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Ruling Passion

(Dalziel & Pascoe #3)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,645 ratings  ·  91 reviews
From Yorkshire to the sleepy village of Thornton Lacey is only a morning's drive, but for Detective-Sergeant Peter Pascoe, the distance will close off part of his life forever. Motoring down for a reunion with old friends, he arrives to find not a welcome but a grisly triple murder. Out of his jurisdiction, Pascoe is in an untenable position: one of his oldest friends is w ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 1982 by Dell (first published April 1973)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  1,645 ratings  ·  91 reviews

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David Highton
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two parallel plots, one involving the murder of university friends of Pascoe, keep our duo occupied - a good police procedural nearly fifty years old but not too dated at all.
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2016
Tragedy at Thornton Lacey...

Peter Pascoe and his girlfriend, Ellie Soper, are off for a weekend break to visit old university friends now living in the village of Thornton Lacey. But when they get there, they are met with tragedy – three of their friends lie dead from shotgun wounds and the fourth, Colin, is missing. Not surprisingly, Colin immediately becomes the chief suspect, but neither Peter nor Ellie can bring themselves to believe he could have done such a horrific thing. Meantime, back i
Dec 31, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I think this is where the Dalziel and Pascoe series really starts to hit its stride. Although I enjoyed the first two books, I didn't really think they were fully representative of the strengths of the series. This book, while not as strong as some of the later ones, feels like it has all of the elements in place. In particular, Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe both really come across as well-rounded characters.

It's a small thing, but I was also impressed with how Hill handled the passage of time b
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I mostly enjoyed it, but towards the end it becomes a little heavy-handed, the story doesn't flow so easily. Pity, because I liked to have Pascoe at the centre for once. There are also too many characters who hardly ever appear in person but who have quite an impact on the story. I simply can't find it in myself to care about them, I'm having a hard time remembering their names and keeping them apart. So two tepid stars only ...
A really good story and I was very much enjoying it up until the last 50 or so pages. The ending just seemed to be overlong and overly complicated. I marked it down to 3 stars for that.
CAST - 1: Sergent Peter Pascoe (seems kind and reports to Andy Dalziel who seems unkind and uses the term 'stupid twat'' often) and friend/girlfriend Ellie (the kind of gal who needs to be sedated and comforted after seeing the results of a crime then turns into a good detective because the author must at least have one strong female lead) visit college chums but upon arrival find Timothy, Carlo, (both gay, live together, don't seem to be a couple as the a
Apr 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
One man discovers three friends dead, the fourth one is missing, and then he turns his mind on other things. A very strong beginning, then problems of robberies and stamps... I couldn´t get into it.
Rob Smith, Jr.
Author Reginald Hill tosses one of his main characters into the witness role of a murder and has fun working out his character in the role and as a member of law enforcement. I believe Hill handles this well and better fleshes out his character Pascoe and his girlfriend. There's another active set of mysteries also brewing that pitches character Pascoe back and forth from mystery to mystery. Seems to me Hill could've worked that part out much better. Hill makes it all confusing with little effor ...more
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great Dalziel and Pascoe story, with plenty of the sharp wit and humour that Hill's well-known for. Complicated double plot and lots of intersecting story lines. A great read.
Dillwynia Peter
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this like an addict that has missed a few hits.

I have been reading these in order of publication & this is when Hill hits his stride. The 1st two books are fine, but here the writing is much stronger; it feels like an author who knows his craft.

It is a nice twist on the English village murder. I worked out the villain about 80% through and tried to work out the How. There is a wonderful twist right at the end which was just plain delightful.

Regarding the development of the characters
Rog Harrison
Dec 05, 2008 rated it liked it
This is probably at least the third time I have read this book. First published in 1973 this is the third book in the series. By now Pascoe and Ellie are a couple and are talking about getting married and whilst Pascoe is still a Detective Sergeant his promotion to Detective Inspector is not far away.

