Harvey, John 1938–

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Harvey, John 1938–

(Jon Barton, J.B. Dancer, Jon Hart, John B. Harvey, John Barton Harvey, Terry Lennox, Thom Ryder; William S. Brady, L.J. Coburn, William M. James, James Mann, John J. Mclaglen, J.D. Sandon, Michael Syson, (joint pseudonyms)

PERSONAL: Born December 21, 1938, in London, England; divorced; married, wife's name Sarah; children: (first marriage) Tom, Leanne; (second marriage) Molly Ernestine Boiling. Education: Goldsmith's College, London, teaching certificate, 1963; Hatfield Polytechnic, B.A., 1974; University of Nottingham, M.A., 1979.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Sarah Lutyens, Lutyens & Rubinstein, 231 Westbourne Park Rd., London W11 1EB, England.

CAREER: Writer, novelist, poet, reviewer, broadcaster, musician, performer, publisher, and educator. English and drama teacher in England, at schools in Heanor, Andover, and Stevenage, 1963–74; Slow Dancer Press, Nottingham, England, editor and publisher, 1977–99; University of Nottingham, lecturer in film and literature, 1979–86; Squaw Valley Community of Writers Fiction Workshop, CA, instructor, 1995. Served as tutor for residential writing courses at Aryon Foundation.

MEMBER: Crime Writers Association of Great Britain, Mystery Writers of America, Detection Club, Private Eye Writers of America, Writers' Guild.

AWARDS, HONORS: Crime Writers Association (CWA) Gold Dagger for Best Novel shortlist, 1990; Bronze medal, drama series screenplay, The New York Festivals, 1992, for Resnick: Lonely Hearts; CWA Dagger in the Library shortlist, 1995; French CWA Best Foreign Novel Award shortlist, 1997, for Off Minor; Sherlock Award, Best British Detective, 1999, for Charlie Resnick in Last Rites; silver award, radio drama section, Sony Radio Awards, 1999, for adaptation of Graham Greene's The End of the Affair; Grand Prix du Roman Noir Etranger du Cognag, 2000, for Cold Light; CWA Silver Dagger for Fiction, and Barry Award for Best British Crime Novel, Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine, both 2004, both for Flesh and Blood.


(Under pseudonym Thom Ryder) Avenging Angel, New English Library (London, England), 1975.

(Under pseudonym Thom Ryder) Angel Alone, New English Library (London, England), 1975.

Amphetamines and Pearls, Sphere (London, England), 1976.

The Geranium Kiss, Sphere (London, England), 1976.

(Under pseudonym Jon Barton) Kill Hitler, Corgi (London, England), 1976.

(Under pseudonym Jon Barton) Forest of Death, Corgi (London, England), 1977.

(Under pseudonym Jon Barton) Lightning Strikes, Corgi (London, England), 1977.

Junkyard Angel, Sphere (London, England), 1977.

Neon Madman, Sphere (London, England), 1977.

Frame, Methuen (London, England), 1979.

Blind, Methuen (London, England), 1981.

(Under pseudonym James Mann) Endgame, New English Library (London, England), 1982.

(Under pseudonym Terry Lennox) Dancer Draws a Wild Card, R. Hale (London, England), 1985.

Now's the Time, Slow Dancer Press (Nottingham, England), 1999.

In A True Light: A Novel of Crime, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2002.

Flesh and Blood, Heinemann (London, England), 2004, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.

Ash & Bone, Heinemann (London, England), 2005, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2005.

Darkness and Light, Heinemann (London, England), 2006, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.


One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing (screenplay), New English Library (London, England), 1976.

Herbie Rides Again (screenplay), New English Library (London, England), 1977.

Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (screenplay), illustrations by Tony Masero, New English Library (London, England), 1978.

(Under joint pseudonym Michael Syson) The Eagle's Wing, Corgi (London, England), 1978.

Duty Free (television series), Ravette Publishing (London, England), 1986.

More Duty Free (television series), Ravette Publishing (London, England), 1986.

Hard Cases (television series), Ravette Publishing (London, England), 1987.


