Harry Devlin

Created by Martin Edwards

“Murder fascinates everyone,” HARRY DEVLIN reflects in Yesterday’s Papers (1994), “because of the hints it gives of the darkest recesses of the human soul.” Harry is a lawyer, one of two partners in a scruffy firm of solicitors based in Liverpool, but he is a man whose passion for justice is matched by a burning need to understand the reasons why one person might kill another.

Mysteries have always intrigued him, but he is driven to investigate them by more than mere curiosity. His life was changed forever by the murder of his wife Liz, which occurs in All the Lonely People (1991), the first book in the series. He and Liz were separated, but he remained crazy about her. When she was stabbed to death in a dark alley, he vowed not to rest until he had found her killer. The book was shortlisted for the John Creasey Memorial Award for the best first crime novel of 1991.

Harry’s love of 60s pop music and of film noir, true crime classics and mystery fiction, combine with the Liverpudlian setting to provide the recurring themes and environment of the series. Meanwhile, the death of Liz continues to haunt him as he encounters fresh puzzles to solve. Sometimes they arise from his legal practice, as in Suspicious Minds (1992), when the wife of his richest client disappears, and in Eve of Destruction (1995), when a cuckolded husband tapes his wife’s telephone calls and stumbles across a murder plot. Sometimes he becomes enmeshed in intrigue simply because he mixes in dangerous company – for example with Finbar Rogan, the tattooist who appears in I Remember You (1993) and with gangster’s wife Juliet May, whom he meets in The Devil in Disguise (1998)and with whom he has a torrid affair in First Cut is the Deepest (1999). In Yesterday’s Papers (1994), Harry is persuaded to investigate a killing which occured in the hey-day of the Mersey Beat and eventually finds himself in present danger.

Edwards is a member of a British crime writers group called Murder Squad, which also includes John Baker (Sam Turner), Stuart Pawson, Cath Staincliffe (Sal Kilkenny), Chaz Brenchley, Margaret Murphy and Ann Cleeves.

UNDER OATH

  • “Martin Edwards writes terrific crime novels about Harry Devlin, a charming but down-at-heel Liverpool solicitor with bruised emotions, a nice line in self-deprecation and a penchant for Mersey low life.”
    — Marcel Berlins, The Guardian
  • “The novels successfully combine the style of the traditional English detective story with a darker noir sensibility.”
    — Crime Time

NOVELS

SHORT STORIES

  • “The Boxer” (1992, Northern Blood; ed. M. Edwards; also January 1994, EQMM)
  • “When I’m Dead and Gone” (March 1994, EQMM)
  • “It’s Impossible” (August 1994, EQMM)
  • “A House Is Not A Home” (1994, Gollancz New Crime)
  • “Never Walk Alone” (May 1995, EQMM)
  • “My Ship Is Coming In” (1995, New Alibi)
  • “With A Little Help From My Friends” (1998, Murder on Deck)

RELATED LINKS

Respectfully submitted by Martin “Well, I think if Scott Jordan qualifies then Harry Devlin does!” Edwards.

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