42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The death of Dalziel
I tried to read this as slowly as possible to prolong the sheer self-hugging joy of it all but, of course,I was unequal to the task. Swept along by the helter-skelter pace of the story line, I paused only to look up all the words and references with which I was not familiar. (Quite a few, as usual, when reading Mr Hill). To describe the plot would probably render me fit...
Published on 10 Mar 2007 by J. L. Steemson
3.0 out of 5 stars There's something missing
I don't read many crime novels, but I do love the Dalziel and Pascoe series. They are a wonderful double act that has evolved naturally over a number of years and stories. Unfortunately for most of this book Dalziel is hovering in a coma and Pascoe is trying to act as both parts of the partnership, the absence of the rest of the team doesn't help him either. The story and...
Published on 7 Nov 2009 by Sulkyblue
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3.0 out of 5 stars I'm not sure about this book,
This book is slightly different. Dalziel is severely wounded (and spends the remainder of the book in intensive care) when an Muslim run videostore is blown up. The deaths of the people inside are followed by the deaths of a number of high profile radical British Muslims, but Pascoe has to investigate all the deaths on his own (in conjunction with the Anti-Terrorism Squad), because Dalziel is otherwise engaged.
I'm not sure about this book, because the typical central dynamic that allows the story to rattle along isn't there. It flows along at a decent enough pace, but it doesn't work as well I don't think, because that central focus of most of Hill's stories isn't there.
You'll probably enjoy it, but don't come in expecting what you've got in previous books or what you get in the TV series.
3.0 out of 5 stars Ho-Hum!!,
An explosion leaves Andy Dalziel in a coma whilst Pascoe rushes about trying to solve the case. My problem is that I find Pascoe far and away the dull half of the duo, so it makes for a dull book. Dalziel pops up from time to time in odd little 'dream' sequences but the rest of the time it's Pascoe!
It's not really terrible, just a little bit .... erm, dull!!
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping read - very hard to put down,
The usual cast of characters are there, Pascoe, Ellie, Rosie and Wield, though Dalziel is unconcious for most of the book, leaving Pascoe to carry the investigation largely on his own, with assistance from Wield.
Pascoe is seconded to work with the security services for much of the novel, and it is not clear who can or cannot be trusted there - is he there to help or is he being kept out of the way of the real investigation?
I wouldn't want to spoil the book for you by revealing too much of the details or the ending. Suffice to say if you are already a fan of Dalziel and Pascoe this latest outing will not disappoint.
5.0 out of 5 stars Grab yourself a cuppa, it's going to be a long night...,
On the crime side: the plot is tight and intricate, very cleverly detailed (in my inexperienced opinion anyway) and keeps you guessing right until the very last paragraph of the very last page. In the present climate the story is particularly relevant and I was aware that several instances or even just sentences Hill wrote made me think about things long after I'd finished the book.
However even if you're not in the mood for deep thinking, this is a rollicking good read. Highly recommended!
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reginald Hill - The Death of Dalziel,
As Dalziel's life hangs in the balance in hospital, Pascoe bullies his way into the CAT investigation, taking the vaguely unconscious step of filling his bosses shoes (and at the same time taking on some of his more brusque characteristics!) He vows to track down whoever is responsible for the explosion and bring them to justice. Soon after, more crimes start piling up: for starters, a Muslim extremist is beheaded and videoed in his own home, the footage released to the media. A group calling themselves the Knights Templar claim responsibility for this, and further events. It appears that their campaign is against Muslim extremists who have escaped their own view of "justice", and they always seem to be one step ahead...
Thank God for Reginald Hill. There is, without a doubt, no crime-writer like him. I would like to make a bold statement now: he is the best male British crime writer that there is. I can honestly think of no one to best him (even Ian Rankin). For so many reasons: his supreme abilities with character, the tendency to see the humour in everyone, his levels of empathy and compassion. Then there's his plots which, even when not out of the ordinary like this one (after all, everyone is writing terrorist novels these days; I find it irritating), just shine with every scene because of his sheer style. It is, quite obviously, his style which makes him stand out primarily, and the one thing everyone is guaranteed to comment upon. Hill has more verve and fizz, more witty life spring in his writing than any other crime novelist. He is certainly one of the few I can think of (the only other is Michael Dibdin) who has real wit. He is worth reading for that alone, for the bawdy, headstrong humour exemplified by Dalziel alone.
It's a risky choice, to as good as remove your star character from the entire novel. And, we must admit, Dalziel *is* the star character: Pascoe may actually be more subtle, but he is, let's face it, also more boring. However, Hill employs nice tricks to get over this: the first is to present occasional glimpses of Dalziel's dreamy consciousness as he floats somewhere between life and death, and thus we get snippets of his character. It's odd, that these moments provide some of the most moving (and also humorous) in the whole novel. The other way Hill counteracts having Dalziel unavoidably AWOL is to gradually transplant some of Dalziel's more headstrong character traits into Pascoe. Pascoe, with the beloved boss and friend out of action, feels he must become the man of the house, must step into Dalziel's shoes (and it's a thought that he only half consciously acknowledges). Thus, as Pascoe barrels around and bullies his way through an investigation he really should only have a very peripheral role in, we see Dalziel's shadow all over the book, and we also get to realise quite *how* strong the bond between the two men is, even if Pascoe doesn't entirely realise it himself. This illumination of the central relationship is one of the most touching aspects of the book.
Other draws? Hill's refusal to let even the most minor of characters seem cardboard, or dull. The issues tackled in a sensitive, sensible way, from a different angle to how many would tackle them. To be fair, the plot isn't exactly believable, but that's never really been the point in these novels. They are unfailingly original contrivances, always entertaining, and they make complete plausible sense in the world of the books. His wit and wordplay seem to create this world where, if words can be so wonderfully and originally toyed with, then the plots can be similarly playful and eclectic.
The Death of Dalziel has it all. It is fun, it is clever, it is moving, it is above everything written with such a pyrotechnic flair for language that every page contains lexical gems, whatever it's about. There's a nice final-page twist but, even without that, this is a most satisfying piece of fiction indeed, and one of the best of the series.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard going,
Hill is a tremendous author, but in this book I constantly felt he was trying to be too clever, too literate, and it lost my attention.
I really had to work hard to finish the book, and was pleased that it did seem to come into its own in the final quarter of the tale, however I am used to much more gripping tales from Hill and felt this was nowhere near as good as his previous outings for the characters. Dialogues of the Dead gripped me from page to page and I finished the book in days. With this story I had to force myself to read it and it took me nearly a month to work my way through it.
Whilst I would recommend Hill to anyone keen for a good read, this would not be the book I would suggest they read first.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Exploitative,
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nowt like this writing.,
This is a good read. English group killing local Muslims indeed. My only surprise there is that it has not happened. We are so very tolerant of an imperialistic religion whose aim is world domination, many of whose followers support violent jihad. Not that any of my Muslim friends have owned up to it or even to taqiyya, deception of the unbeliever to promote your faith,
But back to the book. After the pair are blown up, Pascoe joins the spooks who are very spooky indeed. The Fat Man hovers between life and death. I do wonder how accurate a portrayal we are given of a man's mind in that condition. I, unlike our hero, would not be arguing with the Almighty. I shall be treading more of the series.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars poor,
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imagination versus Terror,
The great god Pan is dead.
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