Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Publisher: Robert Hale 
Release Date:  October 2003
ISBN:  0709074662
Awards:  
Format Reviewed: Hardback 
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Genre: Historical Crime [Yorkshire, England 1960s]
Reviewed: 2003
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde  
Reviewer Notes:  

Constable In The Wilderness
By Nicholas Rhea


     If, like this reviewer, you are a devoted fan of ITV's long-running "Heartbeat" then you will be glad that there is yet another book out in this even longer-running series. If you are wondering what all the fuss is about and have perhaps never seen the show or you have but have never read any of the books then dive in. This is one series where is does not matter which book you start with; each book is a collection of anecdotes (some of which are no doubt apocryphal) relating to the author's career in the North Yorkshire constabulary in the 1960s. It is all heart-warming stuff, the literary counterpart perhaps of a long hot bath and in common with such a wonderful way to relax. Don't think that this is fantasy though - fantasy is a lot more violent - as each book opens a window on what it was like to live in rural Yorkshire not so long ago. So it is not just escapism, but a social history lesson (or nostalgia, depending on age and location).

     Find out why Nicholas Rhea is building a snowman on the cover with some children, how floods can be prevented and what drives people to impersonate the police. Laugh when Claude Jeremiah Greengrass has to round up a runaway double bass and wonder what he wants with lots of old beer cans, or when identical twins cause havoc. Say "aahhh" when a local thief proves to have a soft heart when it comes to a young boy's stolen property and when a lonely farmer finds love unexpectedly. It will make you yearn for the past, even if you were actually there and it didn't seem quite so rosy…Cynicism aside, it does make fascinating reading whether you have seen the TV series or not and Nicholas Rhea's relaxing conversational style suits the material just fine.