Ed 's Reviews > Bones and Silence

Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill
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Jan 16, 2009

really liked it
Read in January, 2009

"Bones and Silence" is one of the many Dalziel/Pascoe mysteries by Reginald Hill that I have read although the first I have discussed on goodreads. It is typical of the series--the two main characters are police officers in mid-Yorkshire. Andy Dalziel is the fat, pugnacious and extremely effective senior officer--he is steadily promoted in the course of the series while Peter Pascoe is his more educated, less impulsive but still effective alter ego who is always a couple of pay grades junior to Daziel. The crime is, of course, murder. In this case Dalziel has witnessed either a cold blooded murder or a suicide that has almost been averted. The victim is an unstable women and the two men with her when she died, shot in the head at very close range, are her husband and the man with whom she is currently committing adultery, something she is very good at. There are good reasons to assume she killed herself and other reasons, perhaps not quite as convincing, that her husband killed her. When the arrest and interrogation of her husband leads only to a claim of police harrassment by the husband's very able lawyer and the man who has been cuckolding disappears, the case is stalled and the inquest will probably bring a finding of death by suicide.

While Hill is an accomplished mystery writer he is even better as a social observer and commentator on the human foibles of his protagonists and those around them. The story is told in a modified third person point of view sometimes told through the eyes and actions although not the words of Pascoe and other times from a "fly on the wall" viewpoint.

Hill is a master of his genre, a delightfully droll writer who enjoys wordplay and unexpected references classic or popular literature. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys well written mysteries, particulary ones set in England and especially fans of the two current queens, P. D. James and Ruth Rendell (long may both of them reign). Like both of them Hill excells in social and class commentary and takes a jaundiced, occasionally hopeful view of society during the turn of the 20th century.
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