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Lonely Hearts: The 1st Charles Resnick Mystery (A Charles Resnick Mystery) [Paperback]

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Item description for Lonely Hearts: The 1st Charles Resnick Mystery (A Charles Resnick Mystery) by John Harvey...

"Harvey's series about Charlie Resnick, the jazz-loving, melancholy cop in provincial Nottingham, England, has long been one of the finest police procedural series around."-Publishers Weekly

"The characters in John Harvey's urban crime novels are so defiantly alive and unruly that they put these British police procedurals on a shelf by themselves."-Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

"Harvey reminds me of Graham Greene, a stylist who tells you everything you need to know while keeping the prose clean and simple. It's a very realistic style that draws you into the story without the writer getting in the way."-Elmore Leonard

"Charlie Resnick is one of the most fully realized characters in modern crime fiction."-Sue Grafton

The first major case for Charlie Resnick and his team concerns a number of increasingly serious attacks on women who have been using the "Lonely Hearts" column of the local newspaper. Simultaneously, Resnick becomes involved with Rachel Chaplin, the social worker assigned to a family caught up in allegations of child abuse.

John Harvey's Charlie Resnick is British crime fiction's best-kept secret. In the ten novels Harvey wrote about Resnick before ending the series, he established his character as a believable ordinary policeman who investigated ordinary, everyday crime, rooted in the socioeconomic plight and drab lives of many people in the city of Nottingham.

Bloody Brits Press will reissue the entire Inspector Charles Resnick series in the next three seasons.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   294
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2007
Publisher   Bloody Brits Press
ISBN  1932859446  
ISBN13  9781932859447  

Availability  0 units.

More About John Harvey

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Harveyis the author of the richly praised Charlie Resnick novels, the first of which, Lonely Hearts, was named bythe LondonTimesas one of the "100 Best Crime Novels of the Century." John's first novel featuring Detective Inspector Frank Elder, Flesh and Blood, won the CWA Silver Dagger in 2004. In 2007 he receivedthe Crime Writers Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for Sustained Excellence in Crime Writing. John lives in London.

John Harvey has an academic affiliation as follows - University of California, Davis, USA Tiger Health Limited Tiger Health.

John Harvey has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Handbooks for New Testament Exegesis
  2. Serpent's Tail Classics

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Lonely Hearts: The 1st Charles Resnick Mystery (A Charles Resnick Mystery)?

Like Jazz, After Midnight  Feb 4, 2000
Ordinarily, I'm not much of a mystery fan, but I found the Resnick series to be quite a departure from what I had expected. These novels are actually in the police procedural genre (the McBain books, for instance, are its American equivalent) and center on a group of investigators in the English city of Nottingham. There are ten books in all, with the concluding volume in the series being the 1999 release, "Last Rites".

The central figure is Charlie Resnick, a middle-aged man of Polish descent, overweight, divorced, the guardian of four cats, a jazz lover, unlucky in love. In many ways, he's a stolid, workaday figure, not especially gifted with brilliance or exceptional deductive reasoning. But that's one of the points of this series: the characters are very human. Some succeed (justly or otherwise); some fail. Friends will come and go; love affairs will start and awkwardly end. People die. Those who seem sympathetic when viewed from one angle are shown to be all too frail when seen from another.

Resnick's squad isn't burning with zeal to pursue justice or punish crime. They're just doing a job. They're not angels, and indeed, some of them are rather despicable. Those that do try to aspire to something better receive no special reward; they're as likely to be caught in the random unfairness of life as any other.

And the villains are not criminal masterminds or psychopathic serial killers. For the most part, they're small-minded and lazy people, or those looking for the main chance, or just plain screw-ups. None of them are Moriartys or Hannibal Lecters. Nonetheless, some of them prove to be chilling all the same; they're your neighbors, your friends, people who have lost their way and become trapped in a cycle of violence. But they have the same fears and desires as anyone else.

The novels are not especially plot-driven. They're rather character studies, small arcs showing the lives and thoughts and fates of Resnick and his associates. And equal attention is paid to those on the other side of the law, or to the victims, or even to those on the periphery. The stories are built up out of small moments, minor interludes, quiet scenes. The jazz that Resnick loves so well informs the series; there is rarely a large, grandiose thundering climax, or a pulsing, driven beat; rather, there are starts and stops, variations on a theme, improvisations, minor notes.

Some characters in the series will grow wiser. Some won't. One will be killed in a sudden brawl totally peripheral to the main plot, and his killer will much later suffer a similar fate. Criminals will escape the scene of the crime only to be killed in car crashes. Miserable fates will continue to be doled out to the same families over and over again, yet they seem powerless to escape.

In many ways, it seems Resnick is fighting a losing battle, putting away a few minor league criminals while the city deteriorates around him and evil flourishes. Yet if one thread runs through these books, it is the power of love, how it can lead to wonder and terror, endings and beginnings, inspiration and despair. The desire for the characters to connect with something beyond themselves is what drives them onwards, a desperate and terrible yearning. And sometimes, these desires fulfilled, they find themselves no better off, and cast aside what they have just attained.

Often lyrical, full of scenes of keen insight and of small portraits drawn in a few swift brushstrokes, these books are deceptively simple on the surface, hiding deeper themes within. While some of the books are a little weaker than others, as a whole the series lays out a story arc that is well worth reading.

Wonderful!  Jan 28, 2000
People who don't like police procedurals shouldn't be allowed to write reviews of them -- although anyone can tell by the "yuck" comment that the so-called reviewer is no intellectual.

This book is the first in the Charlie Resnick series, which has me totally hooked. He's an overweight, sort of sad and lonely guy who loves cats and jazz. How could you not love him? His characters are so true, the plots gritty, and there isn't always a nice big bow to tie up all the loose ends; this is also true in life.

yuck  Nov 29, 1999
The book is not worth reading. The characters are middling, the plot uninteresting, the conclusion arbitrary and awkward.
Excellent Debut  Aug 25, 1999
Excellent debut of the gritty procedural Charlie Resnick series, set in an unnamed city (Nottingham) in the British Midlands. From the beginning it's clear why this series has become so popular over time. Harvey brings all the banal nastiness of routine policework to the book, much as the television shows Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue did on the small screen. Also like those series, he arranges a deep cast of characters around a less than striking hero, paunchy, ill-dressed, Inspector Charlie Resnick (he being of Polish descent). The plot covers the plodding efforts of the force to solve first one murder, then a second, the linking of the two, and in a somewhat cliché climax, the race to avert the killing of Charlie's new love interest. What makes the book stand out is the convincing cast of policemen, witnesses, suspects, and assorted other folks Harvey brings to life.

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