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Bones and Silence

Reginald Hill

The 11th book in Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe series.


One woman dead and one threatening to die set Yorkshire's police superintendent Dalziel and Inspector Pascoe on a chilling hunt for a killer and a potential suicide. A drunken Dalziel witnesses the murder that others insist is a tragic accident. Meanwhile the letters of an anonymous woman say she plans to kill herself in a spectacular way...unless Pascoe can find her first. Dalziel has been picked to play God in a local Mystery Play, but can he live up to his role by solving this puzzling psychological thriller...or unveiling the passions and perversions that lie hidden in the human heart?


Andy Dalziel witnesses a murder across the street from his back garden, and although he is inebriated at the time he is quite sure of what he saw. The victim’s husband local builder Peter Swain is the culprit, but Swain has a story to tell that explains what Dalziel saw-it was a tragic accident. Meanwhile an anonymous letter writer has confided in Dalziel that she plans to commit suicide, and Peter Pascoe and his wife Ellie have helped rope in the Fat Man to play God in a medieval Mystery Play. The devil is to be played by none other than chief murder suspect Peter Swain. Reginald Hill takes the reader on a series of twists and turns, disappearances, and intrigues involving leggy blondes, drugs, doctors and nurses, and jobbing builders.

#This is a brilliant read and a reminder of Hill’s superb writing ability and huge talent. I don’t think, despite the long running television series, he received the recognition he deserved. But I should warn those who dropped their books, gasped and were shocked and stunned by Gone Girl’s telegraphed plot twist that this twenty three year old story has has some real surprises. It also has a lot of laughs and in the wonderfully politically incorrect Andy Dalziel, one of the most unique characters in crime fiction.But there are also a wealth of interesting minor characters, and some social commentary that belies the age of the book.


But he hung onto the land. A wise move, when you see what has happened since between the village and the town. To this government, a Green Belt is a martial arts qualification for survival in the cabinet.


Reginald Hill is one of those writers to whom I return when I want to recharge my enthusiasm for crime fiction.

Review by Norman Price, CRIME SCRAPS REVIEW

Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill won the CWA Gold Dagger in 1990 and was the 11th book in the Dalziel and Pascoe series. It is the fourth Dalziel and Pascoe book I have read since Reginald Hill death last year. Bones and Silence is 524 pages long but I read it in very quick time because it is full of great characters, humour, red herrings and plot twists.

About Reginald Hill:

Born in West Hartlepool, County Durham, The United Kingdom, in 1936.

Reginald Charles Hill is a contemporary English crime writer, and the winner in 1995 of the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement.

After National Service (1955-57) and studying English at St Catherine's College, Oxford University (1957-60) he worked as a teacher for many years, rising to Senior Lecturer at Doncaster College of Education. In 1980 he retired from salaried work in order to devote himself full-time to writing.

Hill is best known for his more than 20 novels featuring the Yorkshire detectives Andrew Dalziel, Peter Pascoe and Edgar Wield. He has also written more than 30 other novels, including five featuring Joe Sixsmith, a black machine operator turned private detective in a fictional Luton. Novels originally published under the pseudonyms of Patrick Ruell, Dick Morland, and Charles Underhill have now appeared under his own name. Hill is also a writer of short stories, and ghost tales.


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