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Midnight Fugue [Hardcover]

Reginald Hill
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 May 2009

The highly anticipated return of Dalziel and Pascoe, the hugely popular police duo and stars of the long-running BBC TV series, in a new psychological thriller.

It starts with a phone call to Superintendent Dalziel from an old friend asking for help. But where it ends is a very different story.

Gina Wolfe has come to Mid-Yorkshire in search of her missing husband, believed dead. Her fiancé, Commander Mick Purdy of the Met, thinks Dalziel should be able to take care of the job. What none of them realize is how events set in motion decades ago will come to a violent head on this otherwise ordinary summer's day.

A Welsh tabloid journalist senses the story he's been chasing for years may have finally landed in his lap. A Tory MP's secretary suspects her boss's father has an unsavoury history that could taint his prime ministerial ambitions. The ruthless entrepreneur in question sends two henchmen out to make sure the past stays in the past. And the lethal pair dispatched have some awkward secrets of their own.

Four stories, two mismatched detectives trying to figure it all out, and 24 hours in which to do it: Dalziel and Pascoe are about to learn the hard way exactly just how much difference a day makes…

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007252706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007252701
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 15.6 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 390,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Reginald Hill is a native of Cumbria and former resident of Yorkshire, the setting for his novels featuring Superintendent Dalziel and DCI Pascoe. Their appearances have won him numerous awards including a CWA Gold Dagger and Lifetime Achievement award. They have also been adapted into a hugely popular BBC TV series.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Crime fiction fans are devoted to Reginald Hill’s excellent sequence of Dalziel & Pascoe novels, and there is a burgeoning interest in his equally adroit series featuring the canny private eye Joe Sixsmith (notably The Roar of the Butterflies, one of the most compelling entries in the series). However, for the real Reg Hill aficionado, it’s Fat Andy and his more sophisticated colleague who inspire the real dedication, so the arrival of a new book, Midnight Fugue, is a cause for celebration – particularly as a refutation of the information in the title of Hill’s recent novel, Dalziel is Dead.

Gina Wolfe arrives in north Yorkshire seeking her missing husband, believed dead. Her new fiancé, a policeman in the Met, suggests the caustic copper Andy Dalziel might be of help – and everyone involved discovers that dark events of years ago have a way of causing troubling eruptions in the present.

It's hard to believe, but it’s been nearly four decades since readers first encountered the well-read, sensitive detective Peter Pascoe and his partner, the brash but winning Andy Dalziel, in A Clubbable Woman. Hill has always rung the changes in the series with new wrinkles that take us to startling terra incognita (for example, One Small Step addressed the first murder on the moon in the year 2010). But the key factor in the series’ continuing success (leaving aside the ratings-winning TV adaptations) is Hill’s eagerness to take on key societal issues (always, however, married to reader-grabbing plots) – and that characteristic is abundantly evident in Midnight Fugue, with the two protagonist striking sparks off each other in the usual highly satisfying fashion. --Barry Forshaw


Praise for ‘Midnight Fugue’:

‘Back on his old form. Witty, wise and welcome’ Literary Review

‘[Reginald Hill] shows no sign of descending from the high quality of his writing … Beautifully plotted and intriguingly resolved’ Marcel Berlins, The Times

'Fresh and memorable … It's a witty, wise and warm read, with rich characterisation and emotional depth' Val McDermid, The Times

'A sort of genteel, very funny and extremely well-written version of 24' Telegraph

‘A masterly performance … will deservedly be one of this summer’s big bestsellers’ Mark Sanderson, Evening Standard

‘Hill’s ingenuity continues to dazzle’ John O’Connell, Guardian

‘Midnight Fugue has a clever plot, written without whimsy, and one of the best things in it is Dalziel's sense of his advancing age and its impact on his relationship with Pascoe’ The Sunday Times

‘As ever it is steeped in a dry, wry wit and accents almost as thick as good gravy on roast beef and Yorkshire pudding…it is a measure of Hill's masterful grasp that time flies imperceptibly…Hill makes it all look so deceptively simple that it masks a writer on top of his trade’ Sunday Express

‘Hill's plot is elegantly constructed, and his prose is delectable…Witty, slightly surreal and fundamentally humane, the novel is a welcome addition to one of the best crime series around’ Andrew Taylor, Spectator

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hill in blistering form 10 Oct 2009
By NickR
What a delight to find that Reginald Hill has lost none of his touch. Over a 24-hour timespan, Mr Hill confidently plays us his four-part fugue - "Bit of a tune that chases itself round and round til it vanishes up its own a..hole", as Dalziel puts it - and brings it to a resolution that in hindsight, like all the best music, suddenly makes perfect sense. The scored theme from the "Art of Fugue" at the beginning of each section of the book tells us something about Mr Hill's inspiration, and Bach might well have been proud to be this book's implicit dedicatee.

While Mr Hill exercises his technical skill, he shows he's lost none of his humour: there are awful puns, a Welsh village with the shamelessly Dylanesque name of Llufwwadog, and of course Fat Andy's Rabelaisian bawdiness and gluttony. And Mr Hill continues to prolong the tension which has built up over the last few books between the (not-quite-so-young-these-days) challenger Peter Pascoe and the ageing lion Dalziel - a tension which has not yet broken, and which hints at more books to come. Hurrah!

