Reginald Hill is a native of Cumbria and a former resident of Yorkshire, the setting for his outstanding crime novels featuring Dalziel and Pascoe, `the best detective duo on the scene bar none' (Daily Telegraph). His writing career began with the publication of A Clubbable Woman (1970), which introduced Chief Superintendent Andy Dalziel and DS Peter Pascoe. With their subsequent appearances Reginald Hill has won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers' Assocation Cartier Diamond Dagger for his lifetime contribution to the genre.
`He is probably the best living male crime writer in the English-speaking world' Andrew Taylor, Independent
`Few writers in the genre today have Hill's gifts: formidable intelligence, quick humour, compassion and a prose style that blends elegance and grace' Donna Leon, Sunday Times
`One of Britain's most consistently excellent crime novelists' Marcel Berlins, The Times
`An increasingly lyrical and always humorous writer, he is first and foremost an instinctive and complete novelist who is blessed with a spontaneous storytelling gift' Frances Fyfield, Mail on Sunday
`Reginald Hill's novels are really dances to the music of time, his heroes and villains interconnecting, their stories entwining' Ian Rankin, Scotland on Sunday
One part traditional English whodunit and one part shadowy corporate thriller, Diamond Dagger winner Hill's 21st Dalziel/Pascoe mystery (after 2003's Death's Jest-Book) weaves a complex and deeply satisfying tale. Pal Mciver is found dead, an apparent suicide, in a locked room of the old family house in Yorkshire. The circumstances mimic the suicide of his father, a former Ashur-Mac corporation executive, 10 years before. A book of Emily Dickinson poems found at the scene may hold clues to both deaths. Called in to investigate, detectives Peter Pascoe and Andy Dalziel find themselves entering an ever-widening and ever more intricate web of relationships. The particulars of some of these relationships hint at murder rather than suicide. Kay Kafka, Pal Mciver's stepmother, is particularly well drawn, a mixture of sadness, salaciousness, possible malice and cool intelligence. As the novel nimbly moves from character to character, it also calls into question the motives of Ashur-Mac, whose arms dealings ring a note of present-day relevance. Throughout, Pascoe and Dalziel are their usual witty, intelligent selves; they continue to be two of the more interesting police detectives in modern crime fiction. The descriptions of Dalziel are particularly fine: "like a shark dumped in a swimming pool, Dalziel provided a new and unignorable focus of attention." Hill has provided readers with a superior example of the mystery form-one with a deliciously cold sting in the final pages. Agent, Caradoc King at A.P. Watt. (Oct. 3) Forecast: A blurb from Ian Rankin will alert his readers. Hill should also benefit from the rising popularity of Peter Robinson's Yorkshire mysteries in the U.S. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
The personal becomes geopolitical in Hill's latest Dalziel-Pascoe case, centering on what seems to be a straightforward suicide. Except that Pal Maciver Jr. blows his head off in the exact manner and ten years to the day after his father killed himself. And the old case was investigated by Yorkshire Detective Supervisor Andy Dalziel, who appears somehow smitten with the senior Pal's beautiful widow, Kay, now remarried. All of which puts Detective Chief Inspector Peter Pascoe in an awkward position, as he probes sexual shenanigans, rifts in the Maciver clan, questions about Ashur-Proffitt-Maciver (the American-based firm that bought out Maciver's company and booted Pal Sr. aside, now headed in Britain by Kay's husband, Tony Kafka) and his boss Dalziel's relationship to the beautiful woman who seems to be in the middle of it all. Hill is in splendid form here, his plot masterful, his scenario up-to-the-minute regarding world events, and his writing suspenseful, stylish, literary (it's laced with Emily Dickinson's poetry), and even philosophical. Topnotch crime fiction from a master. Hill lives in Cumbria, England. [See Mystery Prepub, LJ 6/1/04.] Michele Leber, Arlington, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.