Provence (poetry), Priapus Press (London, England), 1978.

The Old Postcard Trick (poetry), Slow Dancer Press (Nottingham, England), 1985.

Neil Sedaka Lied (poetry), Smith Doorstop (London, England), 1987.

The Downeast Poems, Smith Doorstop (London, England), 1989.

(With Sue Dymoke) Sometime Other Than Now, Slow Dancer Press (Nottingham, England), 1989.

Ghosts of a Chance, Smith Doorstop (London, England), 1992.

Territory, Slow Dancer Press (Nottingham, England), 1992.

Bluer Than This, Smith/Doorstop Books (Chester Springs, PA), 1998.


What about It, Sharon?, Penguin (New York, NY), 1979.

Reel Love, Scholastic Press (London, England), 1982.

Sundae Date, Scholastic Press (London, England), 1983.

What Game Are You Playing?, Scholastic Press (London, England), 1983.

Footwork, Scholastic Press (London, England), 1984.

Last Summer, First Love, Pan (London, England), 1986.

Wild Love, Pan (London, England), 1986.

Daylight Robbery!, Beaver (London, England), 1987.

Hot Property!, Beaver (London, England), 1987.

Kidnap!, Beaver (London, England), 1987.

Downeast to Danger, Beaver (London, England), 1988.

Runner!, Beaver (London, England), 1988.

Terror Trap!, Beaver (London, England), 1988.

Nick's Blues, Syros (Paris, France), 2005.


Just Another Little Blues Song (television drama), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC-TV), 1984.

Anna of the Five Towns (dramatic television adaptation), BBC-TV, 1985.

Hard Cases (dramatic television series), Central Television, 1987–88.

Constance and Sophia (adaptation of The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennet), BBC-TV, 1987–88.

Dance, Girl, Dance (episode in Spender series), BBC-TV, 1990.

The Secret House of Death (adaptation of novel by Ruth Rendell), ITV, 1994.


Lonely Hearts, Holt (New York, NY), 1989.

Rough Treatment, Holt (New York, NY), 1990.

Cutting Edge, Holt (New York, NY), 1991.

Off Minor, Holt (New York, NY), 1992.

Wasted Years, Holt (New York, NY), 1993.

Cold Light, Holt (New York, NY), 1994.

Living Proof, Holt (New York, NY), 1995.

Easy Meat, Holt (New York, NY), 1996.

Still Water, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 1997.

Last Rites, Heinemann (London, England), 1998.


Blue Lightning (crime anthology), Heinemann (London, England), 2003.

Men from Boys (crime anthology), Dark Alley (New York, NY), 2005.


Blood Money, Fontana (London, England), 1979.

Blood Kin, Fontana (London, England), 1980.

Killing Time, Fontana (London, England), 1980.

Dead Man's Hand, Fontana (London, England), 1981.

Desperadoes, Fontana (London, England), 1981.

Whiplash, Fontana (London, England), 1981.

Death and Jack Shade, Fontana (London, England), 1982.

Sierra Gold, Fontana (London, England), 1982.

Border War, Fontana (London, England), 1983.

Killer!, Fontana (London, England), 1983.

War Party, Fontana (London, England), 1983.

The Lost, Fontana (London, England), 1984.


The Raiders, Sphere (London, England), 1977.

Bloody Shiloh, Sphere (London, England), 1978.


Evil Breed, Coronet (London, England), 1977.

Judgment Day, Coronet (London, England), 1978.

The Hanged Man, Coronet (London, England), 1979.


Black Blood, Mayflower (London, England), 1977.

Guerrilla Attack!, Mayflower (London, England), 1977.

High Slaughter, Mayflower (London, England), 1977.

Triangle of Death, Mayflower (London, England), 1977.

Death Raid, Mayflower (London, England), 1978.


Blood Trail, Pan (London, England), 1980.

Cherokee Outlet, Pan (London, England), 1980.

The Silver Lie, Pan (London, England), 1980.

Tago, Pan (London, England), 1980.

Blood on the Border, Pan (London, England), 1981.

Ride the Wide Country, Pan (London, England), 1981.

