Fell of Dark Paperback – 29 Apr 2010
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‘One of Britain’s most consistently excellent crime novelists’
‘Reginald Hill stands head and shoulders above any other writer of homebred crime fiction’
‘So far out in front that he need not bother looking over his shoulder’
‘Hill’s wit is the constant, ironic foil to his vision’
Mail On Sunday
From the Back Cover
A friendship renewed; a marriage going sour; Harry Bentick heads for the Lake District not knowing if he’s going in search of something or running away.
Then two girls are found murdered in the high fells, and suddenly there’s no doubt about it. He’s running. Set in his native Cumberland, this was Reginald Hill’s very first novel and its cleverly interwoven strands of detective story, psychological thriller and Buchanesque adventure prefigure much that in the intervening decades has taken him into the topmost ranks of British crime fiction.
' Fell of Dark' is a simultaneous hardback / paperback publication from the acclaimed Reginald Hill (‘One of our most consistently excellent crime novelists’ – ' The Times'), winner of the CWA’s Gold and Diamond Dagger awards.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Dark" is his first published work. It certainly indicated his future
standing as a master of the genre of mystery and suspense. This particular
story is a minor masterpiece for a first novel and the joys to come when
we came to know his characterisations,the delightful humour with which he
endowed them and his knowledge of the local areas he sets his tales in.
These qualties are evident in "Fell Of Dark", apart from the humour which
was inappropriate. However, "Fell Of Dark" stands on it's own two feet and
is quietly a 'gem' by the future eminent author.
I found the storyline to be a bit much to accept. Bearing in mind that it was written by the incomparable Reginald Hill and bears the hallmarks of clear prose and introspective characters, the premise that an innocent, rational and respectable upper-class businessman would attempt a getaway from the cops just doesn't hold much water. His impulse is just to get away from an accusation, even though he knows that there is no real long-term refuge possible. Running parallel to the main murder/escape storyline is the protagonist's internal agonizing over the state of his marriage. His wife eventually becomes part of the escape, but their relationship remains a puzzle to the reader by book's end.
I'm a huge Reg Hill fan and mourn his passing like crazy. He was a terrific writer of both crime and straight fiction. But even with its flashes of very fine writing, "Fell of Dark" is not one of his better books. I read it mainly because I have gone through 95 percent of Hill's work and needed a fix.
The TV series (Dalziel and Pascoe) was vaguely entertaining, but completely missed the unique quality of the books, which celebrated Mr Hill's love of language. Like Jane Austen and P G Wodehouse, every line counts. Every line adds interest, insight . . . and complexity.
Fell of Dark, his first book, sadly, does none of these things. It's like a John Buchan novel ( I think that the young Reg was a fan of these gung-ho stories).
If you want to read Reginald Hill at his best, you might pass this one by.
But, if you're already an aficionado, then this is one that would be a fascinating addition to your collection.
Fell of Dark was first published in 1971 and must have been one his first books, maybe before he got into his stride.
It seems to be based on The 39 Steps, except that the chase takes place in the Lake District rather than Scotland.
A rather odd bod and his even odder friend set off for an impromptu walking holiday in the Lake District. Two young girls are raped and murdered and the two are wrongly identified and accused (obviously not much forensics in those days). He escapes from the police station and keeps one step ahead of his pursuers - aided (up to a point) by a famous ornithologist and his daughter, a strange lady artist and his wife (with whom he does not really get on).
There are detailed listings of the various rivers, hills and mountains that he comes across which are doubtless correct but get a bit tedious.
Eventually the truth is revealed (not before there is another death).
The story is told in the first person and there is rather a lot of philosophising about his relationship with his wife.
As an old fashioned adventure yarn the book has its merits but it is not Reginald Hill's finest hour.
He could well be classified as a male Ruth Rendell, or Minette Walters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quite an easy read but a bit predictable. At least bits not too gruesome and far fetched as a lot are now.Published 2 months ago by Vanessa L.
I like Reginald Hill a lot and though this book is as well written as every book of his, it failed to grasp me the way others did. Nevertheless, it's always entertaining lecture.Published 20 months ago by PAULA CARRASCAL AGUIRRE