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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rivetting read
You don't need me to tell you what this is about - you can read the synopsis for yourself. If you want to know whether this is worth your time and money, then the answer is a resounding yes, if your tastes run to Detective fiction, because John Harvey writes some of the best examples of the genre.

This is the second of the Frank Elder books, and it's just as...
Published on 6 Oct. 2007 by Andy Edwards

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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but not his best
I usually rave over Harvey's books, but this seemed comparatively flat to me. There was not much character development and while the story wasn't bad, I didn't feel involved in it. I did, however, appreciate the brief appearances of Charlie Resnick, Harvey's best known character.
Published on 19 July 2005 by L. J. Roberts


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rivetting read, 6 Oct. 2007
By 
Andy Edwards "staxasoul" (Essex UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
You don't need me to tell you what this is about - you can read the synopsis for yourself. If you want to know whether this is worth your time and money, then the answer is a resounding yes, if your tastes run to Detective fiction, because John Harvey writes some of the best examples of the genre.

This is the second of the Frank Elder books, and it's just as good as the first. The characters are credible and well developed, as is the plot, which has 2 distinct elements which come to a satisfying conclusion. Well paced and written in a no nonsense style, this is highly recommended. If you like Peter Robinson, or say, Michael Connolly, then you'll like this
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and gripping, 19 April 2008
By 
Bluebell (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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A year or so ago, I discovered John Harvey as a writer by mistake -- I thought I was buying a thriller by Ian Rankin's Nom de Plume, Jack Harvey! But I wasn't disappointed. He and Ian Rankin (in his Rebus crime novels) have certain similarities in their styles of gritty realism and that their main characters are Detective Inspectors (retired in the case of Harvey's Frank Elder) who are loners with broken marriages and daughters who have been kidnapped in the past.

Ash and Bone starts with a riveting first chapter that is the spring-board to a gripping central murder story about which two other narratives intertwine. Consequently, there are quite a few characters to keep track of, but by the end of the book the threads are all brought together very satisfactorily.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 4 Jun. 2008
By 
M. V. Clarke (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Having read a few of John Harvey's short stories, including one featuring Frank Elder, the central character of this novel, I looked forward to reading this, and was not disappointed. It's a gripping story, vividly told with detailed characters and a complex and convincing plot. Harvey's characters are multi-layered individuals - we see much of Elder's professional, personal and family life in detail, while his relationships with colleagues are a source of light humour. There are multiple strands to the plot, some apparently obvious while others come as a great surprise. Well worth reading.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well written and tightly plotted, 7 Sept. 2008
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This review is from: Ash and Bone (Paperback)
This is a rattling read as we get to grips with crimes past and present as well as the tortuous private life of the main character. A bleak tale of greed and nastiness with little to make you optimistic about the police force's capacity to reform itself or of man's capacity to do good.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solid police procedural, 15 Jan. 2015
I've read and enjoyed quite a few of the Resnick novels, and although this one features Frank Elder, the style is very similar. There are really three separate strands to the story, two of them arising from a murder in London and one concerning Elder's daughter in Nottingham. They don't actually come together, but they are all tied up satisfactorily, although with few surprises. I would read another of the Frank Elder books, but perhaps not the first one - there are two many spoilers in this one to make it worthwhile.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another cracker..., 10 Jan. 2011
J.H. very rarely fails to impress and this one is no exception - it hooks the reader in the first few pages and effortlessly manages to run seemingly disparate plotlines together throughout, yet still be easily followed and believable all the way to a satifying conclusion.

Many shocks and surprises along the way as is usual from the author - very much recommended for fans of the detective/thriller genre - if you like Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin et al you won't be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing., 11 Nov. 2014
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Another absorbing novel. Frank Elder is a sympathetic character - I can easily identify with him and the challenges he faces, not just with the cold cases he is asked to help with, but also with the people he is closer to.
The plot moves along at a good pace - there is always something of interest happening; the settings are always well drawn and full of detail.
Overall, a really good read and this character can be found in other books in this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Crime thriller, 27 Feb. 2013
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Excellent novel. Love this authors style of writing and the plot is good. Will certainly read other novels by him.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars crime close to home, 5 Aug. 2006
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I have only recently discovered John Harvey with Flesh and Blood, which I enjoyed so much I ordered Ash and Bone the same day! I found this to have a slower start, but the death of Maddy Birch had me so instantly hooked I was unable to put the book to one side and literally found myself sitting up into the small hours reading!

