Monday, November 4, 2013

Bones and Silence: Reginald Hill

Bones and Silence (1990) by Reginald Hill is the eleventh book in the Dalziel and Pascoe police procedural series. The series has a total of twenty four books, so I have many more to read, and I am glad of it.

Bones and Silence has two mysteries. The first is a death witnessed by Andy Dalziel while he is still more than a bit soused after a night of drinking. He sees the event through the back window of an adjoining house in his neighborhood. To him, it looks like murder. The witnesses, one of whom he insists is the murderer, say it was suicide.  The second thread is Pascoe's quest to find a woman who is threatening suicide. This woman has chosen Dalziel as her confidant, via letters, but Dalziel is not interested and Pascoe feels that he must follow up.
 
As usual in this series, the reader follows some events in the detectives lives. Pascoe's wife is involved in an arts production, an outdoor presentation of the Medieval Mysteries. Her gorgeous, statuesque friend, Eileen Chung, wants to dragoon Dalziel into playing an important role. Pascoe has just been made a Chief Inspector, and is getting used to the new rank and responsibilities.

In this series, the partners are neither buddies nor antagonists. There is mutual respect, and they lean on each other to benefit from their individual strengths. Dalziel is intelligent but coarse; Pascoe is educated and a family man.

Detective Sergeant Wield has a large role in this investigation and I like him as a supporting character. He is everything you want in a policeman; hard working, honest, loyal. He is also gay and trying to fit in with his co-workers and do a good job.

I have never read a book by Reginald Hill that I did not like. And he can do no wrong in the Dalziel and Pascoe series in my estimation. Although Reginald Hill was awarded the Gold Dagger for this book, the eleventh in the series, it is not my favorite so far. My favorites are the second, An Advancement of Learning, in which Pascoe meets his wife, and the seventh, Deadheads


Also reviewed at Crime Scraps, Mystery*File, and Celebrating Reginald Hill

23 comments:

  1. I may very well agree with you about DEADHEADS actually - in fact, i really want to get back to reading this series, it's been too long - thanks TracyK.

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    1. Sergio, I can't believe it has taken me so long to get through this series. I have all of his books, so I have no excuse.

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  2. I've read several in the Dalziel and Pascoe mystery series, but I don't remember this particular book. Probably I skipped it somehow. Off to add it to my TBR shelf.

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    1. Marika, this is a good one but then I have never read a bad Reginald Hill book.

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  3. Glad you are enjoying this series, an author I have never tried. I suppose at some point I can relax my embargo and treat myself to one D/P book in the interests of research.
    Like with Vera Stanhope, I do enjoy the TV adaptations with the excellent and acerbic Warren Clarke as one or other of the double act - not sure which. Read on!

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    1. Col, I do love Reginald Hill's writing, but the books are definitely not as gritty as your normal fare. I do want to see the series someday. We just have such a backlog of TV on DVD to watch.

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    2. I might be mellowing as I get older, I'm definitely more open to trying books that maybe 12 months ago I would rejected out of hand. Ditto the TV backlog, just not quite as bad as the reading piles.....

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    3. I agree you are more open lately... you have read Carolyn Hart books and I have not read any. I have several but I was always afraid her books were too cozy.

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  4. Tracy - This is a terrific series and I'm so very glad that you enjoyed this one. I agree that An Advancement of Learning is an excellent novel. It really shows the relationship between Dalziel and Pascoe in an interesting light, and I do like Ellie's role in it. And I actually like this one very much as well, since I like Wield. An excellent review, for which thanks.

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    1. Yes, if I could I would reread my two favorites right now, but I think I should finish the remainder of the Dalziel / Pascoe series plus a few stand alone books he wrote first.

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  5. I haven't read any of these books but I loved the TV series and you've convinced me that I'm missing out on a great book series, I'll have to track down number 1.

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    1. Katrina, I hope you like them. Probably if you like the series you will like the books.

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  6. Tracy, I have never read a single mystery by Reginald Hill and that's a measure of just how far behind I'm vis-a-vis must-read crime-fiction authors.

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    1. Prashant, Reginald Hill is a good one to read, but we can't read everything. There are a lot of good authors I haven't tried yet.

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  7. I haven't read Reginald Hill but plan to in future. I just wish more of his books were digitized. Must they be read in order?

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    1. Keishon, This one could definitely be read as a stand-alone. I liked reading them in order to this point because of the evolving relationship of Dalziel and Pascoe and Pascoe and his wife. From this point on, I don't know. But with a series so long, it sometimes isn't realistic to try to read in order. That is sort of a wishy washy answer.

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    2. Helpful nevertheless. Thanks!

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  8. I'm a big fan of the Dalziel and Pascoe mysteries - I read a few of Hill's others and didn't like them as much. But I think this series got better and better as it went on. I particularly liked Recalled to LIfe and Pictures of Perfection.

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    1. Moira, those two you mentioned are the next two that I will read so I am glad to hear you liked them.

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  9. I totally agree, Tracy. I've never read a book by Hill I didn't like and this series is one of my favourites.

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    1. Sarah, Hill is one of my favorite authors and I can't figure out why I haven't read all his books already. I have copies of the entire series and a lot of his other books ... unread. But they are something to look forward to.

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  10. I really must get back to this series. I read the first four and liked them so much, and then got stalled when I quit the fifth because I didn't like the subject matter. I've just ordered #6!

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    1. Nan, he really does write well, and I love his subtle humor. Although this one had less humor.

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