The first French review: "Disparu en Mer" (Turnstone) est un excellent thriller, particulierement attachant, dans lequel Hurley, a travers une intrigue complexe, explore les realites difficile d'une societe anglaise en plein decomposition. Ses personnages et leurs motivations sont extremement fouilles, et il se degage de ses paysages maritimes ou rodent la mort et le parfum de l'aventure une veritable poesie.
Christophe Mercier, Le Point.
Or, in other words........."Turnstoneis an excellent thriller, oddly captivating, in which Hurley constructs a complex plot to explore the realities of an English society in the process of falling apart. His characters, and the forces that drive them, are described with an eye to the smallest detail, and he has the knack of investing these seaside landscapes - reeking with the scents of death and adventure - with a real sense of the poetic."
A terrific crime novel - atmospheric and tough.
Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller
Graham Hurley's Turnstone is police procedural at its best - hard-nosed, hard-boiled and hard to put down. Hurley's cops are the real thing and the world they deal with is the world of Turnstone - shrewd predators who know how not to get caught and cops who have to step over the line. Tough, smart and too good to miss.-Alan Furst
Graham Hurley has the knack of describing surfaces in a way that allows the reader to form a vivid mental image. He then gets under and inside. He is the turnstone. He has lifted stones to expose the real nature of the milieu - the exploiters, the exploited, and the Portsmouth which I've seen in nearly three decades of police work.
Supt. Roly Dumont, Hampshire Constabulary.
Turnstone is intensely readable. Here is an author who understands the job and understands the city. Compelling and authentic.
Inspector Chris Mantelow, Hampshire Constabulary.
The characters who people Turnstone are very real indeed, from the street-dealing drug-users to high-ranking police officers. This is the way it is. Believe me.
D/C John Roberts, Area Drugs Squad, Havant.
I have never read any police or detective fiction, nor had any desire to do so. Probably for the same busman's holiday reason that Nelson wouldn't have had Hornblower as his bunk side reading. I therefore approached Graham Hurley's Turnstone cynically, quite determined that I wasn't going to enjoy it. These feelings were heightened when I saw the front cover proclaimed the book to be "police procedural at its best". Police procedure books have a tendency to be dry unless, of course, one happens to be a policeman about to apply those procedures.
The first few pages confirmed my suspicions. A seedy murder, plus plenty of police jargon which needs explaining and slows the narrative. Great, now we have some drug dealing. Unusual. And is DI Faraday, the central character, yet another dysfunctional detective inspector in the classic Morse and Frost mould? Then the scene changes, more characters emerge, and the book becomes unputdownable.
Graham has obviously done his research and his acknowledgements indicate experts in their respective police fields have advised him. The sheer volume and repetitiveness of the majority of police work is emphasised and acts as a spur for Faraday to pursue a hunch.
After an initially depressing impression of Portsmouth, the image of the city blooms and the backdrops of Port Solent and Old Portsmouth combine to convey an image of the city of which the Tourist Office can be justifiably proud.
Faraday's obsession with ornithology leads to some unusual settings, as well as rounding off his character. Faraday turns out not to be quite as dysfunctional as first appears, but is a stolid realist with a tragic and slightly bohemian past, unimpressed by the trappings of either power or wealth. His relationship with his supervisory officer is not the cliché one would expect, given his background, which is refreshing. The digression into the main plot is cleverly done and so varied and unexpected are the twists and turns, I was mentally prepared for any outcome but still surprised, a tribute to the author's inventiveness.
There are many skilfully observed comments on the nature of policework, as well as the pressures brought to bear on the service. From the enigmatic title to the final pages, where the author finally pulls together the strands that link drug-related activities in Paulsgrove, and the missing person enquiry that uses the Fastnet Race as a backdrop, this is a masterpiece of story-telling.
Sgt John Clelford, Portsmouth News
Set in Portsmouth, Turnstone is a fascinating policier featuring bird-watching (the feathered kind) DI Joe Faraday, a fictional copper I haven't met before , but am happy to become acquainted with. Faraday is chasing up a missing-person report that might become a murder case, although his superiors don't agree - there are too many criminals out there and not enough coppers to waste resources on someone who just might have decided to walk out on his life. There's more than a touch of local politics about this novel (the author is a journalist) but none the worse for that. This turned out to be the best British police procedural that I've read since John Harvey's "Resnick" series, and that's a real compliment.
