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Applause for The Order of Things

Immodest, I know....this from "Crime Review"


The Order of Thingsby Graham Hurley Review Graham Hurley is one of the most reliable writers around – he rarelymisses his step and you’re pretty sure you’ll get a well-told andengrossing tale from him. The Order of Things is no exception.I’ve followed his books through from its days with bird-watching DI JoeFaraday on the mean streets of Portsmouth, through to the presentseries with DS Jimmy Suttle legging it down to Devon. And I’ll admit Iwas dubious about the spin-off to start with, as a good bit of the pull ofthe original books was the way Hurley absolutely nailed the city ofPortsmouth. The Order of Things has more or less cut all ties with Pompey, asJimmy’s estranged wife Lizzie has moved to Exeter. Her book on thedeath of their daughter has been a runaway success and she’s spentsome of the royalties on a quirky house that needs a ton of work doingon it – ironic when you recall how much she hated the tumbledowncottage Jimmy found when they first moved to Devon. And she’s backin the journalistic groove with an investigative website.Hurley’s almost cinematic eye for a location has captured the rougherbits of Devon as well as the spectacular coastline and the prettypostcard villages. It’s in Lympstone, one of the latter, where adisembowelled body is found. It’s that of GP Harriet Reilly and thecottage belongs to her partner, Alois Bentner, a controversial climatescientist. Lizzie, meanwhile, has found herself some good contacts in Devon.But when she starts digging into a story about a GP and mercykillings, her enquiries run headlong into those of Jimmy and hiscolleagues, because it’s the same Dr Reilly. And she disrupts Jimmy’sprivate life too, leaving him wondering if he’s as happy with sparkyIrish nurse Oona as he thought he was. The book never descends intotiresome will he/won’t he, though – it all feels very real and raw.Hurley focuses his plot in on a very topical and painful subject, helpedby some spare, unflinching scenes that really hit home as Lizziegathers her background information. He’s always been good atmarshalling sprawling casts and peopling his books with unusual butconvincing characters – and here he’s got some larger than lifecreations. Several of the scenes in country cottages and Lizzie’s newhouse are truly chilling. This series really feels like it’s found its niche. And The Order ofThings has niggled at my mind, long after I finished it. The book endson one hell of a life-changing cliffhanger, leaving me muttering darklyabout it being a year before I’ll find out what happens next. Hurleywrites inch-perfect, matter-of-fact police procedurals, but he peoplesthem with an almost Dickensian cast that set the books way abovemost of his peers.