Posted in Book Review

Body and Soul John Harvey – 5*Review

‘The heavy manacles around the girl’s wrists, perhaps not surprisingly, looked very much like the ones that had been found on the studio floor. For a moment, she had a vision of the chain to which they were attached being swung through the air, taking on force and speed before striking home.Then swung again.’

When his estranged daughter Katherine appears on his doorstep, ex-Detective Frank Elder knows that something is wrong.

Katherine has long been troubled, and Elder has always felt powerless to help her.

But now Katherine has begun to self-destruct.

The breakdown of her affair with a controversial artist has sent her into a tailspin which culminates in murder.

And as Elder struggles to protect his daughter and prove her innocence, the terrors of the past threaten them both once more … 

Amazon UK


My Thoughts…

Frank Elder is a realistic, haunted protagonist. A failed marriage, an estranged daughter and crippling guilt make him easy to empathise and vividly believable.

The plot is twisty and involved, there are several storylines, some past, some present which intertwine and inform. The pacing is perfect; slow and deliberate to begin with revealing the story’s themes, and disseminating the necessary backstory. Then, as storylines merge and character’s reach breaking point the pace quickens, and the action and clues are relentless. Despite being the final book in the series, it is a viable standalone read.

Although flawed Elder comes across as a well-motivated person, not perfect but always doing his best for those he loves and those he serves. His quick temper is almost his undoing, but it doesn’t detract from his likeability, just makes him human and realistic.

Being Nottingham born and bred, I enjoyed the action that took place there. The characters are well-developed and believable, and each of them enrichens and deepen the story. The ending is poignant, powerful and both hopeful and sad.

I received a copy of this book from Cornerstone, Penguin Random House William Heinemann via NetGalley in return for an honest review.