‘Hill is an instinctive and complete novelist who is blessed with a spontaneous storytelling gift’ Frances Fyfield, Mail on Sunday
Fifteen years ago they moved everyone out of Dendale. They needed a new reservoir and an old community seemed a cheap price to pay. But four inhabitants of the valley could not be moved, for nobody knew where they were: three little girls who had gone missing, and the prime suspect in their disappearance, Benny Lightfoot.
This was Andy Dalziel’s worst case and now he looks set to relive it. Another child goes missing in the next valley, and old fears arise as someone sprays the deadly message on Danby bridge: BENNY’S BACK!
‘On Beulah Height must rank as his best yet… Reginald Hill’s novels are really dances to the music of time’
Ian Rankin, Scotland on Sunday
‘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
Praise for Reginald Hill:
'You'll be hard pushed to find another crime writer with his verve … Hill uses every trick in his arsenal to elucidate. The result is an epic, unbeatable mystery' Financial Times
'Reginald Hill's books are as good as crime fiction gets' Literary Review
'Hill's plotting is brilliant, the jokes first-rate, the prose supple: it's his humble awe at the English language that enables him to be a minor master of it' Daily Telegraph
About the author
Reginald Hill, who died in 2012, was a native of Cumbria and former resident of Yorkshire, the setting for his novels featuring Superintendent Dalziel and DCI Pascoe. Their appearances won him numerous awards including a CWA Gold Dagger, the Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement and the Theakstons Old Peculier Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award. The Dalziel and Pascoe novels were also adapted into a hugely popular BBC TV series.
Cascading imagery and sinuous plot lines are utilized to stunning effect in Hill's latest Dalziel/Pascoe novel (The Wood Beyond, 1996, etc.), a flawless blend of mystery, ghost story and psychological thriller. Fifteen years ago, the remote Yorkshire village of Dendale was purposefully flooded in the creation of a reservoir. As most of the villagers moved to the next town, three young Dendale girls vanished, their disappearance never solved. Also vanished, presumably into the nearby moors, was Benny Lightfoot, a troubled loner and most likely suspect of rotund copper Andy Dalziel. Now, as the village is literally reappearing in a summer-long drought, Benny's return is proclaimed in graffiti, and a young girl disappears. Detective Superintendent Dalziel and his erudite partner, Chief Inspector Peter Pascoe, follow the current case. Pascoe's daughter, in the grip of a sometimes fatal disease, has nightmares about a demonic water monster who steals children. A classical concert is planned in the next village to celebrate the return of Elizabeth Wulfstan, an impressive young singer from Dendale whose translations of Mahler songs focus on dead children. This is merely the bare bones of Hill's multilayered masterpiece, in which he balances the droll interplay between the detectives, the gentle resonating of local legends and the slowly unfolding stories of numerous families shattered by secrets and sadness. From its ominous beginning to the wrenching conclusion, this, the 15th Dalziel/Pascoe tale, shows Hill at the top of his form.