Darkness and Light: (Frank Elder)
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Thank you! He could have refused her, but Frank Elder once more does what his ex-wife asks, this time helping out her friend Jennie, whose widowed sister Claire Meecham had gone missing. Middle-aged, conventional, still grieving for her husband after five years, Claire was not one to scamper away. Frank checks in with his old mates at the Major Crime Unit, now called the Force Crime Directorate, but they have nothing to add.
Viewing the corpse with DI Maureen Prior, Frank harks back to his very first case, the murder of Irene Fowler eight years ago, which went unsolved. The similarities, including the perversely respectful way the bodies were left, suggest a single killer. There was a problem adding your email address.
Email Newsletter. Log In. After all, Harvey created and terminated the successful Resnick books, and knows well how to kiss goodbye before staleness sets in. Frank Elder is a very different kettle of fish from his jazz-loving predecessor, and one of Harvey's masterstrokes in this series is to render his hero neutral and almost colourless.
He reads books, but nothing in particular; he isn't, unlike Resnick, particularly keen on music anything classical he automatically assumes is Mozart. But his private life is delineated with consummate skill. It's familiar stuff broken marriage, resentful grown-up daughter , but the unforced nuances have real richness. Once again, Frank is coaxed out of retirement, this time by his ex-wife, to investigate the disappearance of a friend of hers.
Has she been murdered? Elder becomes aware that the missing woman has led an active and clandestine sexual life, taking the risk of meeting partners via the internet. As to the mechanics of the narrative itself, Harvey is such an old hand at this sort of thing that he doesn't really have to try. The witnesses and suspects Elder encounters in the first part are a somewhat bland bunch, and it's Harvey's truly elegant writing that keeps impatience at bay.
But halfway through, a change of gear screws down our attention. Elder finds echoes of a case he'd worked on with Maureen Pryor, his ex-partner.
Darkness & Light - A Frank Elder Mystery (Paperback)
The missing woman is found dead, arranged on her bed. Is the killer the same individual Frank and Maureen failed to nail years before? Such is Harvey's commanding skill that we forgive him anything - such as the book's slowish start and a reliance on some unlikely plot contrivances. We simply relish the adept characterisation and meticulous attention to detail.
Perhaps, when the third and final Elder book appears, Darkness and Light may be seen as the adagio movement in a symphony, in which the audience is allowed to relax before the accelerando of the finale. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists?
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Darkness & Light: A Frank Elder Mystery
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