There are two main strands to this story. Firstly while visiting friends down south Pascoe and Ellie come across their murdered bodies so Pascoe finds himself in the unfamiliar role of being a witne
Jim Whitefield
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Another great Andy Dalziel (pronounced De-el for those not familiar) and Peter Pascoe novel. I will just go with the Independent's review when this book was first published in 1973. "He is probably the best living male crime writer in the English speaking world."(Although he died in 2012 - a sad loss to his avid readers). The TV series is well worth watching but the books are simply brilliant. This multiple murder case plus a series of seemingly unrelated robberies is clearly worked through by H ...more
Aug 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Book 3 in the series, and I'm still not hooked. I am becoming a little fond of gross, always-scratching and not especially polite Dalziel though, and want Peter Pascoe to be successful. So perhaps something is sticking. This was an especially gruesome crime, and sad, and once again I couldn't keep the characters straight. Perhaps I should go back to reading something with more easily-distinguishable characters like "Hop on Pop"...
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I struggled between rating the book at three stars versus four stars. It's ALMOST four stars but much better than just three! The story immediately captured my interest as it began with Pascoe and his girlfriend stumbling upon the murder of several of their friends. Many characters were introduced, and I did have a bit of trouble keeping them all straight, but I made good notes and kept referring back to them. I will definitely continue reading the Daziel and Pascoe mystery series.
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Am currently rereading this series, too. Was saddened to learn the author died not too long ago. Was so pleased to hear that he was an author who gave advice/criticism to Louise Penny. She has, in her books, used as part of her story a title or two from his books--wonderful acknowledgement and thanks to him on her part!!
Feb 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
Start with 'Ruling Passion' and work your way up through 'Pictures of Perfection', for a view of how characters take hold of an author, and grow into fully formed people.
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This is the third in the Dalziel and Pascoe series. I recently discovered that I had forgotten to read the earlier books he has written so I am slowly doing some catchup right now. When I first dipped into the series, Peter Pascoe was married. In this, the third book, Peter Pascoe is a Detective Sargent who is in love with Ellie Soper, a lecturer at a local college. The book opens with them going to a reunion with old college chums early on a Saturday morning. They were supposed to get there Fri
Tim Field
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ruling Passion is the third book in the Dalziel and Pascoe series by Reginald Hill and while not a perfect book, it does contain much to entertain and delight the reader. Peter Pascoe develops as a character in this novel; we see him promoted, grow deeper in his relationship with Ellie, and suffer personal loss. Andy Dalziel is fleshed out as well, and he is not just a loutish caricature, but instead concerned about his health, shown to be aware of Pascoe's personal concerns and demonstrates his ...more
Alison C
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detective Sergeant Peter Pascoe and his girlfriend Ellie are heading to a small village to visit friends, but when they arrive they find three of their friends dead and the fourth missing, presumed guilty of the crime by the local police. Pascoe has to serve as a witness rather than being involved in the investigation, but of course it is impossible for him not to go looking for answers, no matter the price….I don’t know how I managed to miss this, the third book in the Dalziel and Pascoe series ...more
Mar 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book 3 of the series is a little different from the normal police procedural story. It starts with Pascoe and Ellie arriving early one Saturday morning to stay with friends and their cottage to find 3 of the dead from shotgun wounds and the 4th missing. Pascoe is now placed in the position of being a witness rather than investigator, and not only that suspicion naturally falls on the missing member of the house party and he cannot contemplate his friend committing these terrible murders. Return ...more
Ronald Wilcox
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nls-audio
I’m on the verge of giving up on this series. It gets one more chance in a few months.

In this third installment, Peter Pascoe takes his current main squeeze to a country town a day’s drive from London where they find three horrifically murdered bodies—all three friends of the couple. A fourth person, the host who had invited Pascoe to the cottage, is missing.

Pascoe is concerned local law enforcement will limit their investigation only to his friend who is missing, and he realizes more is in play
Jul 31, 2020 added it
Shelves: borrowed, lapl, 2020, audio, series
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 12, 2020 rated it liked it
I didn't enjoy listening to this as much as the others in this series. Firstly, the number of characters involved was confusing, and secondly this book was narrated by Brian Glover rather than Colin Buchanan. I really like Me Glover as an actor and I can understand why they chose him. His accent is perfect. But he has a very odd way of delivering dialogue that sometimes made it very difficult to follow what was happening. It meant the book needed more concentration than usual and I use audio boo ...more
Jeff Lewis
May 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dalziel and Pascoe return for a third outing as author Reginald Hill produces a large number of plotlines spreading two counties. The initial story sees Pascoe and girlfriend Ellie Soper arrange to visit a group of old college friends. On arrival they a met with a grusome murder scene with the finger pointing at one of their friends. Back on his own patch Dalziel is looking in to a number of robberies of antiques. Bizarrely the two cases become linked together with a plot that may be a little to ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, audio
Another Dalziel and Pascoe book - I like how these two interact with each other and now Ellie is more in the mix too! When Pascoe & Ellie go to visit some friends from their uni days they discover 3 of them murdered and another apparently on the run. They obviously are needed there but Peter is also needed back with Dalziel to help investigate a string of dangerous thefts. I did sometimes have to concentrate to keep the two sides of the story separate

Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Published by Harper Collins in 1973 this neat mystery captures a time of change both in the times and in the lives of Chief Superintendent Andy Dazliel, Peter Pascoe, and Eleanor Soper. This time two cases, one a homicide that involves friends of Pascoe, the other a series of thefts in Mid Yorkshire, are brought to a successful conclusion by the thoughtful Pascoe and the instinctive Dazliel.
Dawn Marie
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Wake me up when it's over.
Maybe it is me but I could not follow the plot and the numerous characters.
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Reginald Charles Hill was 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

Other books in the series

Dalziel & Pascoe (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • A Clubbable Woman (Dalziel & Pascoe, #1)
  • An Advancement of Learning (Dalziel & Pascoe, #2)
  • An April Shroud (Dalziel & Pascoe, #4)
  • A Pinch of Snuff (Dalziel & Pascoe, #5)
  • A Killing Kindness (Dalziel & Pascoe, #6)
  • Deadheads (Dalziel & Pascoe, #7)
  • Exit Lines (Dalziel & Pascoe, #8)
  • Child's Play (Dalziel & Pascoe, #9)
  • Under World (Dalziel & Pascoe, #10)
  • Bones and Silence (Dalziel & Pascoe, #11)

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