Monday, September 26, 2011

Death of Dalziel

I've been slowly catching up to the present on the Dalziel/Pascoe books.  Every time I think that author Reginald Hill has worn out his bag of tricks, he changes up the game somehow.

Here, he takes out Andy Dalziel, who most would have said is the mainstay of the series.  Dalziel is caught in a bomb blast and laid up in a coma for most of the novel, leaving everything in his understudy Pascoe's hands.  Pascoe begins to take on some aspects of Dalziel's character over the course of the novel -- he's always been the good cop to Dalziel's bad cop, and now he finds that the bad cop persona has its uses.

Overall, a solid entry in the series, Hill is at the top of his craft here.  He knows how to spin an artful sentence as well as anyone in the genre and better than most, he knows how to weave an interesting plot, and he writes dialog very well.  But I feel like the heart got left behind a few books ago; the middle novels often left me moved in a way this one didn't.

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