An Advancement of Learning (Dalziel & Pascoe, Book 2) Paperback – 25 Jun 2009
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'He is probably the best living male crime writer in the English-speaking world' Andrew Taylor, Independent
'The finest male English contemporary crime writer. Compassionate, intelligent and entertaining'
Val McDermid, Manchester Evening News
'He just keeps getting better and better… Hill, a true master, never fails to shock and surprise'
Ian Rankin, Scotland on Sunday
'One of Britain's most consistently excellent crime novelists' Marcel Berlins, The Times
'An increasingly lyrical and always humorous writer, he is first and foremost an instinctive and complete novelist who is blessed with a spontaneous storytelling gift' Frances Fyfield, Mail on Sunday
'Here is an author at his formidable best.' (The Mail on Sunday)
'One of Britain’s most consistently excellent crime novelists.' (The Times)
'He just keeps getting better and better ... Hill, a true master, never fails to shock and surprise.' (Ian Rankin) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
Dalziel has no time for students, and the feeling's mutual. But Dalziel doesn't let his dislike lead him into underestimating his opponents, while the students make the mistake of thinking that Dalziel's a fascist pig and therefore stupid. Pascoe's feelings are more ambiguous, as he was a graduate recruit to the police force. His former university friends don't approve of his choice of his career, and his liberal sympathies don't always endear him to his colleagues, but this case reassures him that being a copper was the best way for _him_ to change the world for the better. The pair's different experiences and views combine to form a formidable team in this setting, something they'll need to deal with the criminal they're trying to pin down. Even near the end, it seems that it may be a case of knowing who and how without having quite enough evidence to prove it...
This early entry in the series is a relatively simple police procedural, rather than the complex literary game to be found in some of the later novels, but still has Hill's characteristic style and wittiness. It's one for all fans of the series, whether your taste runs to the shorter novels or the long, psychologically complex ones, as it sets up some of the series background. Apart from developing Pascoe's character, it introduces two of the recurring non-police characters. Pascoe is reunited with old university friend Ellie Soper, whom he later marries: and this is the first appearance of Franny Roote, who reappears much later in the series as a major character in a story arc spanning several books. And it is, of course, an entertaining book in its own right.
Coultram College is expanding. To do so, the bronze statue of the former principal, Alison Girling, must be moved. Ms. Girling was killed five years ago on a winter trip in Austria. So why is her skeleton found beneath the memorial? Dalziel and Pascoe are office to college to find a killer.
Hill is such a delight to read. In this, the second book of the series, his characteristic humor begins to make itself known.
I love when Dalziel compares schools to inbred communities and the names of his characters--i.e., Girling, Halfdane, Fallowfield, Cockshut, and Disney, known as "Walt" of course--are delightful. The book is very much character driven. The contrast between Dalziel and Pascoe is wonderful. It's not a case of one being smarter or dumber. The two men are very different, yet each beings a viewpoint and methodology to solving the case.
The plot is rather weak; I identified one killer fairly early. I am also not a fan of the protagonist laying out the facts behind the case at the end of the story. And I hate the use of portents (authors who use them will always lose points from me).
Still, Hill writes a delightful, intelligent book and I shall read on through the series.
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