Arkansas Breakout, Pan (London, England), 1982.

John Wesley Hardin, Pan (London, England), 1982.

California Bloodlines, R. Hale (London, England), 1983.

The Skinning Place, R. Hale (London, England), 1983.


Blood Rising, Pinnacle (London, England), 1979.

Blood Brother, Pinnacle (London, England), 1980.

Death Dragon, Pinnacle (London, England), 1981.

Death Ride, Pinnacle (London, England), 1983.

The Hanging, Pinnacle (London, England), 1983.


River of Blood, Corgi (London, England), 1976.

Death in Gold, Corgi (London, England), 1977.

Shadow of the Vulture, Corgi (London, England), 1977.

Cross-Draw, Corgi (London, England), 1978.

Vigilante!, Corgi (London, England), 1979.

Billy the Kid, Corgi (London, England), 1980.

Sun Dance, Corgi (London, England), 1980.

Till Death …, Corgi (London, England), 1980.

Dying Ways, Corgi (London, England), 1982.

Hearts of Gold, Corgi (London, England), 1982.

Wild Blood, Corgi (London, England), 1983.


Border Affair, Mayflower (London, England), 1979.

Cannons in the Rain, Mayflower (London, England), 1979.

Mazatlan, Mayflower (London, England), 1980.

Wheels of Thunder, Mayflower (London, England), 1981.

Durango, Mayflower (London, England), 1982.


Contributor of short stories to periodicals, including Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Western. Contributor of stories to anthologies, including London Noir, edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Serpent's Tale, 1994; The Orion Book of Murder, edited by Peter Haining, Orion, 1996; Crime in the City, edited by Martin Edwards, Do-Not Press, 2002; Like a Charm, edited by Karin Slaughter, Century, 2004; and Murder Is My Racquet, edited by Otto Penzler, Mysterious Press, 2005. Author of dramatic and documentary radio scripts for BBC-Radio, including Ivy Who?, 1987; Three for the Road, 1992; and Alex Welsh: The Lemonade King. Adapter of The End of the Affair, by Graham Greene, for radio. Adapter of works by Arnold Bennett, A.S. Byatt, Richard Ford, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Jayne Anne Phillips. Slow Dancer Magazine, editor, 1977–93.

ADAPTATIONS: Lonely Hearts was adapted as a television film, Deco Films, BBC-TV, 1992; Rough Treatment was adapted as a television film, Deco Films, BBC-TV, 1992; Wasted Years was adapted as a radio drama, BBC Radio, 1995; Cutting Edge was adapted as a radio drama, 1996.

SIDELIGHTS: John Harvey is the author of dozens of books, including mystery novels, juvenile novels, television scripts, books of poetry, western novels, and works in other genres, all under a variety of pseudonyms. He taught in English secondary schools for twelve years, until 1975, and was also an educator at the University of Nottingham. Harvey was also owner and publisher of Slow Dancer Press, which he ran from 1977 to 1999. Among his more popular work is his Charlie Resnick series of crime novels, books that center around compassionate, good-natured jazz lover and police investigator Charlie Resnick. In the Resnick books, Harvey focuses on the day-to-day, ordinary worklife of the British police inspector. The series has proven to be popular with readers and critics alike.

Harvey introduced a new police series with Flesh and Blood. Frank Elder is called upon to come out of retirement and help investigate the disappearance of a sixteen-year-old girl. The case has particular resonance for Elder because of his own daughter, roughly the same age as the missing girl. He is also drawn to the case because it seems similar to crimes perpetrated fifteen years earlier by Shane Donald, a felon that Elder helped to convict and who is now out on parole. The stakes increase dramatically when Elder's daughter is herself endangered. Susan G. Baird in the Library Journal commented favorably on Harvey's "realistic, well-developed characters" and "superior writing" throughout the novel. "Harvey remains a sensitive but never sentimental chronicler of the underclass, and it's great to have him back where he belongs," commented Booklist reviewer Bill Ott. Roland Person, writing in the Library Journal, called Harvey a "master still in great form."