Mark Timlin, Independent on Sunday
The setting is very important to this crime novel - it is Portsmouth, a city where, as it loses jobs, the crime rate soars. A city with the highest repossession rate in the country, it is desperately crowded and the Royal Navy is pulling out. This is where Detective-Inspector Joe Faraday lives and works. Since his wife's death, he has looked after his almost totally-deaf son. Faraday is a dedicated cop with great regard for the ethics of the job.
The story opens with an old man brutally kicked to death; and then a man called Maloney disappears. He has been reported missing by his young daughter, who believes the police (who found her bike) will find him for her. Then a yacht in the famous Fastnet Race sinks, and to Faraday it looks like a cover-up for a murder, but no one else believes him.
Turnstone is a wonderfully atmospheric piece of writing with splendid characterisation, including a bent cop with smarmy manners who is truly repellent. Faraday is life-size and his feelings for the deaf boy beautifully conveyed. Very much a top-class thriller.
In Turnstone Graham Hurley has surely created the start of an exceptional series. Hurley's book is both a fine police procedural thriller and a character-driven novel that has a life outside of the crimes being investigated.
Faraday is a flawed hero. A widower who finds it hard to let go of his 22 year old son because of the bond they developed to overcome the lad's profound deafness. Now Faraday can't compete with his son's first love. Promotion has also brought the shackles of desk-work and an ever-increasing mountain of strangling paperwork. As it is, budgets are so tight that when Faraday has a hunch that there's something sinister behind a young girl's report that her father is missing, he has to fight for the manpower to investigate it.
Crime may be running out of control on Portsmouth's seamy estates but the nouveau riche of the city's trendy waterside complexes have the clout to get senior officers to demand that there is a high police profile to soothe their fears. Trying to find missing womaniser Stewart Maloney against a tight deadline leads Joe and his squad (people with their own troubles)on a trail of drugs, sex and skullduggery in stormy seas on the Fastnet Race. Next case please, Mr Hurley.
Alex Gordon, Peterborough Evening Telegraph
Turnstoneis an excellent police thriller set in and around Portsmouth, where the author has lived for 20 years. It follows the efforts of Detective Inspector Joe Faraday as he tries to find out what became of missing fast yacht racer Stewart Maloney. What sets this book apart from other thrillers is that the characters are real. The story is credible. Graham Hurley describes the seedy side of Portsmouth as it exists alongside the wealth and privilege of the yachting marina.
Joe Faraday struggles with an ever-increasing case load, an ever-decreasing budget, with manpower stretched to breaking point. All the time, Joe Faraday has to follow police procedure and attend meetings with his bosses either to defend his actions to to beg for more time and money.
Turnstone is a tough, gritty novel about a tough, gritty man. It is realistic in plot, characterisation and storyline and is well worth a read.
Giles Carr, Yorkshire Evening Post
The Paulsgrove estate in Portsmouth recently earned itself national notoriety when anti-paedophile mobs ran amok in the streets. Now it lurks like a bad dream in the pages of Graham Hurley's exceptional cop story.
Detective Inspector Faraday is the kind of instinctive copper who can't leave a mystery alone - and when a man is reported missing he just knows that foul play is involved. The dogged search leads him to a crime of passion, a storm-tossed nightmare aboard a sailing boat in the Fastnet Race and a determined cover-up. But birdwatcher Faraday has troubles of his own, both personal and professional. There's the sergeant coping with the unfaithful husband and the old-school detective who doesn't mind bending a few rules to get what he wants.
The strength of the tale lies in the tension of the characters, the authenticity of the police procedures, and a wonderful sense of place. You can almost smell the sea air as Faraday turns stones and finds all kind of nasty things underneath.
Richard Williamson, Sunday Mercury
Disparu en Mer (Turnstone) est un livre au charme doux-amer. Graham Hurley a l’art des atmospheres, une sensibilite a vous broyer le coeur, un talent irrestistible pour reveler la part de brume et de mystere des personnage et des lieux…” (Turnstone is a book with a bitter-sweet appeal. Graham Hurley has a feel for atmosphere, a sensitivity that will break your heart, and an irresistible talent for revealing ……)
Michel Abescat, Telerama