FAR CRY – John Harvey

   She sees her. Heather.  She has never told her husband.  She has never told either of her husbands.  She doesn’t know for certain what they would say.  Except that neither would believe her.

Ruth Lawson has never recovered from the death of her teenage daughter.  She lives with the curse of “if only”,  if only we hadn’t let her go to Cornwall with her best friend, Kelly.  If only the vacation hadn’t been a camping trip on Cornwall’s rugged coast.  If only Ruth and Simon hadn’t decided to take advantage of their freedom and gone to France.  If only….

Heather and Kelly get separated in a fog and it doesn’t take long for searchers to find Kelly.  It takes several days of searching before Heather’s body is found in a mine shaft.  The lead investigator believes Heather was killed but the coroner’s verdict is that Heather’s death is accidental.  Ruth and Simon can’t get past their own guilt and the marriage ends.

Ruth leaves London and moves to Cambridgeshire where she meets and marries Andrew Lawson and together they have a child, Beatrice.  Ruth’s happiness is tempered, always, by the loss of Heather but Beatrice is a wonder to her and their bond is strong.  Then, when Beatrice is nearly the same age Heather was when she died, she too disappears.

Helen Walker and Will Grayson are the lead detectives on the case.  How can such a terrible thing happen twice to one mother?   A recently paroled child abuser is the first suspect, but when Helen goes to Cornwall to talk to the detectives who investigated Heather’s disappearance, she and Will begin to suspect that Beatrice is in the hands of someone who is not a stranger.

FAR CRY is the second John Harvey novel to feature Helen Walker and Will Grayson after GONE TO GROUND.  John Harvey has authored three series – the first featuring Charlie Resnick, a police detective in Nottingham, England, the second featuring Frank Elder, retired from the Nottingham force and living in Cornwall, and the third series featuring Will Grayson and Helen Walker, detectives in Cambridge.  John Harvey, it seems, cannot write a book, or series, that isn’t absorbing, filled with characters the reader welcomes as people worth knowing.  Anything written by John Harvey is worth reading and that includes FAR CRY.

This review was originally posted on this blog August 10, 2010

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