The Price of Darkness is a tad slow to get going, and once it's into its stride, it's like an ocean liner – you won't be turning this book round at speed! But it's dark, gritty, engrossing and totally believable. There's plenty of meat promised for the next book, (No Lovelier Death) with Winter's life-changing decision at the end of The Price of Darkness, along with unresolved issues in Faraday's private life concerning son J-J and French girlfriend Gabrielle. If you're new to the series, don't start with The Price of Darkness. Go back to the beginning and see how a good writer becomes an outstanding one as the books progress and he refines his art.
Sharon Wheeler, Reviewing the Evidence
Residents of Portsmouth disgruntled by Boris Johnson's description of their town as drug-ridden and populated by obese under-achievers will not necessarily be pleased to learn that it is the setting for Britain's finest and hardest-hitting series of police procedural novels. The Price of Darkness is Graham Hurley's best book yet and should put Pompey firmly on the literary map. Maverick DC Paul Winter has gone under cover and is finding that the rich pickings of the criminal life are too much of a burden for his slender conscience to bear, and stalwart DI Faraday is trying to piece together a jigsaw of graft and corruption in order to solve a murder and an assassination. Hurley presents a world that has lost its moral compass, where selfishness, betrayal and brutality prevail, and the rare instances of decency and kindness seem almost aberrant. Readers who enjoy convincing, well-crafted thrillers won't go wrong with this one.
Laura Wilson, The Guardian. 19 January 2008
Football hooligan Bazza Mackenzie thinks an international jet-ski race would make a fitting tribute to his late brother, and that Paul Winter is the guy to organise it.
DC Winter is fully embedded in Mackenzie’s drug-peddling gang, which Hurley brings to life with tongue-in-cheek vitality: plenty of bling, and heavies with a penchant for violence.
Ex-colleague DI Faraday’s investigation into the shooting of a property developer and a visiting junior minister finds Winter implicated – which primes the central question of this thriller: has Winter defected to a crime boss, or is he still an undercover cop?
The political murder feels slightly underplayed next to Mackenzie’s outlandish antics, but interesting characters and two strong storylines drive the book along at high speed.
James Urquhart, The Financial Times 19 January 2008
If you don't know this superb British series set in Portsmouth, there is no better place to begin. The Price of Darkness is vintage Hurley, with brilliant characters, a superb plot and a great story about loyalty and betrayal.
Det Con Paul Winter is undercover, trying to infiltrate Portsmouth's most powerful drug gang. Back at HQ, Det Ins Joe Faraday, once Winter's boss, is caught up in complex investigations of two high-profile murders, a well-known property developer and a government minister. Both murders were bold, efficient and professional.
Evidence begins to build, circumstantial but convincing, that the murders and the drugs are related. Winter and Faraday have a vexed relationslhip at best, and here it teeters dangerously. I found this book exceptional, possibly because I've been watching The Wire on DVD.
Hurley's graphically realistic Portsmouth underworld is very similar to David Simon's amazing picture of equally besieged Baltimore.
The Toronto Globe and Mail
Graham Hurley's Portsmouth police series featuring the hardworking but quietly prescient Detective-Inspector Joe Faraday and the canny, reprobate D.C. Winter, came to me late. Now I'm hooked. The eighth, The Price of Darkness, puts Hurley alongside Scotland's Ian Rankin as a British noir crafter of singularity in an overcrowded field of copycats. He does multiple storylines, segueing between the damage-controlling Faraday and the manipulative, ethically blind Winter. Hurley has Winter go undercover, infiltrating a drug boss Bazza's inner circle, as two vicious murders alarm the British government and have the anti-terrorist bunch circling Faraday.
Graeme Blundell, The Australian 12 April 2008