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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars


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on 9 March 2002
I don't know what it is. Perhaps it's the short chapters, which give you enough to get you intrigued and leave you wanting to find out what happens next. (It's one of those books where you tell yourself you've always got time for one more chapter). Or perhaps it's some force at work within the novel, something to do with Dexter's laying out of the plot, the way he moves from one event to the next. But what is perhaps the most obvious reason for the appeal of the Morse novels (and in particular this one) is the man himself, good old Endeavour.
There's something about the character that attracts the reader. Most of Morse's most prevalent foibles, and the most notable events from his past, are brought in here. The parallels with A. E. Housman are there - an old and clever man, who never married, who failed his degree (at St. John's College, Oxford - see 'The Riddle of the Third Mile') and who finds the sight of blood and death one that is sickening and saddening. There is even a quotation from Housman as an epigraph for the book, whence Dexter got the title of this, the final mystery.
This was probably the longest of all Morse novels, yet it sustains the reader's interest, primarily because we want to see what happens to Morse. For the Morse novels have never really been about solving crime, have they? They're about the character.
The television adaptation was good too, especially when Morse (John Thaw) recited the Housman lines to Lewis. One of those lump-in-the-throat moments.
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on 5 September 2000
'Remorseful Day' is two stories. The first is the tale of a murder involving a nurse who is too familar with her patients. She has a history with Morse and his connection with the murder is a major theme although, as usual, there are many twists before the solution at the end. This is also Morse's farewell.'Remorseful Day' also describes Morse winding down his life , settling his affairs even though he has no reason to believe that his end is approaching.It is a very poignent book, especially for those who have come to know Morse. His passing will be mourned.
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on 29 October 2000
As usual this Dexter is extremely well written,bring out the dictionary! The plot is not as devious as some of the Morse stories but it still keeps the reader guessing. The personal side of Morses' life and his relationship to his superior officer are a revealing insight into the two men. I will read it again and again.
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on 24 January 2017
Reading the last novel in a series that you've really enjoyed is always something of a bittersweet experience, and such is the case with this, the thirteenth and last entry in Colin Dexter's series featuring Chief Inspector Morse. Through it all, Morse has remained his brilliant, cheap, curmudgeonly self, often irritating many of those around him, but nonetheless always producing a solution to a very complicated crime. And, standing by his side through it all, has been his faithful and often put-upon sergeant, Lewis, who loves working with Morse even if the man can often be a selfish pain in the butt.

Throughout the years, Morse has always consumed way too much alcohol and tobacco for his own good, while lying to his doctors and to everyone else about his bad habits. But inevitably, those bad habits are catching up with him and even though his health has taken a decided turn for the worse, he refuses to make any real concessions to his health problems.

As this book opens, Morse is on a temporary leave, resting up, when his boss, Superintendent Strange, asks him to take on a new case, or an old one, actually. A year earlier, a woman named Yvonnne Harrison was found murdered in her home, naked and handcuffed in her bed. Mrs. Harrison was reputed to be a woman of interesting sexual habits, but all of the obvious suspects, including Mr. Harrison, seemed to have iron-clad alibis, and the original investigation got nowhere.

But now, Strange tells Morse that he has received two anonymous phone calls with new leads in the case and he wants Morse, his most brilliant investigator, to take it over. Morse is almost always keen to take on a complicated case, but in this instance he refuses, claiming that his health is bad and that he's not interested in the case. Strange assigns Sergeant Lewis to run down some leads, but Lewis discovers that Morse, although claiming not to be interested, is already about two steps ahead of him.

As the situation unfolds, additional bodies will fall by the wayside; Morse will finally be drawn into the case, and, fitting for the climax of the series, it's one of the most complex of his career. As always, the plot is extremely convoluted and one wonders if even Chief Inspector Morse will be able to sort it all out.

