Book Review: Far Cry by John Harvey

Far Cry
John Harvey
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010
ISBN No. 978-0-547-31594-2

One of the biggest mistakes Ruth and Simon Pierce make is their decision to let their daughter Heather accompany her friend Kelly on a camping trip with Kelly’s family.  The two girls decided to wander off by themselves and it was sometime before either girl was located.  Kelly had been rescued by a strange man who lived alone but he had kept her safe until she was returned to her family.

After days and days of searching, Heather’s body is finally found inside some old mine workings.  The death appears to be suspicious but after investigation is eventually ruled accidental. The only thing that Simon and Ruth had to cling to was a tattered post card from Heather revealing what a wonderful time she was having.  This is a card that Ruth will refer to many times over the years since Heather’s death.

The loss of their child pulled Simon and Ruth in different directions.  Both handled their grief in different ways and eventually the two divorced and went their separate ways.  Ruth remarried and eventually had another daughter.

Life went smoothly for awhile for Ruth and her new husband but then Beatrice, Heather’s half sister vanishes.  Once again, Ruth is plunged into despair and fear for the daughter.

DI Will Grayson and his partner Helen Walker leave no stone unturned in their search for Beatrice.  The two review the case of Ruth’s daughter Heather and attempt to find some clues that might have been overlooked at that time that could be a help in finding Beatrice before it is too late.

DI Grayson also is keeping a sharp eye on a Mitchell Roberts, a creep who has been released from prison too soon according to Grayson.  Roberts has already taken up his old habit of hanging around schoolyards.

Grayson and Walker also appeared in Harvey’s previous novel Gone to GroundFar Cry is a thriller that keeps the reader on edge to the very end.

Reviewed by Patricia E. Reid, July 2011.