rabbitprincess's Reviews > Bones and Silence

Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill
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's review
Apr 24, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: cadeau, 2008
Recommended to rabbitprincess by: cousin (it was a Christmas present)
Recommended for: police procedural fans; those who enjoy rich, deep mysteries
Read in May, 2008

If your chief superintendent witnesses what he believes to be a murder, but his account differs greatly from those of the "murderers", whom do you believe? Such is Pascoe's dilemma in this story. Dalziel witnesses a disturbance in the house behind his, runs to investigate, and sees what initially looks to be a suicide. The unstable and reckless Gail Swain has had her face blown off with a shotgun, while her husband and her lover fought to try to save her. Or did they? Dalziel is convinced that Gail's husband, Philip, murdered her, and sticks to that story even when both Philip's and the lover's accounts are radically different. Pascoe can't just take his super's word, but Dalziel is not a man who takes kindly to being told he's wrong.

Meanwhile, Dalziel is the lucky recipient of several anonymous letters from a woman (at least they think it's a woman) who is intent on killing herself. Dalziel cannot be bothered to take an interest in the case, though, leaving Pascoe to try to figure out who the writer is and if he/she can be saved.

As with a lot of Hill's work, this book is tied together with a work of literature. In this case, it is the Mediaeval Mysteries, quotes from which open each Part, and which runs through the story itself as a production put on by director Eileen Chung. Dalziel himself has been asked to play God (which could be considered typecasting, which has essentially been stated in many reviews of this book).

This book was brilliant. Hill is an excellent writer whose command of language I envy greatly. He has a good ear for dialogue as well, but his dialect-speaking characters don't become incomprehensible. The story is gripping, and the finale packs quite a punch. Highly recommended.

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