Now and then, you stumble across a series that is simply captivating and you have to inhale one book right after the other.
The DCI Harry Grimm series set in the Yorkshire dales, is that kind of addictive series. GRIMM UP NORTH is the first and a terrific introduction to the character as well as the place.
Harry Grimm’s face was rearranged by an IED in Afghanistan when he was an elite British paratrooper. Years later, he’s a senior detective in Bristol, his hometown, handling investigations his own way. Not only is he a bit heavy-handed, he’s bent on showing every criminal he comes across a photograph of his father who 20 years ago killed Harry’s mother and messed up his baby brother. The dad was never caught but Harry’s determined to bring him to justice any way he can.
Irritated by his latest escapade, Harry’s boss bundles him north temporarily to Wensleydale, land of All Creatures Great and Small and Last of the Summer Wine. Culture shock ensues.
Part of the magic of the series is seeing the undulating rural landscape through Harry’s eyes.
His first task is to deal with reports of a missing teen girl. Of course a body turns up, half submerged in a lake popular for nighttime swimming. But the body is not the girl.
It’s up to Harry to find the connections and expose the liars, of which there are many, all while getting to know his new team and come to grips with the fact he could be stuck in the hinterlands for an extended period.
The descriptions of the landscape are so evocative, you’ll feel almost there. All the books primarily focus on the central crime, without too many distractions. While Harry’s family situation is a running subplot through this book and the ones to come, it’s not a looming presence. As a result, the books move fairly quickly, punctuated by strong dialogue, expertly drawn characters, and Harry’s growing attachment to the dales.
Highly recommended. Get GRIMM UP NORTH and all the Harry Grimm books on Amazon.
If you want more Yorkshire landscape, check out the latest film adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small starring Samuel West and Nicholas Ralph as vets Siegfried Farnan and James Herriot. The series has been on PBS, with the 4th season coming in January. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/shows/all-creatures-great-and-small/