I found the three main storylines worked well together, but it was Frank's professional determination to catch Maddy's killer and his personal inability to deal with Katherine's previous rape and abduction that really put this in the 5 star category for me. Unlike many crime novels, this one actually causes the reader to ponder the impact of crime on society, rather than simply creating a great story with a neatly sewn-up ending. I found myself thinking about many elements this book after finishing it...

John Harvey has created a novel with a page turning plot, sensitively written relationships and a true sense of haunting fear and terror throughout, yet none of these elements overwhelms the other. A truly intelligent crime novel!
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GOLD TROPHY FOR "ASH & BONE", 11 Dec. 2005
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ash and Bone (Hardcover)
"Maddy Birch would never see thirty again. Nor forty either." This is what she thought as she frowned into a mirror that revealed wrinkles beginning to show around her mouth and gray sneaking into her hair. The first lines of "Ash & Bone" describe someone growing older. Sounds benign, doesn't it?
Here's a woman none too pleased with the signs of aging as she approaches her 44th birthday. She's a British detective sergeant assigned to Serious and Organized Crime. Her bank account's thin and she's making payments on her flat. Maddy doesn't think that's much to show for "half a lifetime on the force."
Readers are immediately drawn to this no-nonsense likable woman. She's devoted to her job, doesn't much care for the condescension shown females on the force, and most definitely isn't interested in suggestive leers or clumsy gropes from her fellow officers. When we first meet her she's in a minor state of shock. She had recently accompanied Detective Superintendent Mallory and young Paul Draper on a raid to capture a top criminal, James William Grant. During that foray Grant is shot and killed by Mallory who notes, "Textbook. Head and heart." The killing, Mallory finds, is cause for "A wee celebration."
At this point readers are totally hooked, wondering where ace thriller writer John Harvey is going with Maddy and her response to this experience. Thus, it's quite a shocker when she is found dead early on, page 64 to be exact.
Leading up to this Harvey has skillfully reintroduced retired Detective Inspector Frank Elder, who has received a disturbing telephone call from his former wife. It seems their teenage daughter, Katherine, is running amok, staying out for all hours, sometimes overnight, keeping company with a drug dealer.. Elder blames himself for Katherine's anti-social behavior, believing it to be trauma caused by her earlier kidnaping and rape - a crime he feels he could have prevented. This is remorse he can't erase even by "the slow but steady application of alcohol to the wound, the plastering over of helplessness and guilt."
Thus, we have two parallel stories, Katherine's salvation and the murder of Maddy Birch. Elder, humane, honest, lonely, comes out of retirement to help with the investigation of Maddy's death and at the same time try to reconnect with a daughter he loves.
Word master Harvey creates revelatory dialogue that tells you more about the characters than any physical or emotional description could. This author is so adroit that even silences between people speak. His story is, of course, a police procedural, but penned with realism seldom found and respect for the characters he has created. He's devised a fast moving many layered plot that totally absorbs.
Suffice it to say that Elder almost meets his match in Detective Karen Shields, smart, black, great looking, and an intimidating six feet tall. Together they begin to unearth evidence that Grant's killing goes far beyond a routine police shooting and may, in fact, jeopardize the credibility of the entire unit.
Harvey's first novel featuring Frank Elder, "Flesh & Blood," won the British Crime Writers' Association Silver Daggar Award - polish a gold trophy for "Ash & Bone."
- Gail Cooke
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Ash And Bone: (Frank Elder)
Ash And Bone: (Frank Elder) by John Harvey (Paperback - 25 April 2013)
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