to the story line and was at a loss to see why that was included. DI Cordon as a character was far more developed and as such was more sympathetic. I felt that there was a potential stand alone story about Cordon hidden in this book.

A very complicated plot line that had me often referring back to refresh myself on how individuals/places fitted into the story. The dual storylines had me impatiently asking myself –where do these stories intersect? When will they intersect?  I was impatient; I wanted the two stories to be more connected but was given a story of intrigue and shadowy hints of a bigger picture connection. When this finally materialised I was able to make more sense of the book as a whole and felt a little more comfortable with the read.

I am not really sure where I stand on this book – I neither loved it nor hated it. In places I enjoyed the writing – could visualise the scenes playing out on my TV, at times I thought – what is the point?  I dont think I would recommend this  particular read despite my  research having unearthed praise and accolades for previous books this author has written. Maybe it is worth dipping my toes into one of his earlier books to see what all the positive press was about.

What do you think? Has anyone read any of his earlier works?

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