'Another gripping chronicle of crime in Portsmouth... A vivid portrait of a decadent society in which even the local criminal thinks crime is out of control'
'Portsmouth has provided rich pickings for this British author with its history and pride... Joe Faraday's ninth outing opens like an episode of Skins but Hurley expands to explore our need to belong.'
Hurley never disappoints and here in "No Lovelier Death" he proves his standing as one of the UK's finest crime novelists.
INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
It's a mystery in itself why Hurley, a former television documentary maker, is not better known as a crime writer. His Joe Faraday police procedural novels are spot-on - well-written and plotted, utterly convincing and really exciting. No Lovelier Deathis an excellent and complex crime novel.
Authentic, nerve jangling and utterly compelling.
LANCASHIRE EVENING POST
A crime thriller which packs a punch with its realistic portrayal of police procedure.
WESTERN MORNING NEWS
Is this latest Pompey story a sign of social meltdown, as the delighted media insist? As ever, Hurley's work is disturbing, gripping and committed.
Faraday and Winter are on opposite sides of the law but both are looking for the same thing. An utterly convincing chronicle of crime in Portsmouth, this new Faraday police procedural is spot-on.
NEWS OF THE WORLD
Hurley's world is so real and his creations so vivid that you feel you'd meet them walking down any street in Portsmouth. And he proves again that he's one of the best crime writers around.
REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE
This was one of the best police procedural novels I've read in a long time...Graham Hurley is a must for fans of the genre.
No Lovelier Deathis another gritty and uncompromising slice of urban life from one of the country's finest crime writers.
Delivery report from Orion forNO LOVELIER DEATH- which was published on 19 February 2009.
[Warning- may contain spoilers for THE PRICE OF DARKNESS]
The ninth Faraday and Winter both ups the ante and provides a telling new direction for the series, one that is not just deeply satisfying in this novel but which promises huge potential for the ongoing series.
Abandoned and betrayed by his bosses during his undercover stint in THE PRICE OF DARKNESS,D/C Paul Winter has left the police and now works for Portsmouth's crime overlord Bazza McKenzie. Bazza is striving for respectability but still inclined to go off the rails and a job in his organisation still has the potential to put you seriously on the wrong side of the law. As Winter is about to find out.
A party at a rich house in Portsmouth goes horribly out of control. Kids from all over the city descend, a riot ensues and two dead teenagers are found in the next door garden. One of the dead is the daughter of a high court judge who had thrown the party while her parents were on holiday. The next door neighbour? The man who had promised to keep an eye on things while they were away? Bazza McKenzie.
A police investigation is launched but with nearly a hundred suspects, a grieving high court judge as the victim and the national media latched on to the story progress is horribly slow and Faraday is really up against it, his relationship with Gabrielle under immense pressure. And in the meantime Bazza himself wants a perpetrator - he feels he owes the judge a debt - and Paul Winter is just the man to get him his answer.
Winter off the leash is both attractive and frightening - we get to see him in his true colours but here is a man at once relishing in being able to throw the rulebook away but also increasingly uneasy about the sort of man he finds himself working for. And he is still very much the ex-cop and while his links with the force are very useful, it also means his old bosses still have a very strong interest in what he is up to.
So, in common with Graham's earlier books, we have two investigations but this time the fact that just the one crime is being investigated gives the book a much tighter focus. Add to this the fresh dilemmas for key characters and stronger female roles and we have an ever more commercial prospect. An immense and added bonus on the commercial front is that after the initial shock of the two dead teenagers the body count in this novel spirals to five; there are moments of unexpected and hideous violence to come. This is a shocking development for Graham's fictional world, all the more so because it is so unexpected and remains as believable as ever.
NO LOVELIER DEATH retains Graham's trademark realism and psychological acuity but ratchets up the pressures and the dilemmas and the violence in a way which makes this a further (and major) step up for his career.