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Far Cry
     

Far Cry

2.7 8
by John Harvey
 

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Ruth and Simon reluctantly agree to let their young teenage daughter, Heather, go off on a camping holiday in Cornwall with her best friend, Kelly, and her family. While on a vacation of their own, they get the news that both girls have gone missing. Kelly is found alive, but, after several days of searching, Heather's body is discovered inside some old mine

Overview

Ruth and Simon reluctantly agree to let their young teenage daughter, Heather, go off on a camping holiday in Cornwall with her best friend, Kelly, and her family. While on a vacation of their own, they get the news that both girls have gone missing. Kelly is found alive, but, after several days of searching, Heather's body is discovered inside some old mine workings. Although the police detective leading the investigation harbours suspicions of foul play, the verdict is that the death was accidental.
The emotional strain of Heather's death ruins Ruth and Simon's marriage. After the divorce, Ruth moves from London to Cambridgeshire, where she remarries and has another child—a daughter, Beatrice. But when Beatrice is close to the age Heather was when she died, she too mysteriously disappears ...

Helen Walker (of Harvey's 2008 novel Gone to Ground), one of the officers involved in the investigation, travels to Cornwall to seek connections between Beatrice's disappearance and Heather's death. Will Grayson (also of Gone to Ground), the officer leading the enquiry, is torn between his fears that a recently paroled child-abuser might be responsible and his growing suspicions that someone closer to home might have taken Beatrice. With the stakes impossibly high and time running out, Helen and Will draw closer to their quarry while the truth seems to slip further into the distance.

Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
The architecture of Harvey's storytelling begs to be admired, with its multiple narratives, shifting time lines and elaborate plot details. But it's his handling of difficult characters and provocative themes that gives the book weight. All the adults in this story love children, some selflessly and others in ways that make your skin crawl, and they all react differently when the children they love are taken away from them. Harvey's touch is so subtle, his style so seductive, that he distracts us from the fact that Ruth isn't the only person whose choices are determined, or tragically derailed, by love for a child—even if it's someone else's child.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Det. Sgt. Helen Walker and Det. Insp. Will Grayson hunt for a missing girl in this worthy sequel to Gone to Ground from Cartier Diamond Dagger-winner Harvey. In 1995, pubescent Heather Pierce and her friend Kelly Efford disappear while on holiday in Cornwall. An eccentric Good Samaritan saves Kelly; searchers find Heather dead at the bottom of an old mining engine house, the apparent victim of a misstep in the fog. In present-day Cambridge, Heather's half-sister, Beatrice, who's about the same age as Heather was in 1995, vanishes. Is Heather's tragic history repeating itself, or is Beatrice the victim of something even darker? While Walker examines Heather's still unresolved death for a link to Beatrice's disappearance, Grayson becomes obsessed with a recently released pedophile, whom he suspects of committing terrible, undetected crimes. Harvey isn't afraid to let his characters grow in this thoughtful, complex thriller. (June)
Library Journal
When Londoners Ruth and Simon Pierce's ten-year-old daughter Heather dies in an apparent fall while on a camping trip with a friend's family on the Cornish coast, they are devastated. Divorced, Ruth moves to Cambridge, remarries, and has another daughter, Beatrice, who at the age of ten disappears on the way home from a class. Meanwhile, a convicted pedophile is released in Cambridgeshire, and DI Will Grayson is convinced that he may have committed other crimes and even be threatening Will's own children. DS Helen Walker goes to Cornwall to investigate the death of Ruth's first daughter, while Will pulls out all stops in trying to find Beatrice. Harvey skillfully weaves these threads together to reach a wrenching conclusion that fully illustrates again his complete mastery of plot and character. Grayson and Walker first appeared in Gone to Ground, but Harvey's reputation was built on his Charlie Resnick series. VERDICT Any reader seeking an excellent author with a long track record of the very best of contemporary mystery fiction must become familiar with Harvey's considerable body of work. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 2/1/09.]—Roland Person, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781410429759
Publisher:
Gale Group
Publication date:
09/01/2010
Edition description:
Large Print Edition
Pages:
725
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.30(d)

Read an Excerpt

Ruth sets down her cup, crosses the room and opens the drawer. The kitchen floor strikes cold, even through her slippered feet. February. At seven this morning, when she first stepped outside, it had still been dark.
 The envelope is where she left it, buried beneath receipts for old electricity bills, scribbled notes from the woman who comes Tuesdays and Thursdays to clean and which she has never yet discarded, recipes torn from this or that magazine: an off-white envelope, self-sealing, buckling a little at the corners. Inside is an ordinary postcard showing a map of south-west Cornwall coloured largely green; on the reverse side her name, hers and her ex-husband's, Simon's, are written above the address in a careful, painstaking hand. Mr and Mrs Pierce. The old address in London, NW5. The message alongside slanting slightly, left to right.

Dear Mum & Dad,
Went to the beach again today. Big waves!
Kelly and I are going to surf school tomorrow.
Hope you're both okay. See you soon.
Lots of Love, Heather
XXXXXXXXX

Even though she knows it by heart, Ruth reads every word slowly, carefully, taking her time. See you soon. For a moment she closes her eyes. Here and there the map is decorated with illustrations: Truro cathedral, a cow standing over a pail of milk destined to be Cornish cream, St Michael's Mount, the rocks at Land's End.
 Midway between Cape Cornwall and Sennen Cove, close to a zigzag of coast, a small dot has been made with a ballpoint pen, and when Ruth holds it up, as she does now, towards the kitchen window, the afternoon already beginning to fade, she can see a faint pinprick of light through the hole the pen has deliberately made. This is where I am, written in small letters that curve out across the ocean.  This is where I am: an arrow pointing to the spot.
It's not certain how long she stands there, staring out, staring down, the card in her hand. Then, with a small catch of her breath, she slips the card back into the envelope, the envelope back into the drawer, and, glancing at the clock, turns quickly away. Time to change into her shoes, pull on her coat, collect her daughter from school; her other daughter, Beatrice, the one who is still alive.

Meet the Author

JOHN HARVEY is the author of ten previous Charlie Resnick novels and the Frank Elder series, and a recipient of the Silver Dagger Award, the Barry Award, and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement, among other honors. He lives in London.

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Far Cry 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
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TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
I truly love John Harvey mysteries. They are among the best of the British police procedurals and in each of the series, from Charlie Resnick and Frank Elder to D.I. Will Grayson, the characters are sympathetic and fully drawn. The stories develop in their own time, but with no wasted words and misjudged feints. The fog of the Cornwall coast feels as real as yesterday's weather report and the miserable lives behind the crimes can get a good man down, if he doesn't take good care. In this particularly strong offering, Harvey introduces us to two crusty male detectives who insist on fuller investigations than their colleagues, and bear their emnity for it. A female assistant D.I. is so clearly ready for more that we fear her professionalism may become compromised while she struggles to fill the gaps in her life. Harvey patiently wraps us in strands from several cold and current cases. No need to read this in conjunction with any of Harvey's others, but you'll probably want to, simply because Harvey makes you feel you spent a week away.