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You'd Better Believe It (Harpur & Iles #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  69 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Nominated for England's Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award in 1986, You'd Better Believe It introduced Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur to reader in England and the United States. Harpur's domain is a small seaport city south of London. It's not unusual for the big-town criminals to consider such a spot as easy prey. At such times a policeman must rely ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published July 17th 2008 by Countryman Press
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Aug 12, 2010 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
As Punch often said in the Punch and Judy skits: "Now THAT'S the way to do it!"

Writing police procedurals, that is.

I first read Bill James' "Roses, Roses" --which is actually the tenth book in the Harpur and Iles series --and it instantly made my "ten best" list of mystery novels.

I couldn't wait to go back and read the series from the beginning, but finding a copy of "You'd Better Believe It" in the US proved difficult. Ten years later, I finally got a copy and devoured it.

Knowing how great the
Ann Collette
A client recommended this to me. It's a taunt and terse, very British thriller about a cop's relationship with his confidential informants (or "narks," as they're called in the book -- very confusing for an American reader!). Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur has been told by one of his shadiest informants that a big bank robbery is about to go down. But he has to be cautious with his firepower, as he's only recently been the target of an investigation into a shooting that created a lo ...more
Carole Kauf
I always like to try new mystery series that are recommended in the NYT book review column by Marilyn Stasio. This is a Welsh detective - pretty good, not great. Not sure if I would read the whole series.
Jul 31, 2010 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first in a series I've always heard good things about. Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a purist and was more willing to start a series on the third or fourth book after it has hit its stride.

That said, this is a solid read that is as much a police procedural as it is a hard-boiled story. A rough and tough cop story that wastes no time. Quick, with some interesting character traits and moral gray areas that I am sure will continue to grow as the series progresses.

All the necessary potential to
Nov 13, 2014 Frank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Bill James is a pseudonym for James Tucker, a Welsh novelist, born in 1929. He is not associated with baseball.
The story is fast-paced and ends nicely, though not as expected. The dialog is full of British euphemisms so be ready. If you are a fan of British detective stories or shows, this is a good read.
Apr 29, 2013 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Very complex and twisted. There's not an admirable character in the bunch.
Robert Van Tuyl
Jan 06, 2015 Robert Van Tuyl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gritty police/criminal interaction in England.
David Booher
Mar 04, 2009 David Booher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Other edition to be linked 1 1 Sep 02, 2011 03:08PM  
Bill James (born 1929) is a pseudonym of James Tucker, a Welsh novelist. He also writes under his own name and the pseudonyms David Craig and Judith Jones. He was a reporter with the Daily Mirror and various other newspapers after serving with the RAF He is married, with four children, and lives in South Wales.

The bulk of his output under the Bill James pseudonym is the Harpur and Iles series. Col
More about Bill James...

Other Books in the Series

Harpur & Iles (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • The Lolita Man (Harpur & Iles, #2)
  • Halo Parade (Harpur & Iles, #3)
  • Protezione (Harpur & Iles, #4)
  • Come Clean (Harpur & Iles, #5)
  • Take (Harpur & Iles, #6)
  • Club (Harpur & Iles, #7)
  • Astride a Grave (Harpur & Iles, #8)
  • Gospel (Harpur & Iles, #9)
  • Roses, Roses (Harpur & Iles, #10)
  • In Good Hands (Harpur & Iles, #11)

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