Frank Elder

Created by John Harvey

Whether FRANK ELDER, a retired Nottingham detective inspector, qualifies as a private eye, is a topic for another day. He’s moved far, far way from his past, all the way out to the boonies of Cornwall, leaving behind a broken marriage, although he does try to keep in touch with their troubled daughter. He doesn’t take cases or accept clients — he’s retired, damn it! — but he does occasionally come out of retirement to do “favours” for — or otherwise help out —  friends and family in four dark, richly atmospheric novels, full of heart and hurt. And then there’s that old case that still troubles him.

To be sure, it’s all ground that’s been worked before, but Harvey’s such a powerful writer, not afraid to tear deep into the heart and souls of his characters, while juggling  complex, multiple narratives and cascading viewpoints and time lines, that he makes it all worthwhile. It’s just a shame his stuff isn’t better known in the States.


  • “Full of sharp and poetic sketches. Once the multiple criminal mysteries have been solved or resolved, the puzzle remains of what’s to become of the solitary Elder. It’s a tribute to Mr. Harvey’s skill that we look forward to finding out. Swiftly paced.”
    – The Wall Street Journal


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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