This is a book that will appeal to those who like traditional British mysteries or who have enjoyed the television series featuring John Thaw as Morse. It's been great fun working my way through them all again.
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on 12 August 2016
I've tended to enjoy Inspector Morse novels but unfortunately couldn't get away with the opening chapters of this one so didn't complete it, although was disappointed I didn't, knowing this was the one book that is poignant in Morse's life.
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on 13 January 2014
I really love the morse books and particularly love the narration on this series, I wish thy would reissue the unabridged books on CD/audible
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on 1 January 2015
Great addition to the DVD already ordered. No complaints with item or service
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on 7 October 2001
After so many wonderful Inspector Morse stories, The Remorseful Day is somewhat of a letdown, and somehow incredibly sad, lacking a feel-good factor at the end. This may be due to the fact that this is Morse's swan song and we say farewell to the crotchety policeman at the end of this story, or it might be because throughout this case he comes across as just plain irritable and uncaring. Also, the characters are mostly unlikeable and it is hard to care what happens to them or if their killer is brought to justice.
The first victim is an elderly university professor who is the client of a young prostitute. This girl has left home to get away from her abusive stepfather, who was also supplying drugs to students at the university where he worked as a porter on the same landing as the first victim. And so this circle continues , taking in side plots and lots of twists and turns, until sometimes I had to rewind the tape in order to try to understand what was going on, and the relationship between the different characters which became blurred at times. The end, when it finally came, in more ways
than one, was something of an anticlimax and for real fans of the Morse stories, a bit unbelievable. Colin Dexter probably felt that it was time to kill off his hero but I couldn't help feeling that the laconic, no-nonsense, intelligent Morse would rather have gone with a pint of real ale in his hand, or be written off in his red Jaguar.
The other comment I have about this tape is, that although Kevin Whately's reading is excellent, it is really difficult to get used to Morse's character with his strong accent. I am so used to John Thaw playing Morse on television and that is the voice I expect, or at least one with a soft southern accent,and when Morse says something with a Newcastle accent, albeit softened, it just doesn,t fit the bill.
All in all a bit of a disappointment, but it won't deter me from listening to other Inspector Morse books.
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As he brings his thirteen-volume Inspector Morse series (and his own writing career) to a poignant close with this 1999 novel, author Colin Dexter selects the title of this final book from an A. E. Housman poem, which celebrates the brilliance of sunrise and the sad inevitability of sunset--an appropriate symbol of the passage of time, an image of life and death, and a play on Morse's name. Here Dexter reveals far more about Chief Inspector Morse than in any of his previous novels, as Morse faces an especially complex and difficult case, at the same time that he is privately dealing with health issues.

A gruff and uncompromising man of unquestioned integrity and honesty, Morse is a music buff with a love for literature and syntax, a man who frequently corrects the grammatical errors of Sgt. Lewis, his loyal, hard-working, and less educated assistant. Suffering from "indigestion" and diabetes, Morse blithely ignores the dietary regimen recommended by his doctors, experimenting with his insulin dosage while continuing to indulge his love of scotch whisky, both at home and in local pubs, where he and the tee-totalling Lewis often conduct their interviews.

In this case, Morse surprises Sgt. Lewis by being less than enthusiastic about investigating a "cold case," a murder the previous year of a nurse, Yvonne Harrison, who was found handcuffed, gagged, and nude in her bed. Morse knew Yvonne when he himself was hospitalized, and Sgt. Lewis begins to suspect, for the first time ever, that Morse may be hiding information about the case, for his own reasons. Lewis continues to investigate as conscientiously as he can, mostly on his own, though this case, with its unusually large number of suspects, possible motives, red herrings, additional murders, wrong turns, financial maneuverings, and missing evidence, is one that cries out for better cooperation between Morse and Lewis.

Ultimately tying up all the loose ends and resolving the issue of Morse's honesty, Dexter creates dramatic and moving scenes, showing the depth of the unexpressed feelings between Morse and Lewis and their respect for each other. For the first time, Morse reveals his vulnerability, and Lewis, seeing this, becomes stronger and more self-confident. Always concerned with bringing about justice and protecting those who are innocent, Morse, despite appearances, obeys his personal code throughout this valedictory novel, leaving a lasting legacy for the lovers of this series.
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on 2 December 2014
Glad I got this
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