Bestselling and Diamond Dagger award-winning mystery writer Reginald Hill sets up a battle of wills between determined cops Andy Dalziel and DCI Peter Pascoe and an elusive and ingenious villain in a “dazzling” novel of psychological suspense (New York Times Book Review).
Three times Yorkshire policeman Peter Pascoe has wrongly accused ex-con Franny Roote of a crime, only to have Roote walk free. Now Roote is sending out strange and threatening letters and Pascoe fears there is worse to come. This time he’s determined to get his man.
Meanwhile, Pascoe’s colleague Edgar Wield rides to the rescue of a boy in danger and in return, the boy tips him off about the heist of a priceless treasure. Soon Wield is torn between protecting the lad and doing his duty.
Over all this activity broods the huge form of Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel. As trouble builds, Dalziel discovers that omniscience can be more trouble than it’s worth.
Diamond Dagger winner Hill ties up some loose ends from his previous Dalziel/Pascoe book, Dialogues of the Dead (2002), in this gritty, witty psychological suspense novel, whose title evokes a work by 19th-century poet and dramatist Thomas Lovell Beddoes. Rising academic Franny Roote, in spite of time spent in jail for murder and as a suspect in three other crimes, seems on his way to assured literary fame, and he's been writing DCI Peter Pascoe to share the glad tidings. Roote, in his affectionate, eloquent missives, assures Pascoe that he doesn't hold a grudge is even, perhaps, grateful for the part Pascoe played in his incarceration, which ultimately led to his fulfilling new life. For Pascoe's part, however, the letters are filled with menace and mockery: every reference to Pascoe's wife and daughter, every suspicious circumstance recounted, convinces him that Roote is still a foul crook with vendetta on his agenda. Meanwhile, the burgeoning passion between Rye Pomona and DC "Hat" Bowler, following the grisly end of Dickie Dee, may unsettle readers of Dialogues of the Dead. With so many characters and circumstances that may not be as they appear, this is more of a "who-might-do-what" than a "whodunit." The simultaneous release of the mass market edition of Dialogues of the Dead is fortunate, as the uninitiated would be well advised to read it first. Those who do will want to grab the next volume immediately. (On sale Sept. 26)