Death's Jest-Book Hardcover – 7 May 2002
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‘He is probably the best living male crime writer in the English-speaking world’ Andrew Taylor, Independent
‘One of Britain’s most consistently excellent crime novelists’ Marcel Berlins, The Times
From the Publisher
Latest in ever-popular and consistently acclaimed Dalziel & Pascoe series: Reginald Hill stands head and shoulders above any other writer of
homebred crime fiction T Hiney, Observer
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Top Customer Reviews
The book begins with several seemingly separate threads and leaves the reader wondering "how the heck is he (Hill) going to resolve this?" Having read all of the Dalziel and Pascoe stories to date, I knew this would happen. However, I was still amazed at how all the threads are finally interwoven to form the detailed tapestry that Reginald Hill usually comes up with.
In essence, a cracking story maintaining the standards Reginald Hill has set with his Dalziel and Pascoe books to date. If you haven't read Dialogues of the Dead I would recommend that book be read first though.
Then you'll love this Death's Jest-book because it features plenty of Rye and Hat. But as always it's fat Dalziel who's stealing (and running!) the show. Especially now that Pascoe is once again trying to deal with his eternal deamon, Franny Roote. Or is he simply playing a cruel Jest on poor Peter?
Before I start my personal appreciation a warning : although the whole series of D&P novels build on each other, this novel is a real sequel to the Dialogues. So if you haven't read the first, you'll be unable to appreciate this one.
I loved this book because it has the intrinsic Hill qualities : different story lines unfold themselves to a resolution that leaves no loose ends untied, the Dalziel character (a god's gift) and the superb storytelling talent of the author.
However, this book is not the best in the series. I've mixed feelings about the Franny/Pascoe storyline : the build up is sometimes annoying but the finale makes up for it. I expected more from a book that resolves a lot of stories spanning multiple novels. Also, for a non-native English reader, Hills wordgames and references to English literature sometimes stand in the way of the story.
Conclusion : as always solid work from Reginald Hill but only if you've read the brilliant Dialogues of the Dead.
Hill here tries to juggle three plots at once, and for the most he does the actual juggling quite well, but ultimately each plot is disappointing and the endings unsatisfying.
Firstly, Pascoe's mind is occupied once again by Franny Roote, a killer he once sent to jail. However, now released, the cunning and intelligent Roote is trying to convince Pascoe that he's changed his ways and just wants to get on with his book on the poet T.L. Beddoes. But Pascoe is still convinced Roote has a more sinister agenda... Then, there is DC Wield, who attempts to rescue a lad he thinks is in danger, but instead finds himself with a street-wise rent-boy under his wing. Then, when he lad gives him a tip-off about a long-planned robbery, good old Wieldy finds himself in a bit of a pickle... And then, of course, there's Hat Bowler, living in bliss with girlfriend Rye Pomona, the librarian whom he became so entangled with during the brilliance that was "Dialogues of the Dead". But even with them, too, something shattering lurks on the horizon...
This book may be very very well written, and very funny at times (Hill is on form there, at least), but that just isn't enough. The characters are ok and well developed, at least that much can also be said.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Dalziel and Pascoe books are a great read. This one is quite 'dark' but full of literary quotes and gems, as one would expect from Reginald Hill.Published 1 month ago by Bookaholic
I am working my way through the series of D and P and have just finished this one. As with all of the others I have thoroughly enjoyed this, The books hav such depth and detail. Read morePublished 2 months ago by michaela ridge
After I struggled through this, trying to piece together the story, I did some checking on the web and found out that this was in fact a sequel. Read morePublished on 11 Jan. 2014 by Frosty
This book is quite complex in terms of plotting, and the story follows on as a direct sequel to Dialogues of the Dead. Read morePublished on 19 Nov. 2007 by Mrs. K. A. Wheatley
Sorry I found this book for the most part boring, Alot of what wsa written didn't intrest me and seemed to have no bareing on the plot line, having said that this was my first D &... Read morePublished on 21 May 2006 by kimmy
I was most impressed with this book, and somewhat surprised to read other reviewers' comments.
The great joy of Hill's writing is that it is such a pleasure to read. Read more
A sequel to Dialogues of the Dead, and, like all sequels, disappointing. Hill has fallen into the Henry / P.D. Read morePublished on 8 July 2003 by hacklehorn