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Charlie Resnick Books In Order

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Publication Order of Charlie Resnick Books

Publication Order of Charlie Resnick Collections

Now's the Time (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon

Detective Inspector Charlie Resnick is not your ordinary character. His unwavering will power in solving crime cases is what makes him a force to reckon with. Charlie is the protagonist in a series of eleven police procedural novels authored by the sensational British writer named John Harvey. The novels are predominantly based in the city of Nottingham.

There are many things that set Charlie apart from any ordinary detective, and most notable is his love for sandwiches and jazz music. In this article, we shall look further into the intrigues that characterize the life and times of this detective and just how he managed to solve crimes and stay on top of his game.

Resnick in The Lonely Hearts

Detective Resnick is first introduced to us through the novel –Lonely Hearts. This novel was the first in the series of all the novels in which Charlie was a protagonist. Published in 1989, the novel has received several acclaims, including being named as one among the top 100 greatest crime-themed novels of the century by The Times.

As we are introduced to the life of Charlie, we are also introduced to the lives of the many police detectives who work for him, all based in Nottingham. These detectives have their own challenges, most of which are personal. The challenges appear so grave that they often get in the way of Resnick’s attempt to solve some of the most serious crimes, one of which is a vicious murder of a young woman.

As Police Constable Patel makes routine inquiries into a certain crime in a neighborhood, curiosity gets the better of him and he decides to venture into a particular house where upon entering, he is met by a lifeless body. He body is of one Shirley Peters and it appears to have been strangled with her own scarf.

On a casual analysis, this murder appears like an easy case to crack. The first suspect in the list would be none other than Shirley’s boyfriend, as he has a reputation for having violent tendencies, not to mention he is also extremely jealous.

Even before the dust can settle, another murder occurs, and a graver one at that. On running post-mortem tests on both bodies, there is a chilling revelation that both women might have been murdered by the same person. Resnick decides to dig further into some of the similarities between the two women and it is in the height of his investigations that he discovers they both advertised in the ‘lonely hearts’ column run by a local paper and he concludes their killer must have selected them from these encounters.

There are yet other chilling revelations to the effect that the second victim kept a pile of 43 letters from all the men she met. It is against this backdrop that Resnick begins his search even as further evidence shows one of the victims might have met a man only a week prior to her murder. Resnick gets the wheels in motion, beginning by tracking all the men who answered to the ads that were placed by the two victims.

Perhaps it is Resnick’s situation that makes him a perfect choice for solving these murder cases. He is a middle-aged divorcee who only has 4 cats for company so it is only fair that he understands the loneliness that people might be going through. He uses his experience to draw a conclusion that women with a secret sex life are very vulnerable.

Aside from solving the two murder cases and many more, Detective Resnick’s expertise also comes to the fore when he solves a case of abusive relationships, for example on pitting Rachel against her live-in boyfriend. Rachel is a social worker and Resnick uses her case to explain how swiftly abusive relationships can degenerate into full-blown emotional and social turbulence.

Resnick in Rough Treatment

Rough Treatment is yet another novel in the series with Detective Resnick as the protagonist. In this novel, the prowess of this detective is expounded further, and in more ways than one. He encounters a drug trafficking ring and like is the case in many such syndicates, he suspects a police hand in it as it is a well-executed affair with every stage carefully covered and totally concealed beyond the casual judgment of an ordinary police officer. Lending to his belief is the fact that drug trafficking has become almost an inseparable part and parcel of the British police. This novel is set in an unnamed Midlands city.

The case starts in the wake of Jerzy Grabianski and Trevor Grice burglarizing the house of a TV director named Harold Roy. The duo discovers his bored wife, Maria and she becomes attracted to Jerzy. Among the valuables stolen by the thieves is a kilo of cocaine. It is then that it is discovered hat Roy was dabbling in drugs upon the realization that he was on the verge of losing his job. The case takes an unprecedented twist when Maria supplies a false description of the two assailants, inspired by her interest in Jerzy who later returns to start an affair as well as negotiate selling back the cocaine.

Resnick places his main focus on the case but he has to contend with other crimes which include a possible Chinese feud. We are also introduced to many of his personal challenges, at one point seeing him ready to sell his house as he argues it holds ugly memories of his failed marriage. We also see his daughter arrested for shoplifting, which more or less satisfies the good old impression ’the hearer you are to the Church, the further you are from God’’


Detective Resnick may have been an excellent detective but he wasn’t so excellent when it came to taking care of his personal life and in many occasions, he was seen as an unkempt officer who did not care about showing up for work in shabby attire. A case in point is when his boss Superintended Jack Skelton satirically jogged to him everyday asking him to remarry so he may get his life back in order. He is also not one of the best eaters and is beginning to turn fat. In a nut shell, we can conclude he was an excellent physician who just couldn’t figure out his own personal ailment.

The book series that the detective featured in were no doubt sensational and this is why many film makers have been dying to get some into movies. Examples of the books that have made it to the films include his very first – Lonely Hearts and Rough Treatment.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Charlie Resnick

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