When I met Inspector Charlie Resnick a year ago, I felt I'd run into an old friend. I was comfortable with him immediately; with his lonely lifestyle, his heartache over his long failed marriage and even the ever-present spots on his ties. Charlie's a private man who loves jazz, his three cats, and his police work. Occasionally, he reaches out for female companionship, and much like real life, it's usually a mistake with his heart leading his mind.
On Christmas Eve Inspector Resnick goes to the police station party held at a local hotel. At the same hotel, an architect's firm is also having their Christmas celebration. When a woman is reported missing the next day by her roommate, it's learned that she vanished upon leaving the architect's party and that Charlie is very likely the last person to have seen her alive. During the investigation Charlie becomes physically involved with a witness while nurturing a secret affection for one of the female police officers in his office. There are subplots that are as interesting as the main mystery, especially one about a poor family living in cold, damp public housing.
I always feel like the time that I invest in reading a Charlie Resnick mystery is time well spent. John Harvey achieves what many try but few can accomplish: he gets the balance between "likeable good guy" and "flawed angst-ridden hero" just right. Charlie's motivations and actions are almost always understandable, giving him a very human persona. I highly recommend COLD LIGHT, the sixth in the series, and all the others in the Charlie Resnick series.
This report prepared by Vicky Shultz