Flesh & Blood Review
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It’s been fourteen years since Susan Blacklock disappeared, never to be found—but retired Detective Inspector Frank Elder has been haunted by the case ever since. When Shane Donald, one of Elder’s main suspects in the Blacklock case, is released on parole, Elder finds himself digging up the evidence once again, determined to figure out what really happened to Susan, who would now be a woman of around thirty.

Not long after his arrival at a home for parolees, Shane runs away, frightened by one of his housemates’ threats to report Shane’s whereabouts to the angry father of Lucy Padmore, the girl whom he and Alan McKeirnan had been convicted of killing. With nowhere else to turn, Shane ends up in the one place he feels comfortable—with a traveling fair. There, he meets seventeen-year-old Angel, who loves and trusts him like no one ever has.

  
 
After Shane’s disappearance, another young girl, Emma Harrison, goes missing—and the girl’s disappearance is too similar to the Lucy Padmore case to be ignored. So Elder leaves his home in Cornwall and returns to Nottingham—where his ex-wife and his sixteen-year-old daughter, Katherine, still live—to help his old colleagues with the case. And as days pass, he finds himself—and his family—dangerously connected to the case.

Flesh & Blood is the first book in Harvey’s Frank Elder mysteries. In it, he introduces readers to Elder, the lonely retired cop whose demanding career built a wall between him and his wife and daughter. Despite his retirement, he can’t seem to let go of the job that was such a major part of his life. He’s a strong and determined character—but his vulnerability makes him especially likeable. Harvey writes his characters—everyone from Elder to Shane, the troubled kid turned criminal—with depth and humanity. Meanwhile, he follows three separate storylines—Elder’s hunt for answers in the Susan Blacklock case, the search for Emma Harrison, and Shane’s life on the run—with ever-building suspense, forcing readers to keep turning the pages to figure out if the three stories are somehow related.

Flesh & Blood is a gripping and horrifyingly real story that starts Harvey’s new series with a bang. I can only imagine what’s to come for this series—but I look forward to finding out.

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