Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Angels Passing by Graham Hurley

Title: Angels Passing
Author: Graham Hurley
ISBN: 9780752849539
Publisher: Orion Publishing Group, 2006
Paperback, 424 pages
Genre: Police Procedural, #3 D.I. Joe Faraday mystery
Rating: A+
Source: Purchased from Bookcloseouts.

First Line: For months afterwards, awake and asleep, Faraday dwelt on that final second and a half.

D.I. Joe Faraday is investigating the death of Helen Bassam, a fourteen-year-old girl who fell to her death from a Portsmouth tower block. When the body of a drug dealer is found hanging from a tree, the head of the Major Crimes Squad pulls in all the manpower he can get his hands on, and Faraday is scrambling to hang onto what little he's got.

The case sends Faraday directly into Portsmouth's bleak underworld of wrecked families and children cast adrift. On the trail of a ten-year-old boy who may hold the key piece of evidence in Helen's death, Faraday finds himself in the middle of a crisis much closer to home.

Graham Hurley is one of the best writers of police procedurals in the world today. He brings "Pompey" (Portsmouth, England) to life from the industrial sector to the enclaves of the rich, from the slums to a wide variety of non-human wildlife.

Joe Faraday is a single father whose deaf son has been a challenge to raise. To de-stress from fatherhood and crime, he goes for long walks to watch birds. (Every good copper has to have at least one thing to help him cope, eh?) But Faraday and the reader is never far away from the crime, and in this case-- which deals so closely with broken homes and children living on the streets-- the crime is often heartbreaking.

Hurley's series is one of my favorites, not just for the strong plots, but for the strong sense of place and a cast of multi-faceted, evolving characters. One of these days I'm going to get my ex-Royal Navy husband (who was stationed in Portsmouth) to read one of these Joe Faraday novels. Something tells me he's going to enjoy them as much as I do.


  1. This sounds very very good! Thanks.

  2. Cathy - Thanks for this excellent review :-). I agree completely that the best series have evolving characters, a compelling setting and believable events.

  3. Mystica-- You're welcome!

    Margot-- There's no doubt in my mind that the author lives in-- and loves-- Pompey!


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