Crime fiction fans are devoted to Reginald Hill's excellent sequence of Dalziel & Pascoe novels, and there is a burgeoning interest in his equally adroit series featuring the canny private eye Joe Sixsmith (notably The Roar of the Butterflies, one of the most compelling entries in the series). However, for the real Reg Hill aficionado, it's Fat Andy and his more sophisticated colleague who inspire the real dedication, so the arrival of a new book, Midnight Fugue, is a cause for celebration - particularly as a refutation of the information in the title of Hill's recent novel, Dalziel is Dead.|
Gina Wolfe arrives in north Yorkshire seeking her missing husband, believed dead. Her new fiancé, a policeman in the Met, suggests the caustic copper Andy Dalziel might be of help - and everyone involved discovers that dark events of years ago have a way of causing troubling eruptions in the present.
It's hard to believe, but it's been nearly four decades since readers first encountered the well-read, sensitive detective Peter Pascoe and his partner, the brash but winning Andy Dalziel, in A Clubbable Woman. Hill has always rung the changes in the series with new wrinkles that take us to startling terra incognita (for example, One Small Step addressed the first murder on the moon in the year 2010). But the key factor in the series' continuing success (leaving aside the ratings-winning TV adaptations) is Hill's eagerness to take on key societal issues (always, however, married to reader-grabbing plots) - and that characteristic is abundantly evident in Midnight Fugue, with the two protagonist striking sparks off each other in the usual highly satisfying fashion.