A prolific writer since the mid-1970’s, John Harvey has written—in his own name and under a number of pseudonyms—in a wide variety of subgenres, including motorcycle adventure stories, Westerns, war stories, private eye novels, police procedurals, amateur sleuth novels, and thrillers. In addition to novels, he has written poetry, short stories, books for juveniles, and novelizations of films and television shows. He also has written for television and radio. Probably the best known of Harvey’s many creations is Charlie Resnick, the competent, unambitious detective inspector who is the central character in a series of well-regarded police procedurals and a number of short stories.
Harvey has received considerable commercial and critical success during his lengthy career. His first Resnick series novel, Lonely Hearts (1989), was short-listed for the Gold Dagger Award by the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) and was named one of the one hundred most notable crime novels of the twentieth century by the Times of London, and his adaptation of the novel for television earned a bronze medal for best screenplay at the 1992 New York Festival. Often nominated for other CWA awards, Harvey has won the Sherlock Award for the best British detective novel for Last Rites (1998), the Sony Radio Drama Silver Award for his adaptation of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair (1999), and the Grand Prix du Roman Noir for Cold Light (1994). Harvey’s first entry in a crime series featuring retired detective Frank Elder, Flesh and Blood (2004), won the CWA’s Silver Dagger Award for fiction and the American Barry Award as best British crime novel of the year. In 2007, Harvey won the Prix du Polar Européen for Ash and Bone (2005). The same year he was honored with the CWA’s Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for sustained excellence in crime writing.