A police procedural with tons of panache, a beguiling hero, and writing chops to spare, “The Dying Light” is the third Detective Inspector Jake Sawyer mystery set in the evocative Peak District. Kicking off at full speed, we find Sawyer under arrest as a result of seeking his mother’s killer in the previous series volume, and at the same time beset by the accelerating disappearance of local children. Surrounded by or butting heads against a range of exuberant, well-drawn ancillary characters, the action rockets along. It’s not easy for a mystery’s main character to stand out from the crowded field, but Jake Sawyer does so easily: laconic, relentless, fit, and driven by his demons, he is begging to be turned into a TV series. Crackling dialogue and elegant prose render the read a pleasure, and the plotting is snappy and startling. This is a welcome surprise and one of my favorite mystery reads so far in 2019.