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U.S. best-selling crime writer Michael Connelly [ VOID MOON/CITY OF BONES] has called British writer Graham Hurley’s second "Detective Chief Inspector "Joe Faraday" novel THE TAKE ‘a great British police-procedural’.
Hurley’s initial Faraday book was TURNSTONE. The third such is ANGELS FALLING.

Ever since U.K. poet, publisher, and pulp novelist John Harvey in 1998 with the tenth in the gritty series LAST RITES ‘retired’ his eccentric ‘tec creation ‘Charley Resnick’- a man obsessed with jazz, open-faced sandwiches and coffee - from such novels as WASTED YEARS and EASY MEAT has been fascinating. The masterly Bill James has concluded his twenty novel series devoted to the irresistible rogue cop ‘Col Harpur’ – I believe that PAY DAYS [ 2001] was the final one.

James’ thrillers are now hard to get here – there has been a black hole where male Brit crime writers used to hold sway. There’s always the versatile Andrew Taylor and his "Lydmouth" 1950s-set series to relish…..but successors to Harvey and James have beena long time waiting in the wings.
Graham Hurley prior to the publication of TURNSTONE two years or so ago has established himself as a rival to Gerald Seymour, Frederick Forsyth and even John Le Carre with such books as HEAVEN’S LIGHT and THE PERFECT SOLDIER

Nowadays Hurley is up at the forefront of police-procedural/CID teamwork fiction, more exercised within character and plot than Peter Turnbull, a veteran or Frederic Lindsay, a Scots newcomer. Hurley cleverly insinuates the reader in superficiae then whammo!! gets his plot going full steam ahead in THE TAKE.
A highly dishonourable –struck from the medical register - gynaecologist is at the core of this second Faraday fiction, a man responsible for ruining the souls of hundreds of his unsuspecting patients. Let alone their reproductive organs. A college instructor, sex obsessed ,and a soccer player no less preoccupied with scoring with the opposite gender, are implicated in a rancid under-age porno ring of video manufacture…. And there’s a flasher in a "Donald Duck" mask to contend with….

Curiously Bill James called one of his exuberantly off-beat ‘Col Harpur/Des Iles’ books simply TAKE.
It won’t take Hurley long to get to the territory of finessed crime fiction staked out by James, now in his 73rd year and launched upon an espionage series featuring a black hero ‘Simon Abelard’ in SPLIT
[ 2001 ].

© Alex Grant November 2002

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