on 27 June 2009
I scan bookshops for Bill James and am often disappointed - plenty of P D James, very little of Bill. I can't understand why. Assisstant Chief Inspector Isles versus Adam Dalgleish: which is better? In a Harry Hill TV show there would be no doubt. Dalgleish would get a right kicking.
If you can follow this sort of logic, I think you might like Bill James. Twisted humour, dodgy morals, bent coppers and skewed philosophies mix together in a weird brew that never fails to deliver. I don't know how many books are now in the Harpur and Isles series, but I do know there is nothing quite like them. James has developed a style all of his own, a unique British take on the police procedural that has created a world which is a cross between The Sweeney and Carry On Plod, with a bit of Goodfellas thrown in. I don't read these for the plots, to be honest. It's for the characterisations, observations and black humour. Everything else is somewhat incidental so, if you haven't sampled this, I'd recommend you start further back in the series with Roses, Roses and get into it.