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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hill in blistering form
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...
Published on 10 Oct 2009 by NickR

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Midnight Fugue
This is a good story with touches of humour and the usual solid characters. I was especially pleased that there was little evidence of the charmless Ellie Pascoe!
Published on 3 Aug 2012 by T. King


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hill in blistering form, 10 Oct 2009
This review is from: Midnight Fugue (Hardcover)
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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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 "haroldm" (glasgow, scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Midnight Fugue (Hardcover)
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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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shorter but Pretty Sweet, 8 Jun 2009
By 
Judith R. Devine (Portland, OR USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Midnight Fugue (Hardcover)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Day!, 19 Jan 2010
By 
Ted Feit (Long Beach, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Midnight Fugue (Hardcover)
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
This review is from: Midnight Fugue (Hardcover)
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
By 
S. Madden "MeNY" (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Midnight Fugue (Hardcover)
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The end of the line, 6 July 2013
By 
Dr R (Norwich, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Midnight Fugue (Paperback)
It is so difficult to review this book, the last that Reginald Hill wrote before his death, aged 83, in 2012. In his previous 23 books since we were first introduced to Dalgleish and Pascoe in "A Clubbable Woman" in 1970, this duo have become old friends. The novel follows "The Death of Dalziel", 2007, and "A Cure for all Diseases", 2008, and begins when Dalziel is about to return to work following the terrorist blast in the 2007 novel and his recuperation described in that published in 208.

We find Dalziel rather confused as to the day of the week. He starts out thinking it is Monday and he is en route for his first monthly case review meeting with the team, but then realises that it must be Sunday. To try to collect his thoughts and his memory, he goes into a church, not a regular habit, unaware that his ancient Rover is being followed by a sporty red car and that this, in turn, is tracked by a blue one.

The novel takes place over a day and involves a Tory high-flier, David Gidman (the Third), and his father, Goldie Gidman, whose wealth was built on violence and criminality. However, police attempts to link him to criminal activity have all failed. One of the officers involved in the investigation was Alex Wolfe who subsequently disappeared. This might have been due to guilt, since he was suspected of leaking information about the police activity to Goldie, or it might have been the result of his daughter's death from leukaemia and the breakdown of his marriage to Gina.

Seven years have passed since Alex's disappearance and Gina is keen for him to be declared dead so that she can marry Alex's former superior, Commander Mick Purdy. However, Gina has received information suggesting that Alex is still alive and possibly living in Mid-Yorkshire. Mick contacts Dalziel to ask for his informal help to find out whether this is true. Add three Welshmen (where have they all been before?), a psychopath and his sister, and a life-threatening injury to one of Dalziel's colleagues, and all the ingredients are there for a sparkling read which is only further enlivened by the foreshortened timescale.

For decades, Hill has set the bar for British police procedural novels and once again his ability to interweave multiple complex plots, to introduce believable characters and dialogue, and to enthrall the reader with his prose. This final book is, perhaps, not quite up to the standards of his very best. However, when the author is describing the interactions between Pascoe, Wieldy and Novello, or indeed, between Pasco, Ellie and the clarinet-playing Rosie, the dialogue is spot on.

Both Gidmans seem slightly formulaic to me, after all it is very difficult to combine a vicious criminal, who had burned a family to death when they stood up to him, with the reality of a retired father of a Tory MP. There is a rather unrealistic Beanie Sample, the driving spirit of "Bitch" magazine, but she is put in the shade by the Chief Constable of the Cambrian Force, Aneurin Glendower, and Chief Executive of the Cambrian NHS Trust, Myfanwy Baugh, who have chosen Dalziel's Mid-Yorkshire patch, even his lay-by, for a spot of nookie. At least she was wearing patriotic underwear.

The book ends before the Monday morning meeting and so we never find out, we will never find out, whether Dalziel is able to return to his job and, if not, how his team, and Peter Pascoe, in particular, will respond.

I wish that I had just discovered Hill and his characters although, at my age, in a year or two I will probably have forgotten that I have previously made their acquaintance.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phew, he's back on form!, 2 July 2009
By 
This review is from: Midnight Fugue (Hardcover)
After his last book, 'A Cure for all Diseases' I was afraid Reginald Hill was losing it. Not that it was a bad book, exactly, but a bit experimental, based on a lesser-known novel by Jane Austen, full of literary illusions. All very clever, but it didn't quite have the pace we're used to.

But with 'Midnight Fugue' we're back with the classic Dalziel and Pascoe story, and it's a corker! Dalziel is back at work after a long spell of convalescence following his "death". Things have moved on, Pascoe has taken charge, and Dalziel seems about to be pushed on to the scrapheap. But never fear, he's still a safe pair of hands, as is his creator.

Definitely recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars police procedural with wit and verve, 7 July 2012
By 
Rob Kitchin - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Midnight Fugue (Paperback)
Midnight Fugue is the twenty-second Dalziel and Pascoe book. The series has lost none of freshness, wit and verve. The story starts at a brisk pace and never lets up to the end. There are three main strengths to the book. First, the characterisation is excellent, and despite there being a large cast, each character is fully fleshed out and realised. Dalziel is a wonderful creation, possessing a number of negative traits, yet the reader can't help but warm to his political incorrectness and bullying manner due to his generally good disposition. Second, the plotting, whilst quite complex and intricate, involving the intersection of several subplots, is very well done. Hill weaves the various strands together, whilst making sure the reader never gets lost, and there are two nice climaxes to the tale. It's always difficult to avoid plot devices and the only let down to the telling were the use of two weak ones - both involving laptops and neither likely. Third, the storytelling and prose has verve and style. Hill manages to blend a serious crime story with farce, balancing seriousness with wit. It's a difficult trick and he manages to pull it off with aplomb. And whilst the telling is so rich in detail and the plot reasonably complex, this is no doorstop of a book, and yet it does not seem rushed. The overall effect is a very enjoyable police procedural.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As Ever, 1 Jun 2009
By 
Anne Crofts (Harpenden, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Midnight Fugue (Hardcover)
Reginald Hill hasn't disappointed with his latest Dalziel and Pascoe novel, he's still on top form. Dalziel is recovering from his spell in hospital and the convalescent home - he's returned to work earlier than his doctors recommended - but, after a shaky start, manages to solve the mystery which he gets involved in. The story moves quickly with all the wry humour of previous books.
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