Although strong on plot, The Take is a character-driven story with even the most minor players fleshed out in a few carefully-chosen words. The descriptions are vividly visual, from the grace and charm of the seabirds at the marina to the visceral mess of the crime scene. Introducing a new character can be a gamble, but in this utterly believable thriller, it pays off in spades.
The Take is a brilliant ensemble piece, at once refreshingly different but with all the necessary ingredients for an unforgiving police procedural.
Second instalments in police series are often disappointing but The Take is even better than Turnstone. The cops themselves are fascinating if not altogether admirable characters, trying to keep a lid on the social consequences of inner-city discontent while being sabotaged at every stage by a management that cares only about training courses, PR stunts and sucking up to big business. Hurley is reinvigorating the police procedural today, much as Reginald Hill did 20 years ago.
This series is a nice mix of the personal lives of ordinary cops and the interesting cases they are faced with. My experience with this publisher (Orion) is that they only publish the best in crime fiction and Graham Hurley certainly lives up to that standard.
Another Detective Inspector, another superb series. The Take marries an intensely strong sense of place with believable and flawed characters. An exemplar of classic crime fiction.
Waterstones Books Quarterly
In many ways, Paul Winter plays Satan to Faraday's God in a police procedural version of Paradise Lost - paradise being the time when there was enough money going around to grease informants, follow vague hunches, and do things by the book. While Faraday plays it straight, trying to prioritise the most difficult crimes, Winter plays the street, using sadistic psychological manipulation in lieu of money to maintain his network of informers. The Take includes an intense romance that seems to rise suddenly out of nowhere like a coastal storm, adding power to the novel. But what really keeps one reading is Hurley's talent for sudden and subtle plot turns that are as gracefully executed as the flight of a seabird.
Hurley has spent most of his adult life in Portsmouth, and it shows in his clear-eyed and sometimes brutally honest portrayals of life there. Hopelessness and hopefulness vie for dominance in The Take, just as they do in the town itself. And again like Portsmouth, this series gives off a feeling of longevity; one would be hard-pressed to guess by reading The Take that it is only the second entry in the Faraday series, rather than the 12th. Hurley may have come to the police procedural late, after spending years producing documentary films and penning stand-alone thrillers, such as Heaven's Light and Nocturne but he carries himself in this sub-genre with the confidence of a cop on his regular beat.
Graham Hurley prior to the publication of Turnstone two years or so ago has established himself as a rival to Gerald Seymour, Frederick Forsyth and even John Le Carre with such books as Heaven's Light and The Perfect Soldier.
Nowadays Hurley is up at the forefront of police-procedural/CID teamwork fiction, more exercised within character and plot than Peter Turnbull, a veteran or Frederic Lindsay, a Scots newcomer. Hurley cleverly insinuates the reader in superficiae then whammo!! gets his plot going full steam ahead in The Take..
A highly dishonourable – struck from the medical register - gynaecologist is at the core of this second Faraday fiction, a man responsible for ruining the souls of hundreds of his unsuspecting patients. Let alone their reproductive organs. A college instructor, sex obsessed ,and a soccer player no less preoccupied with scoring with the opposite gender, are implicated in a rancid under-age porno ring of video manufacture…. And there’s a flasher in a "Donald Duck" mask to contend with….
Alex Grant, Hackwriters.com