Good Bait & The Next to Die


Good Bait is, I believe, my first John Harvey crime novel.  This was on my TBR and I don’t really remember adding it or why but when I saw it at the library I picked it up.  DCI Karen Shields is running a team investigating the death of a Moldovian boy and she is not even sure if she can find it on the map.  At the same time, DI Cordon is about to get enmeshed in a missing person case in Cornwall at the request of the mother of his former dog walker.  The story lines and detectives contrast really or stand in relief of one another rather than interconnect.   Very well plotted and paced mystery story lines here.

The novel has a big cast of rich characters and explores a large web of gang warfare, organized crime, with prostitution and trafficking featured prominently.  There are literary  and musical references, hence the title Good Bait, a well known Jazz number. A book written rich in detail.  I really enjoyed this one.

The Next to Die by Sophie Hannah, I will admit I picked this up thinking it was a stand alone not the 10th in a series.  However, I don’t think that can be the entire reason it didn’t work for me.  Half the plot seemed like things you’d see in a bad TV soap.  Charlie’s sister and the secret boyfriend, the way some of the character’s behaved, the killer was just tedious, the unfunny comedian, the strident feminist journalist, ho hum.  It was really a struggle to read this.