CONSTABLE OVER THE BRIDGE by Nicholas Rhea
Robert Hale - August 2001
ISBN: 0709069405 Hardback
Historical Crime - England 1960s

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde, MyShelf.com
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Now in its eleventh series no fall in the UK is complete without a series of the top rating TV series Heartbeat. With its gentle anecdotes about a bobby on the beat in the Yorkshire village of Aidensfield millions of viewers settle back on a Sunday evening to see a vanished way of life. These stories are all based on the actual police career and bestselling Constable series by onetime bobby Nicholas Rhea and this is his twenty-fifth compilation of tales, linked by the common theme of bridges.

If you want a murder mystery with lots of drama this isn't it but this is a good book to curl up by a fire with, gentle and unassuming. As usual Claude Jeremiah Greengrass (village poacher and crooked entrepreneur) is up to all sorts; trying to revive the tug-of-war and spoiling a month's accident-free statistics with a hencoop tumbling off his lorry, Nick has to do some unusual traffic control at a donkey's funeral and why does one old man never wear socks? Then there are human interest stories that have nothing to do with crime about a couple for which everything goes tragically wrong, a treasure hunt to help an old lady find a lost item of jewelry and the mystery of the stolen sandwiches.

There is a soothing coziness about these tales that appeals, although reading it I wondered which stories were true and which half-true or made up - was policing ever this uneventful? Even if you have never seen or heard of the series this ought to please if you are looking for a real warm bath of a book.

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