HAPPY DAYS

Written by Graham Hurley

Review written by Adam Colclough

Adam Colclough lives and works in the West Midlands, he writes regularly for a number of websites, one day he will get round to writing a book for someone else to review.


HAPPY DAYS
Orion
RRP: £12.99
Released: 2nd February 2012
Hbk

It's late 2009 and Bazza Mackenzie, Portsmouth’s top criminal, is about to enter into the biggest scam of his career; standing for parliament. At the same time Bazza’s ‘business’ empire is crumbling under the weight of his debts and he is about to be the subject of an elaborate police sting operation involving ex copper and long time Mackenzie associate Paul Winter.

As the campaign gathers speed Bazza’s world starts to fall apart, Winter becomes embroiled in a murderous web of conflicting loyalties and the police jockey to claim the credit if the operation is a success, or to dodge the blame if it fails.

How do you bring a popular and hugely influential series to a satisfying end? That must have been a question that loomed large over Graham Hurley as he wrote this twelfth and final Faraday and Winter novel. Do you go for an easy cop out that might let you bring the series back at some time in the future or go out with a bang. Graham Hurley has chosen to go out with a bang; good move.

The Faraday and Winter novels were always a cut above the usual run of genre fiction and this final outing does not disappoint. This is as much a book about hubris, tangled loyalties and the febrile atmosphere surrounding an election campaign as it is about cops, robbers and millions of pounds in dodgy cash.

The detail of how the police and big time criminals operate is as convincing as ever and the characters are fully three dimensional. He may be a thug but you can’t help feeling a touch of sympathy for Bazza Mackenzie as his political ambitions turn into a series of public pratfalls.

One event at the very start of the book will disappoint some readers who might have hoped for things to turn out differently, but this is a hugely satisfying ending to an above average series.

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