Mystery Books for Sale

[ Home ]
[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]


by Graham Hurley
Orion, January 2007
352 pages
9.99 GBP
ISBN: 0752868837

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The title of Graham Hurley's latest police procedural refers to the gruesome early scenes when an early-morning train out of Portsmouth runs over a body in a tunnel.

ONE UNDER appears to have two crimes at its core – the murder of the man who was chained to the railway line, and the disappearance of another, which looks suspiciously like a murder, but with no body to show for it.

The main series character is DI Joe Faraday. I've never found him to be particularly compelling – he always seems semi-detached and verging on the grey. But in ONE UNDER he becomes a much stronger presence, particularly when seen through the eyes of DC Paul Winter.

Now Winter is a great creation – the kind of old-fashioned maverick cop who could, in the wrong writing hands be a eye-rolling cliché, but in Hurley's firm grip is by far the strongest character there. He's a cop who gets results and, despite the reactions he garners from colleagues, you know he's the sort of policeman they'd secretly like to be.

In the previous book we saw Winter on the verge of a serious operation. He's back almost to fighting fitness, but with a lot of issues to deal with, including his relationship with high-class call girl Maddox. ONE UNDER is really his book, and all the stronger for it. He's left at the end with an ethical/unethical call that will leave you pondering long after you've set the book aside.

Hurley's series is one I've grown into after initially being able to take or leave it. The books aren't the paciest on the market, and most of the characters are under-drawn, but they feel eminently realistic. You're pretty certain that Hurley's providing you with a meticulous jigsaw of how the police would conduct a murder enquiry.

Also in the books' favour is the setting. Portsmouth, on the south coast of England, becomes almost like a character in its own right.

ONE UNDER is a majestic book. It's immaculately-plotted, has a strong character to anchor it, and shows police work in all its graft and frustrations.

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, December 2006

[ Top ]



Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

[ About | Reviews | Search | Submit ]
[ Home ]