Elder returns in Ash & Bone, which opens with him reeling from the breakup of his marriage and trying to cope with his daughter's brutal assault a year earlier. When Elder agrees to help investigate the murder of a former police officer, he is brought into contact with Maddy Birch, a forty-four-year-old cop with whom Elder once had a brief fling. Maddy is herself facing inner turmoil as she struggles with certain knowledge she possesses about her superior officer's killing of a much-wanted, and much-reviled fugitive. Harvey skillfully uses "character and dialog, with a strong sense of place, to draw complex characters in complex situations," observed Roland Person in the Library Journal. Ott, in another Booklist review, commented: "Perhaps no other crime writer combines unflinching realism with bedrock humanity as convincingly as Harvey."

Harvey served as editor of the crime anthology Men from Boys, which offers a collection of hard-boiled mystery stories from writers such as Daniel Woodrell, Jeffrey Deaver, Michael Connelly, Andrew Coburn, and Dennis Lehane. The stories focus on the concept of what it means to be, and become, a man, and offers tales of initiations, father-son conflicts, sins-of-the-father retribution, prodigal sons, and family deviousness. "This bumpy ride on the cycle of violence makes a rewarding sampler for any fan of hard-boiled crime" fiction, noted David Wright in Booklist.

About writing crime fiction, Harvey remarked: "When I sat down to write Lonely Hearts, the first of the Charlie Resnick novels, it was with a clear sense of purpose; what I wanted to do was write a story which would simultaneously be English in its content and American in its influence. Its place and people would recognisably belong to the time and place in which I was living, but the means of presenting them would be closer to those of writers such as Elmore Leonard and Ross Thomas—which is to say the narrative would be character-based and dialogue driven and that it would be possible for the tone to shift between the quirkily humorous and the highly dramatic. I was also impressed by the ways in which many American crime writers seemed able to convey a strong sense of a specific place and atmosphere in their work without resorting to the rather lengthy descriptive writing employed by some of their British counterparts.

"My home was in Nottingham at the time—my second spell of living in that city—and I had previously used it as a setting for a television series called Hard Cases, which was a dramatic look at the work of probation officers and their clients, using a multi-strand narrative closely based upon that of Hill Street Blues. What these programs tried to do was marry the realistic feel of location filming—in itself a strong characteristic of much of British film and television—with the fast pace and off-the-wall humor that was much a part of Hill Street Blues' success.

"Once it became clear that the Resnick books were going to become an ongoing series—a sequence—I was confirmed in my intention of giving, through them, a picture of what living in a medium-sized, post-industrial British city was like in the post-Thatcher years. Most of the crimes I write about are ordinary and everyday; they are committed by ordinary, everyday people, and because I believe the roots of most crime is socioeconomic it makes sense that I write in what is largely a 'realist' mode.

"So while I'm tipping some kind of a stylistic hat at Leonard and Thomas and towards the writers of Hill Street Blues and their forerunners—Joseph Waumbaugh and Ed McBain—much of my roots lie in that school of English heightened social realism which harks back to Dickens and which, in Nottingham, means that it's difficult not to be aware of Alan Sillitoe and the early D.H. Lawrence breathing down your neck as you walk across the Old Market Square or enter Yates' Wine Lodge of a Friday night."



Booklist, May 1, 2004, Bill Ott, review of Flesh and Blood, p. 504; June 1, 2005, David Wright, review of Men from Boys, p. 1761; November 1, 2005, Bill Ott, review of Ash & Bone, p. 5.

Library Journal, July, 2004, Roland Person, review of Flesh and Blood, p. 64; December 1, 2004, Ann Kim, review of Men from Boys, p. 96; February 1, 2005, Susan G. Baird, audiobook review of Flesh and Blood, p. 122; October 15, 2005, Roland Person, review of Ash & Bone, p. 52.

Publishers Weekly, October 3, 2005, review of Ash & Bone, p. 50.


Mellotone Web site, http://www.mellotone.co.uk (March 25, 2006), biography of John Harvey.

Mystery Authors Online, http://www.mysteryauthorsonline.com/ (March 25, 2006), biography of John Harvey.

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