Flesh and Blood: Elder in love

If you love mysteries, read Flesh and Blood. The ending is an absolute stunner.

The author, John Harvey, is probably better known for his Charlie Resnick novels. But here the detective is Frank Elder. Divorced and retired from the police force, he follows up an old case when one of the two men convicted is released from prison.

Shane Donald, convicted for the rape and murder of a young girl, was also questioned about another missing girl, Susan Blacklock. But Shane denied having anything to do with her.

Elder decides to look into the case again when Shane is released. And the fallout is totally unexpected.

The stunning ending really drives home the unpredictability of the human heart. Here is a girl whose father left her mother when she was a baby and yet…

Flesh and Blood well and truly lives up to its title with moving descriptions of human relationships.

Digging up the family history, Elder is drawn to Susan’s mother, Helen. Living alone with her daughter’s memories, she responds.

She invites him to dinner and, before they know it, they are making love. Two lonely people suddenly drawn together.

Harvey has written a memorable love scene. You can feel the intensity and awkwardness of two middle-aged loners trying to cover up their embarrassment with gentle humour: