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Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
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Philip K. Dick
Brian Wilson Aldiss
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Abraham Maslow

Beyond Reach (Di Joe Faraday)

Beyond Reach - Graham Hurley I read this book as part of the Isle of Man Crime Book Club reads. It isn’t one I would have chosen myself for two reasons; I’m not really into police procedurals (books that is, I don’t mind them on TV) and this is number ten in a series featuring the main characters. From what I can gather they seem to follow on. However, I did enjoy it. There were themes I felt I was missing because I haven’t read the previous books I don’t think this mattered – this book was a unit in its own right. It actually felt like a feature length, very gritty, episode of The Bill – from the days when The Bill was good.The book is set in Portsmouth in 2008. The main non-police characters are the extended family of an ex-gangster turned legitimate business man, named Baz. The first part of the book is taken up with a hit and run. Other themes are the police’s attempts to convict Baz – for any crime by whatever means (although they are sticking to real rather than jumped up charges) . The real aim is to be able to seize his wealth – fired by a form of jealousy along with a genuine desire to show that crime does not pay.The main cop DCI Faraday is burnt out. He no longer believes in what he is doing. He’s seen too much of the bad side of life to believe in the good side any more. He and ex-DC Winter – who now works for Baz – are the series main characters. The book hangs together well as do the characters. Characters are extreme, yet believable. Except for one thing: a character called Mo Sturrock who gains a larger role as the book progresses. He is a social worker, Winter is trying to recruit for a charity run by Baz. In his first scene Sturrock meets Winter in a Portsmouth pub. He asks the landlady for veggie food as he is a veggie. This is all plausible – he is a caring person and is a vegetarian. The next time we see him eat, a good 150 pages later, he states that he doesn’t want prawns as they are in garlic and his kids hate the smell of garlic. OK, vegetarians don’t eat prawns but some people who eat sea food call themselves vegetarians, so still feasible. On the next page he eats a shoulder of lamb and on the following page he eats a bacon sandwich. Both of these are with Winter, who was with him at the pub when he claimed to be a veggie. I really think Hurley made a slip and forgot that he’d even mentioned the vegetarianism.There is also a cold case, the book begins with it in the prologue. All the action in the book ends and there are about 60 pages left to go. Faraday has been given the cold case – a rape. You might as well have hung a big light on the culprit and the slight twist. I won’t say anything more in case it does spoil it for you but it is flagged up well to early. It doesn’t add anything to the novel, in fact it detracts from it. The final twists are OK but not worth the extra 60 pages of reading. The book should have ended sooner, but it lacked a suitable resolution. This was a weak point in what was an enjoyable read. If you like procedurals this is worth the read – although I would start at book one.