This is the first Hurley I read, despite it being the 6th or 7th in the series. I had no idea what a police procedural book was, or even if I'd like it. I hadn't read much crime before this book. My main interest in this book was that it is set in my area - Portsmouth. The city has as much character in the book then any living person, and the setting is as important as the characters or plot. In fact, Portsmouth is a character in it's own right.
And Hurley has it almost right. I'm not a native to Portsmouth, growing up and living for the most part in the neighbouring town, but I'd say he has it pretty much spot on. It's a depressing little city, and though I might call it a dump when I'm feeling cynical, I have a soft spot for the place.
One thing I can say that is slightly off putting reading about a place you know well, is that you know when something isn't what it is. He describes the Water Margin as a rather classy Chinese restaurant - it isn't really. It's nice and all but it's a buffet type place unlike Hurley described it. Apart from this, a mighty fine portrayal of Portsmouth.
And a good story to boot.