(PS: my wife asks me to say that she's glad there's so little of Ellie in the book; for my part, I'm glad not to see the awful Franny Roote!)
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shorter but Pretty Sweet 8 Jun 2009
After the last few Dalziel and Pascoe outings, this is considerably shorter. The characterization isn't as complex as we have seen during the Franny Roote saga, but Hill brings a new dimension to the relationship between Dalziel and Pascoe. It's time for the balance of power between the two to be addressed, especially since Dalziel's near-death experience, and Hill starts the process here. The plot, while not wholly original, sprints along nicely. The device of confining present day action to a single day keeps you turning the pages. Even though I normally like to savour a Hill book, this length and pace was a perfect early summer read. I'm looking forward to the next stage in this series; will some familiar faces from this book show up again?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sunday In Yorkshire 6 Sep 2009
By H. meiehofer VINE VOICE
The Dalziel and Pascoe novels are one of the longest running series in the history of crime fiction. Mid-Yorkshire's finest have entertained us for nearly four decades. The latest in the series keeps up the excellent quality which Reginald Hill has produced for all these years.

As ever Midnight Fugue is a great conglomeration of skilful plotting, excellent characterisation and wry humour. All of the usual gang are here supplemented by a collection of intriguing one-off characters. The story keeps the reader guessing and whilst there are red herrings and apparent coincidence none of these seem implausible. The action in this case takes place over just a few hours (shades of "24"?) but there is plenty of it, and the chapters taking different perspectives are skilfully juxtaposed to ramp up the drama.

Andy Dalziel remains as ever a force of nature but as with most of the recent books he has become a much more thoughtful creature. The other regular characters, although they play largely only supporting roles here, continue their development in a very natural and convincing manner.

The only other police procedural series I know of with similar longevity is Ed McBain's 87th Precinct. It is no small praise to say that Reginald Hill's oeuvre matches McBain's.

Reginald Hill has kept us all entertained with the exploits of the mid-Yorkshire force and this latest episode is a very welcome addition to the series. Let's hope there are many more
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Day! 19 Jan 2010
Andy Dalziel (the "Fat Man") is still recovering from the after-effects of injuries (and a coma) resulting from an explosion two novels ago. But he ignores medical advice and returns to his duties as Detective Superintendent, albeit a little shakily. Is it time to turn over the reins to his protégé, Pascoe? Or does he still have that flair and intuition?

This novel takes place in a 24-hour period in which, at the beginning. Dalziel is contacted by a woman, Gina Wolfe, whose London policeman husband disappeared seven years ago. About to be remarried after he has been declared legally dead, she receives a newspaper clipping with a picture in which her husband appears. She wants proof one way or another that he is dead and seeks Andy's help.

The plot broadens from this point in several ways, introducing all manner of characters from a couple of thugs to a possible future Prime Minister. The interaction between Andy and his colleagues (not to mention the rest of the world) remains humorous and still tickles the reader's funny bone. Tight plotting, with twists and turns, keeps one turning pages to see what comes next. Fugue is on the high plane of this series, and is highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Done it again 27 July 2009
By Oribeth
Reginald Hill has done it again. This is another brilliant book in the series. Unlike other authors, Reginald Hill does not flag, and his plots and characters are still fresh and immensely readable. What the awful television series fails to capture is the humour inherent in these books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Dalziel and Pascoe 21 Jun 2009
I live in the US and read 99 percent of my books on an electronic reader. But I love Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe series so much that I buy each new one on Amazon UK as soon as it's released. This is another great one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great item
Published 19 days ago by H. Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable
Hill is always a wonderful read. H writes intelligently as is he expects his readers to understand hi. His characters are real and his plots exciting and brilliantly twisted.
Published 3 months ago by Angua von Uberwald
3.0 out of 5 stars Books
Very poor , nothing like the other books, is the real author struggling for a decent plot x x x
Published 3 months ago by Brian Norman
4.0 out of 5 stars Good gripping story
A very good gripping crime story. The first I have read by this author so will be returning to read others. Good range of characters among the police.
Published 5 months ago by Jenny999
4.0 out of 5 stars Daziel at his best
Really good but you guess the ending as it goes on . Will be purchasing others, you wish there was a new series coming back on television.
Published 5 months ago by david potts
5.0 out of 5 stars A great writer
and I have loved all of the Dalziel and Pascoe series. The plots are big and various, the characters are wll known after a while and Hill keeps them from being either boring. Read more
Published 6 months ago by I readalot
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Reading
Reginald Hill is the best detective thriller writer ever. The plots are intriguing and the characters are individual. The repartee is very funny. Excellent reading.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs M Hancock
5.0 out of 5 stars ok
Reginald Hill is an excellent writer, well worth a try. But I'll be buggered if I have to write 16 words or more to satisfy some arbitrary rule
Published 9 months ago by Mark Blackburn
5.0 out of 5 stars top notch
I am a big fan of Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe. Always interesting, subtle and not so subtle humour and in this book very little evidence of Ellie Pascoe. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs Lofts
4.0 out of 5 stars Dalziel
More than one story line running at the same time but they don't confuse, Dalziel manages to do most of the work without Pascoe but as usual manages to step on toes which is his... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Peter Joiner
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