‘Good Bait’ is my first John Harvey novel and I found it fairly complex and slightly difficult to follow at times, but still an excellent novel.
The novel tells two stories of separate police investigations that end up being related through the criminals involved.
DCI Karen Shields is based in London and her work life is completely stretched with a number of simultaneous investigations (her private life is pretty interesting as well). She is investigating the murder of a young Moldovan man as well as various other crimes related to drug trafficking, people trafficking and prostitution and the conflicts between gangs of Eastern European origin and the local criminal element.
Meanwhile DI Trevor Cordon, based in Cornwall, is content to count down the remaining five years till his retirement. A number of years earlier he helped a young girl – Rose, to try and avoid duplicating the drug addicted life of her mother Maxine. When Maxine asks Cordon to help find Rose (now called Leticia), he doesn’t want to get involved. But, when Maxine dies under the wheels of a train in London, he feels that he has no choice.
In finding and helping Leticia, with the aid of an old colleague – Kiley (now a private detective in London), Cordon places himself at the very edges of the law, jeopardising his retirement as well as his life.
Meanwhile, through her investigations, Karen becomes part of a task force dealing with big-time criminals, who run most of the drugs and people trafficking business in London and the associated money laundering.
The story is very much based around the main characters and how the crimes affect them personally. And, the book is very realistic with the characters staying true to character throughout. The issues dealt with in the book are contemporary issues that you would read about in English news. I think I’ll be reading plenty more John Harvey in the future.
Book Published 2012