Reginald Hill was brought up in Cumbria, and has returned there after many years in Yorkshire. With his first crime novel, A Clubbable Woman, he was hailed as `the crime novel's best hope' and twenty years on he has more than fulfilled that promise.
The 10th in Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe novels ( Exit Lines, etc.) is, as usual, a nicely plotted, smoothly written mystery on the top rung of the genre. A half-dotty old Yorkshire widow dies, throwing her relations into confusion with a will that leaves her wealth to a son missing in action in World War II. If he's not founnd by 2015, the fortune will be divided among charities for animals, the needy and Women for Empire. A man resembling the long-lost son appears and disappears. Officials of the charities, surviving relatives and the deceased's lawyer begin a complicated bargaining dance. A top cop campaigns to become Chief Constable. A young drifter enters the life of Sgt. Wield, forcing him to a decision about his homosexuality. There are a couple of apparently unrelated murders. Supt. Dalziel sorts it all out in his usual boorish, intuitive, irreverent way. He's helped by youthful, (relatively) cultured Inspector Pascoe, stolid Sgt. Wield and by Lexie Huby, a young, mousy legal secretary with lots of surprises. Readers will love Hill's rich characterization, vivid local color and lightly stinging humor. Reprint rights to Warner Books. (January 16)
`Few writers in the genre today have Hill's gifts: formidable intelligence, quick humour, compassion and a prose style that blends elegance and grace' Donna Leon, Sunday Times
`The fertility of Hill's imagination, the range of his power, the sheer quality of his literary style never cease to delight' Val McDermid, Sunday Express
`He is probably the best living male crime writer in the English-speaking world' Andrew Taylor, Independent
`Reginald Hill's novels are really dances to the music of time, his heroes and villains interconnecting, their stories entwining' Ian Rankin, Scotland on Sunday
`An increasingly lyrical and always humorous writer, he is first and foremost an instinctive and complete novelist who is blessed with a spontaneous storytelling gift' Francis Fyfield, Mail On Sunday