Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Far Cry

Go To

Far Cry is a 2009 crime mystery novel written by John Harvey. Its story is set England and begins chronologically with the death of young Heather Pierce on a holiday trip with her friends. In spite of the most detailed investigation, no evidence has been found to suggest it was anything but accidental. Riven by grief and blaming each other for it, it leads to the divorce of her parents Ruth and Simon.

Nearly two decades later, Ruth has remarried and has another daughter, Beatrice. All seems well, but then tragedy strikes twice with the news of her disappearance. Detectives Will Grayson and Helen are summoned to answer the case. Finally, Mitchell Roberts, a child molester put away by Grayson several years ago, has escaped, and seems anxious for revenge. Will is anxious to prove the link and make it a clear-cut case, but things appear far more complex than he expected…

Has nothing to do with the Far Cry game franchise or the film loosely based on said franchise.

This novel provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Mom: Lorraine, who spends most of the novel looking after the house, is promoted to this, when she manages to single-handedly defeat Mitchell Roberts invading her house by stabbing him in the stomach, than kicking him down the stairs.
  • Anti-Hero: Will Grayson has good intentions and is very much set on protecting the children, but the methods he uses are questionable. In a particularly jarring instance, he manipulates a former rape victim he suspects to be connected to Mitchell Roberts by invoking her child. Before that, he approaches another victim in spite of her being mentally unstable and clearly unwilling to give evidence and after being warned by her mother not to approach her.
  • The Atoner: Mitchell Roberts seems to be one initially after his release. We even get to see his thoughts where it seems he genuinely wants to work hard at his place. it doesn't last
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Played with: Heather's face is scratched and bruised after the fall and there are other injuries on her dead body, yet to Ruth she still looks beautiful.
  • Bondage Is Bad: Lorraine outright tells Helen that the rape fantasies she participates in are wrong and she should seek help. The novel itself is more ambiguous, also Helen seems to take heed of some of the advice and settle into a more stable relationship.
  • Broken Bird: Cristine Fell, who can barely move past the time when she was kidnapped, raped, and left behind to be found in her childhood. Will tries to get her to testify regardless and in spite of protests by her mother.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Mitchell Roberts swears uncontrollably when he's first discovered to be a child molester.
  • Driven to Suicide: Ruth attempts one by overdosing on sleeping pills after she find out of Beatrice's disappearance.
    • There's also husband of Linda Corey, a minor character who kills himself after killing his wife for planning to leave him with their son.
  • Emo Teen: Letitia, a former heroin abuser and someone from a very troubled family conforms to most stereotypes.
  • Foil: Adult Corey and her stable relationship with a black husband is a counter-point to Helen, who has just ended troubled relationship with already married Declan.
  • Grief-Induced Split: After Heather dies while on holiday with her friends, her parents Ruth and Simon are torn apart by grief and blame each other for her death, culminating in their divorce.
  • Headphones Equal Isolation: Lee Effords, the eldest child in the Effords family, is partially responsible for Heather falling and his own sister almost dying because he left them alone instead of watching over them. He deals with his guilt by sitting alone with the same track playing through his headphones on repeat.
  • Hypocrite: Will Grayson accuses Helen of being indecent for kissing Declan out in the open, but then several months later he has sex with his wife out on the porch.
  • Jaded Washout: Simon Pierce ends up like this following the death of Heather. After nearly two decades, he still cannot let go of his obsessed with the websites where other bereaved parents connect to each other. It gets so bad that he snaps at the sight of Beatrice and ultimately ends up kidnapping her to punish Ruth for getting over the grief too easily.
    • Alan Effords, too, as he also left his wife and lives alone in an apartment he doesn't bother to clean up. However, he's in a better shape, as he never betrays his morals and is able to clean up and get dressed when interviewed by Helen.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Will is this to Helen. While he frequently teases her about her relationship with Declan, he still cares about her and is concerned about any danger she might come to.
  • Made of Iron: Mitchell Roberts gets stabbed in the middle of the stomach, gets up, walks, and has to be kicked down the stairs before he finally loses consciousness. Even then, he still walks.
  • Manipulative Bastard: When he's refused cooperation by one of the rape victims he suspects connected to the case, Will attempts to influence her through her young daughter (though it's implied this wasn't entirely intentional on his part.)
  • Man Scorned: Andrew Lawson, the second husband of Ruth, is a male example of this trope. At one point refers to Dunedin (which is where his first wife moved with her lesbian lover) as one fingertip away from the asshole of the earth.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's never made clear whether the times Ruth is visited by her daughter (and even felt her touch) are just advanced hallucinations or at least somewhat real.
  • Misblamed: Both Mitchell Roberts and Lyle Henderson are despicable in their own way, but neither were actually responsible for Beatrice's disappearance.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Invoked by Ruth when she reads through one of the Virginia Woolf novels and skeptically analyses the rather mundane achievements of its characters (i.e. organising a perfect dinner party) when opposed to the hours of work sunk into it.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Played straight with Inspector Lambert, who wants to just close the Heather's case as soon as possible and not spend any more resources on it. Subverted with Liam Noble: he does obstruct and discourage Will Grayson from investigating Mitchell Roberts further and discounts his claims of him being dangerous until he escapes. However, he has a point that Will is obsessed with the case and methods he used are very much unethical.
  • Police Are Useless: Generally averted, as the police besides the main characters is repeatedly capable of solving cases and providing significant assistance in the search for Beatrice and the earlier investigation of Heather's death. However, they are completely incapable of catching Mitchell Roberts, who is able to stay free for a week and perhaps a lot longer if he didn't attempt to attack Lorraine.
  • Porn Stash: Lyle Henderson has a stash of artistic child pictures and more straight-up child porn on his computer.
  • Prison Rape: Former associate of Mitchell Roberts is threatened with being sent back to prison and being raped if he doesn't crack on his whereabouts.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Subverted with Beatrice. Sure, Ruth use does in fact use her partially to mend over the grief from Heather's death, but it's also not enough: she continues to have visitations by Heather's spirit, which are strongly implied to be than hallucinations.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: Ruth's first husband, Simon Pierce, thinks along these lines when refusing to let Heather visit her friends' family on the basis of them being lower-class, making frequent references to them reading The Sun and watching East Enders.
  • Smug Snake: Simon Pierce is very smug when he is arrested for the first time.
  • Stalker without a Crush: Ruth gets about secretly takenphotos of Beatrice from the pers Simon Pierce turns out to be one in the end. He became obsessed with Beatrice and kidnapped her because he thought Ruth recovered too easily and wanted to punish her.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Martina, the 12-year old victim of Mitchell Roberts, has developed one for him. When she's recovered after the rape, her first words are to tell him not to worry about her.
  • The Stoner: Lorraine is mentioned to use marijuana spliffs for recreation. When Will mentions the potential consequences for them (he is a police officer, after all) she just shrugs them off.
  • Unproblematic Prostitution: The place that Lyle Henderson visits seems to be well-run, with the women only working there part-time in addition to proper jobs.