Kelly's Reviews > You'd Better Believe It

You'd Better Believe It by Bill  James
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Aug 12, 10

bookshelves: mystery
Read in August, 2010

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 later "Roses, Roses" is, I couldn't help but notice that this first effort is weaker, but there are strokes of genius: character development (of the show, don't tell variety), complicated ethical and moral dilemmas on the part of the police, and a blurring between good guys and bad guys.

This is an almost-perfect example of how a book can be gritty and street-smart, yet still be intelligent. I only say "almost-perfect," because I know James' style is only going to get better.

I can't wait for the ride.
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