Those of you who are familiar with the writer John Harvey will know about the character Charlie Resnick. He features in several John Harvey books, Cold in Hand being no exception.
Cold in Hand sees Charlie Resnick as an ageing Detective Inspector who has a thing for jazz music, which seems to go hand in hand with his more sedatory lifestyle. However, by the end of the book his sedate lifestyle is shaken to its core… more would be me spoiling the book for you!
Cold in Hand opens with the fatal shooting of a teenage girl and the injury of another in what appears to be gang related slaying on St Valentine’s Day. DI Lynn Kellogg happens to be the officer sent to the scene and is caught up in the melee between the two rival teenage gangs. DI Kellogg is injured, but not seriously thanks to her bullet proof vest.
Thus, the scene is set for a crime novel that puts rival gangs and gun crime under the spotlight in the British city of Nottingham.
Cold in Hand is a well-written novel that is also tense and layered. You will not have time for a little nap whilst reading it!
Lynn Kellogg has her work cut out in the novel because she is blamed by the dead girl’s father for his daughter’s demise. And throughout the novel you get the sense that Lynn needs to keep looking over her shoulder…
Meanwhile, she is the investigating officer on the murder of a sex worker at an adult club/parlour. The incident is brought to the police’s attention by another worker Andreea Florescu who is a chief witness/informant to the police. This inevitably puts her in danger, and it is down to DI Lynn Kellogg to protect her from these dangers.
As I mentioned before Cold in Hand is layered and if you are thinking, for a Charlie Resnick novel he doesn’t feature much, well actually, this is not entirely accurate! Charlie Resnick is still very much the main character powering the plot along. It is much later in the book that you experience the true nature of Detective Inspector Resnick. And I did mention that, Charlie Resnick and Lynn Kellogg are an item, living together? How about that for adding more layers!
Cold in Hand is a classic page-turner and is very absorbing. However, what I appreciated the most was its unpredictability and its varied characters. The unsavoury characters are well portrayed adding authenticity to a crime novel that was unsettling from the outset!
Finally, there is a major plot twist in the novel that you will not see coming…
John Harvey’s Cold in Hand will not disappoint crime fiction fans.
Until next time,
Ps: If you are an Ian Rankin fan, then you’ll love John Harvey!