Recently I was given the opportunity to review this book by Severn House via NetGalley. Even though I was only up to the 12th book in the series, and this is the 16th, I decided to break my rules and take a chance and read the most recent book in the series. I am glad I did.
I like all kinds of police procedural series. I like them traditional, with less violence. I like them gritty with cops with more behavioral or psychological problems. And in between. I see this series as a traditional, cozyish series. There is a strong focus on the lives of the two major characters (Slider and his partner Atherton) in addition to the investigation of the crime; that makes it feel more realistic.
A concise summary of this book in a brief piece on "The British Police Procedural" at the publisher's site:
Harrod-Eagles' sixteenth book in the Bill Slider series, Hard Going, has her detective inspector trying to juggle his personal life while he and his team must investigate the brutal killing of an elderly solicitor who seemingly had no enemies.In this case, the police can find very little information about the victim. He has many friends and acquaintances in his neighborhood, and he is known for helping out hard-luck cases, but his friends can provide no background on him. No next of kin. Slider and his team must work hard to find where he came from. I think I must especially enjoy the situation where a person's identity is in question, because I just read Henrietta Who? by Catherine Aird and enjoyed that story as well. (See that review here.)
Like many long running series, this one has its ups and downs, but I have found it a series worth sticking with. The characters are likable. I find that the policemen are very well-defined characters, the other persons involved in the crime less so. These books tell the story of the day by day investigation, looking for leads and connections, searching hours of CCTV tapes to trace the activities of the suspects.The series is known for its wit and humor, but this one seemed less humorous to me. Which was fine.
Cynthia Harrod-Eagles was born in Shepherd's Bush in London, which is the setting of the Bill Slider series. At her website, you can find a brief history of Shepherd's Bush and a lovely map. She is the author of over 70 novels, including the MORLAND DYNASTY series which extended to 35 books.