Reginald Hill's ironic humor, polished prose, and keen insight have placed him squarely alongside such great mystery writers as P. D. James and Ruth Rendell. In his latest novel his much-appreciated team of detectives, the incomparable Dalziel and Pascoe, find themselves in the pretty village of Enscombe, which is steadfastly trying though somewhat in vain to repel the advances of both tourists and developers. When a policeman is discovered missing, Pascoe is immediately worried, but Dalziel thinks he's overreacting... until the normally phlegmatic Sergeant Wield also shows signs of changing his first impressions of picture-perfect village life. Over two eventful days a new pattern emerges: one of lust and lying, family feuds and ancient injuries, frustrated desires and unbalanced minds. Finally, inevitably, everything comes to a bloody climax at the Squire's Reckoning, where the villagers gather each Lady Day to feast and pay old debts. Not even the three lawmen's presence can change the course of history... though one of them is to find the course of his own personal history changed forever.
About the Author
Reginald Hill was widely published both in England and the United States. He received Britain’s most coveted mystery writers’ award, the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, as well as the Golden Dagger for his Dalziel/Pascoe series. He died in 2012.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Start with 'Ruling Passion' and work your way up through 'Pictures of Perfection', for a view of how characters take hold of an author, and grow into fully formed people.
Hill's Dalziel & Pascoe novels cover the range from light-hearted whimsy to dark and savage psychological studies. This one starts with what appears to be something straight out of the dark end of the range, but is actually one of the gentler books in the series, a true English village cosy -- though with Hill's own unique slant on things. It's a good book for fans of Detective Sargeant Wield, who not only gets to be the lead character for once, but has some interesting developments in his personal life by the end. No previous knowledge of the series is required, although you'll probably enjoy the book even more if you already know these characters.As always, the beautifully crafted language is a delight, and the sly humour had me laughing out loud much of the time. Jane Austen fans should love this homage to her dissection of English village life. This is a mystery book that is well worth reading for the sheer joy of the story, whether or not you can follow the plot the first time around -- and the plot is sufficiently convoluted that I didn't follow it in places. There's more than enough there to make for satisfying subsequent readings, even when the mystery is solved.
Outstanding, funny and engaging. Ranks with Busman's Holiday.