Sunday, October 7, 2012

U is for Under World

For this week's Crime Fiction Alphabet meme, I am featuring Under World by Reginald Hill.  Please visit the post at Mysteries in Paradise to check out other entries for the letter U.

This book is the 10th in a series of 24 books. I read the first nine several years ago, and have the whole series in my TBR stacks and bookshelves.  Must move faster on that. Reginald Hill is a wonderful author. Based on my reading so far, he cannot write a bad book. Maybe some of his books not in the Dalziel and Pascoe series are a bit more humorous than I would like, but still very entertaining.

My take on Under World:

The book focuses in large part on Ellie Pascoe and her relationship with a young miner, Colin, who takes a class from her at the local university. She cannot resist getting involved with the troubles he and his family experience as a result of a crime that occurred a few years earlier. I get irritated with Ellie's willingness to get involved in activities that could be detrimental to her husband's job, and I find her to be an abrasive personality. But I do understand that this is part of her character and provides a way to explore themes beyond straight detection of crimes.

I like the partnership of the rough and crude Dalziel with the more refined and sensitive Pascoe, and I appreciate the respect they find for each over time. In most cases, I don't care for out and out humor in a mystery novel. However, Hill writes with subtle humor, especially in the interactions of Ellie and Pascoe and Pascoe's reactions to both Ellie and Dalziel. This is not my favorite of the series so far, but it is nevertheless an excellent novel, and whetted my appetite for more.

I read this book in late August. See my full review, which also includes a bit more information on Reginald Hill's career and writings.

Other links:
  •  For the letter D in the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme, Margot Kinberg profiled one of the two main stars in this series, Andy Dalziel. See that post here.
  • In June of this year, there was a blog to celebrate Reginald Hill's life and  writing. One post at that site included a great overview of Under World by Michael Walters.
  • This page at Ex Libris Reviews has a nice overview of the whole police team in this series.
This is the full list of  the Dalziel and Pascoe series (with links to Fantastic Fiction):
1. A Clubbable Woman (1970)
2. An Advancement of Learning (1971)
3. Ruling Passion (1973)
4. An April Shroud (1975)
5. A Pinch of Snuff (1978)
6. A Killing Kindness (1980)
7. Deadheads (1983)
8. Exit Lines (1984)
9. Child's Play (1986)
10. Under World (1988)
11. Bones and Silence (1990)
12. One Small Step (1990)
13. Recalled to Life (1992)
14. Pictures of Perfection (1994)
15. The Wood Beyond (1995)
16. Asking For The Moon (1996) [four novellas]
17. On Beulah Height (1998)
18. Arms and the Women (1999)
19. Dialogues Of The Dead (2001)
20. Death's Jest Book (2002)
21. Good Morning, Midnight (2004)
22. Death Comes for the Fat Man (2007)
     aka The Death of Dalziel
23. A Cure for All Diseases (2008)
     aka The Price of Butcher's Meat
24. Midnight Fugue (2009)


Anonymous said...

Tracy - Oh, I'm glad you profiled this one! I'm a fan of the D/P series and I do like the character of Ellie Soper Pascoe very much. I like it that she has a 'starring' role in this one. And yes, the interplay between Dalziel and Pascoe - and between Dalziel and Ellie - is a wonderful part of this series.

Peggy Ann said...

Have not gotten to these books yet. Have seen the TV show though.

srivalli said...

Reginald Hill has been in my TBr for a while. I hope to read atleast one of his books this year.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Great choice TracyK - I stalled on Hill's D&P series when they started making the TV adaptations for the BBC but have slowly started getting back to them again but have started from the beginning so I won't be reaching this volume for a while!


I got all a-skeert readin' that!