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"The relentless hunt for a killer that got away from him before. And might again."
Excerpted from Darkness & Light by Harvey, John Copyright © 2006 by Harvey, John. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted August 1, 2006
Many of us have admired 16th century Flemish tapestries now on display in museums throughout the world. They¿re so beautiful - from a distance they almost appear to be a painting but upon stepping closer we can see the millions of stitches. While it may seem unusual, John Harvey¿s latest book, Darkness & Light, reminds me of a tapestry, neatly stitched or plotted with each thread or word a vital part. To carry the analogy further, Harvey¿s colors are telling - the dark hue of an expression, the revealing shade of a glance. With nary an extraneous word he creates a story so compelling that rather than finding out who the killer is one wishes this tale would never end. Harvey is, indeed, a master wordsmith. Without prelude our story opens in the office of child psychiatrist Alice Silverman. She is interviewing a boy of eleven or so who refuses to speak, yet she notes that there is ¿something confrontational beating just beneath the skin.....¿ Quickly the scene changes to Cornwall where Frank Elder has retired. He receives a telephone call from his former wife, Joanne, who asks him to look into the disappearance of the older sister of her good friend, Jennie. Initially reluctant, Elder decides to go to the city in hopes of seeing his daughter, Katharine. The missing woman is Claire Meecham, a widowed woman of middle age. According to Jennie her sister is a bit of a recluse, a shy retiring lady who wouldn¿t just go off without leaving word. However, as Elder begins to delve into Claire¿s life he finds a woman quite different from the one her sister has described. Eventually Claire is found - she is at home, quite dead. She¿s discovered in her bed, fully clothed, hair neat, and not a mark on her. The sight of her reminds Elder of another case, an old unsolved death. He teams with a former colleague, Maureen Prior in an effort to solve both puzzles. His investigation is related in chapters alternating with the story of the young boy being treated by Alice Silverman. When the child is moved to another city, she is dismayed and readers are left to wonder. But, leave it to the brilliant John Harvey to weave the threads of his story together in a surprising yet satisfactory manner. This author startles with suspense, and his characters are limned with such sensitivity that one feels empathy for both villain and victim. He is simply the best- don¿t miss it! - Gail CookeWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.