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The Wood Beyond (Dalziel & Pascoe, Book 14) Paperback – 25 Jun 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (25 Jun. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007313160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007313167
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘These novels last, like a grand malt whisky’
Mail on Sunday

‘One of Britain’s most consistently excellent crime novelists’
The Times

‘One of the masters of the modern police procedural’
Sunday Telegraph

Review

'Hill’s wit is the constant, ironic foil to his vision, and to call this a mere crime novel is to say Everest is a nice little hill.' (The Mail on Sunday)

'One of Britain’s most consistently excellent crime novelists.' (The Times)

'One of the masters of the modern police procedural.' (The Sunday Telegraph)

'Richly woven and sublimely written, contrasting crimes and deceptions both ancient and modern.' (The Daily Telegraph)

'This is as good as the English detective novel gets.' (GQ) --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you are already familiar with Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe series, recommending this one is not going to be a hard sell. If not, check this out and discover one of the contemporary masters of the crime novel.
This is an ambitious work; Hill clearly intends to transcend the police procedural genre, and includes a parallel story set in the ghastly killing fields of Passchendaele in the Great War that dovetails with the present-day police investigation that is the nominal subject of the book. It must be said that the interwoven story of Pascoe's ancestor (who shares his name) strains credulity; it's a literary construct that doesn't really come off.
But who cares? Hill as a writer is otherwise at the top of his game. It's full of witty dialogue (if only people in life -- myself included -- could set off such a string of verbal firecrackers, how much more entertaining our daily round would be!). Dalziel's Yorkshire dialect is a constant source of delight: I hope expressions like "nowt," "tha's," "lass," et al. aren't dying out. And as usual, the characters, especially the detectives and Pascoe's wife Ellie, are drawn in psychological depth.
The novel can be enjoyed as pure entertainment. But, notwithstanding the parallel story's unlikelihood, it offers a window into the ungodly horrors of life in the trenches in 1917 and the savagery of military "justice" in the British army of the time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reginald has pulled it out of the bag again. This book has the usual banter between Dalziel and Pascoe etc. which makes me laugh out loud, but in addition has some throw backs to the first world war which has made me want to research deeper into that particular war. I love this series of books and would rate them all 5, but this one, if I could, I would give it a 10 and I havent quite finished reading it yet!
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By Blue in Washington TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 8 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been working my way randomly through the terrific Dalziel and Pascoe series so this review may seem a little late and a bit redundant for this 1996 novel. Nonetheless, "The Wood Beyond" is good enough to rate continuing plaudits from generations (even) of readers.

Author Reginald Hill is as skilled as they come in creating colorful characters and intricate and multidimensional plots. "The Wood Beyond" has both in spades, but particularly a story line to rival the best of Hills' other work and far out in front of the average mystery potboiler. "The Wood Beyond" takes both Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe into deeply personal territory as the book examines a modern crime linked to a terrible injustice that took place before, during and after World War I. Indeed, Hill has laudably climbed on a soapbox here to once more expose in the most articulate way how senseless a slaughter that conflict it was.

"The Wood Beyond" gives the series principals Dalziel, Peter Pascoe, Ellie Pascoe, and Edgar Wield plenty of personal time while unwinding the mystery of a body found while animal rights activists are invading a medical research facility on a liberation mission. The story will eventually uncover corporate misdeeds, additional murders and mayhem and a major shock for DCI Pascoe relating to his family history.

This is one of Hill's best and mysteries don't get much better than that. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I had read four or five of the Dalziel and Pascoe novels randomly over the years, but several months ago I took another reviewer's advice and started reading them all in the order in which they were written. (I'm including the ones I'd read before, since there are often connections between a book and its predecessor--sometimes more than one predecessor--that I missed when I read them randomly.)

It's been an interesting and worthwhile experience, but I wasn't particularly moved to write a review until I got to The Wood Beyond (one I had read before but had almost completely forgotten). In reading this one, I discovered something significant in my enjoyment of the series: the less Dalziel and Pascoe figure in a particular novel, the better I like that novel--by a huge margin. That discovery surprised me a lot, so I came here to write about it.

Of the 14 books I've gotten through so far, my two favorites are Deadheads and Pictures of Perfection. In thinking about why I like those two so much, I first thought it was because they have very unconventional endings, which I won't go into here so as not to spoil them for people who haven't read them yet. But when I read The Wood Beyond immediately after finishing Pictures of Perfection (since it was the next novel published), I saw at once what the real difference is: Dalziel and Pascoe hardly appear at all in Pictures, but The Wood is full of them.

The problem for me is that even at their best those two characters are only marginally interesting, and they get to be tedious pretty fast.
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Format: Paperback
This was very interesting and I enjoyed the way that Hill juxtaposes the images of the war torn trenches and the modern day wasteland where the body is found. It focuses mainly on Pascoe, which didn't appeal so much to me as Dalziel is my hero. It also requires gigantic leaps of faith to believe that the coincidences and parallels that hold the plot together can happen. Having said that Hill's work is never boring and I enjoyed it very much.
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