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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 8 June 2009
After the last few Dalziel and Pascoe outings, this is considerably shorter. The characterization isn't as complex as we have seen during the Franny Roote saga, but Hill brings a new dimension to the relationship between Dalziel and Pascoe. It's time for the balance of power between the two to be addressed, especially since Dalziel's near-death experience, and Hill starts the process here. The plot, while not wholly original, sprints along nicely. The device of confining present day action to a single day keeps you turning the pages. Even though I normally like to savour a Hill book, this length and pace was a perfect early summer read. I'm looking forward to the next stage in this series; will some familiar faces from this book show up again?
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on 10 October 2009
What a delight to find that Reginald Hill has lost none of his touch. Over a 24-hour timespan, Mr Hill confidently plays us his four-part fugue - "Bit of a tune that chases itself round and round til it vanishes up its own a..hole", as Dalziel puts it - and brings it to a resolution that in hindsight, like all the best music, suddenly makes perfect sense. The scored theme from the "Art of Fugue" at the beginning of each section of the book tells us something about Mr Hill's inspiration, and Bach might well have been proud to be this book's implicit dedicatee.

While Mr Hill exercises his technical skill, he shows he's lost none of his humour: there are awful puns, a Welsh village with the shamelessly Dylanesque name of Llufwwadog, and of course Fat Andy's Rabelaisian bawdiness and gluttony. And Mr Hill continues to prolong the tension which has built up over the last few books between the (not-quite-so-young-these-days) challenger Peter Pascoe and the ageing lion Dalziel - a tension which has not yet broken, and which hints at more books to come. Hurrah!

(PS: my wife asks me to say that she's glad there's so little of Ellie in the book; for my part, I'm glad not to see the awful Franny Roote!)
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VINE VOICEon 6 September 2009
The Dalziel and Pascoe novels are one of the longest running series in the history of crime fiction. Mid-Yorkshire's finest have entertained us for nearly four decades. The latest in the series keeps up the excellent quality which Reginald Hill has produced for all these years.

As ever Midnight Fugue is a great conglomeration of skilful plotting, excellent characterisation and wry humour. All of the usual gang are here supplemented by a collection of intriguing one-off characters. The story keeps the reader guessing and whilst there are red herrings and apparent coincidence none of these seem implausible. The action in this case takes place over just a few hours (shades of "24"?) but there is plenty of it, and the chapters taking different perspectives are skilfully juxtaposed to ramp up the drama.

Andy Dalziel remains as ever a force of nature but as with most of the recent books he has become a much more thoughtful creature. The other regular characters, although they play largely only supporting roles here, continue their development in a very natural and convincing manner.

The only other police procedural series I know of with similar longevity is Ed McBain's 87th Precinct. It is no small praise to say that Reginald Hill's oeuvre matches McBain's.

Reginald Hill has kept us all entertained with the exploits of the mid-Yorkshire force and this latest episode is a very welcome addition to the series. Let's hope there are many more
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on 1 June 2009
Reginald Hill hasn't disappointed with his latest Dalziel and Pascoe novel, he's still on top form. Dalziel is recovering from his spell in hospital and the convalescent home - he's returned to work earlier than his doctors recommended - but, after a shaky start, manages to solve the mystery which he gets involved in. The story moves quickly with all the wry humour of previous books.
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on 16 January 2016
This is a great book though with a lot of characters to keep track of. I watched the television series, and was surprised how closely the books and the series were. For classic detective novels you can't get better than Reginald Hill, but for more cosy detectives with a bit of fun i like Mike Faricy's Dan Haskell series and of course Sue Grafton. Another funny and individual writer is John Tallon Jones with the Penny Detective books, which are also written in my favorite first person and set near Liverpool.
Midnight Fugue follows the BBC series very closely, but even if you have already watched it, you will still enjoy the read.
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VINE VOICEon 26 June 2009
If you have read Mr Hill's other work you'll be glad to know this is excellent. It can't reach the heights of some in the Fat Andy series but they would be worth 8 stars each.

If you have never read any of Mr Hill's work how I envy you - over 20 great books are available to you.

By the way the TV series although okish is not a patch on the books so don't let the telly version put you off the books.
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on 19 January 2010
Andy Dalziel (the "Fat Man") is still recovering from the after-effects of injuries (and a coma) resulting from an explosion two novels ago. But he ignores medical advice and returns to his duties as Detective Superintendent, albeit a little shakily. Is it time to turn over the reins to his protégé, Pascoe? Or does he still have that flair and intuition?

This novel takes place in a 24-hour period in which, at the beginning. Dalziel is contacted by a woman, Gina Wolfe, whose London policeman husband disappeared seven years ago. About to be remarried after he has been declared legally dead, she receives a newspaper clipping with a picture in which her husband appears. She wants proof one way or another that he is dead and seeks Andy's help.

The plot broadens from this point in several ways, introducing all manner of characters from a couple of thugs to a possible future Prime Minister. The interaction between Andy and his colleagues (not to mention the rest of the world) remains humorous and still tickles the reader's funny bone. Tight plotting, with twists and turns, keeps one turning pages to see what comes next. Fugue is on the high plane of this series, and is highly recommended.
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on 2 July 2009
After his last book, 'A Cure for all Diseases' I was afraid Reginald Hill was losing it. Not that it was a bad book, exactly, but a bit experimental, based on a lesser-known novel by Jane Austen, full of literary illusions. All very clever, but it didn't quite have the pace we're used to.

But with 'Midnight Fugue' we're back with the classic Dalziel and Pascoe story, and it's a corker! Dalziel is back at work after a long spell of convalescence following his "death". Things have moved on, Pascoe has taken charge, and Dalziel seems about to be pushed on to the scrapheap. But never fear, he's still a safe pair of hands, as is his creator.

Definitely recommended!
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on 27 July 2009
Reginald Hill has done it again. This is another brilliant book in the series. Unlike other authors, Reginald Hill does not flag, and his plots and characters are still fresh and immensely readable. What the awful television series fails to capture is the humour inherent in these books.
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on 21 June 2009
I live in the US and read 99 percent of my books on an electronic reader. But I love Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe series so much that I buy each new one on Amazon UK as soon as it's released. This is another great one.
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