Books by Reginald Hill

Reginald Hill's Yorkshire police procedurals have earned repeated comparisons to the works of Elizabeth George, P.D. James, and Ruth Rendell. ARMS AND THE WOMEN is Hill's sixteenth novel to feature the blunt but intuitively brilliant Detective Superintend

THE WOODCUTTER by Reginald Hill
Released: Aug. 1, 2011

"Near the end, a character refers to the fate of 'the dreadful, drab English.' There's nothing drab about this dark and compelling novel, although some of its characters are dreadful human beings."
A grim-dandy psychological thriller about betrayal and revenge set in England. Read full book review >
MIDNIGHT FUGUE by Reginald Hill
Released: Nov. 3, 2009

"The accelerated timetable gives Dalziel and Pascoe's 24th a Rube Goldberg effervescence that contrasts effectively with the pervasive sadness beneath."
The search for a colleague long presumed dead leads Chief Supt. Andrew Dalziel to 16 of the most jam-packed hours ever to strike the Mid-Yorkshire Constabulary. Read full book review >
Released: March 13, 2007

"Hill, returning to his long-running series after a crossover break (The Stranger House, 2005), produces a work as richly satisfying as steak-and-kidney pudding."
The title of Hill's latest establishes the fear that the author, with the help of some terrorist bombers, will kill off Andrew Dalziel, the gargantuan eminence of the Mid-Yorkshire CID. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 9, 2005

"Winning, spontaneous and blood-real characters triumph over a far-fetched plot."
Suspense master Hill (Good Morning, Midnight, 2004, etc.) brings together a young Australian woman seeking her true parentage and a Spanish priest manqué in one creepy Cumbrian town. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 3, 2004

"Pared down and brisker than last year's behemoth Death's Jest-book, this 21st pairing of crime fiction's most entertaining odd couple is a dazzler—Hill's best in years."
A homicide that's meant to look like a suicide, or is it the other way around? Read full book review >
DEATH’S JEST-BOOK by Reginald Hill
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"Certainly not without its rewards—bumptious Andy and elegant Peter are in top form—but if only there'd been a bit of pruning."
A 20th helping of Dalziel and Pascoe, together with at least as many subplots. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 2, 2002

"The love story is nice, the puzzler and his puzzles not without interest, but allowing the policeman to upstage charismatic Andy and elegant Peter over the course of 424 pages was not a good move."
Fatalities result when a motorcycle rams into a tree and a car careens off a bridge, but there's no reason to construe them as homicides. Read full book review >
BEYOND THE BONE by Reginald Hill
Released: April 1, 2000

"An early work (first published in England in 1975) that shows only fitful flashes of the wit and style that shine throughout the Dalziel-Pascoe partnership (Arms and the Women, 1999, etc.), making their series such a crime fiction favorite."
"Super!" exults Zeugma Gray, the "unambiguously plump" niece of world-class archeologist Leo Pasquino. Read full book review >
ARMS AND THE WOMEN by Reginald Hill
Released: Sept. 14, 1999

"Plotted with all the exuberant inventiveness of Dalziel and Pascoe's best (On Beulah Height, 1998, etc.), though Hill's salute to the heroics of middle-aged womanhood ends with a flurry of melodramatics that's a shade extravagant for heroines of either sex."
Time was when Peter Pascoe's wife Ellie was a bright star active in lots of save-the-world causes, from Greenpeace to Liberata, which works on behalf of female political prisoners. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

"A charming postcard pendant to Joe's three more sociologically weighty adventures back home in Luton (Killing the Lawyers, 1997, etc.)."
If only the Boyling Corner Chapel Choir's bus hadn't broken down on its way to the first annual Llanffugiol Choral Festival; if only the road signs in Welsh and the few passersby hadn't been so equally unhelpful; if only they'd arrived ten minutes earlier or later at the site of Copa Cottage—then Luton p.i. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1999

"The excitement of Emily Salter's attempts to escape the attention of her monomaniacal ex-husband Sterne Follett is still palpable; it just isn't new."
A truth-in-packaging commendation is due Hill's publisher for identifying this thriller as a reprint originally published in 1971 as The Castle of the Demon under Hill's pseudonym Patrick Ruell. Read full book review >
ON BEULAH HEIGHT by Reginald Hill
Released: July 10, 1998

"Though the dizzying complexities are even harder to keep straight than the fabulous cross-plotting of The Wood Beyond (1996), Hill continues to offer the best value for the money in the contemporary mystery field."
Fifteen years ago, life in the farms of Dendale ended—not only because they were sunk beneath a newly created reservoir, but because three little girls from the neighborhood were lured away, presumably by vanished teenager Benny Lightfoot, and never seen again. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 1997

"Joe's third (Born Guilty, 1995, etc.) isn't as funny as his best, but the creator of the immortal Dalziel and Pascoe could plot rings around the competition with one hand while ticking off the dead lawyers with the other."
Given even John Grisham's jaundiced view of the legal profession, it's not so surprising that Luton p.i. Read full book review >
THE WOOD BEYOND by Reginald Hill
Released: April 15, 1996

"The richness, depth, and emotional impact of Hill's multiple stories and their labyrinthine connections make such masters of plot as Martha Grimes and P.D. James seem positively niggardly."
Two demonstrations by animal-rights protestors have already left a security officer dead when a demonstrator at ALBA Pharmaceuticals stumbles into a pit containing another corpse, this one generations old. Read full book review >
BORN GUILTY by Reginald Hill
Released: May 11, 1995

"Trust down-at-heels Joe to provide value for the money."
Three cases for raffish Luton p.i. Read full book review >
BLOOD SYMPATHY by Reginald Hill
Released: Oct. 19, 1994

"1026, etc.), but in a vein of unadulterated downscale farce, with the most enterprising new hero since Super Marlo Brothers."
Veteran Hill's spanking new (though already shop-soiled) hero, balding black PI Joe Sixsmith, has a meddlesome aunt; an imperious (and kidnap-prone) cat; a neighborhood (Luton, Bedfordshire) full of layabouts, petty crooks, and vigilantes; and the wildest client list this side of Jupiter. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Altogether the finest English village mystery since The Nine Tailors."
Called down to placid Enscombe the day before the quarterly Day of Reckoning to investigate the disappearance of Constable Harold Bendish, Yorkshire coppers Andrew Dalziel and Peter Pascoe (Recalled to Life, 1992, etc.), joined by Pascoe's old friend Sgt. Read full book review >
RECALLED TO LIFE by Reginald Hill
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"Not quite the equal of the sterling Bones and Silence (1990), but several lengths ahead of the current competition."
When new evidence in a 1963 murder case leads to a new trial for nanny Cissy Kohler, who's been serving a life sentence for killing her employer's wife Pam Westropp, peerlessly curmudgeonly Mid-Yorkshire Chief Supt. Read full book review >
BONES AND SILENCE by Reginald Hill
Released: Aug. 14, 1990

"Pascoe novel yet—and one whose humor, keenness, and insight place him securely in the company of Ruth Rendell and P.D. James, and well ahead of most of their recent work."
Yorkshire police duo Supt. Read full book review >
Released: July 14, 1989

"In Hill's view of war, there can only be losers."
Hill takes time out from his notable series featuring detectives Dalziel and Pascoe for a longish (448 pp.) tale—first published in Britain in 1987, and very much in the mode of his WW I chronicle No Man's Land—of moral and political compromise, despair, and unexpected love in occupied France. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 1988

"Pascoe procedurals."
Hill's dark humor and crisp delivery are on solid display in this variegated collection—which features literary and occult surprises along with the more familiar sort of British, black-comic crime. Read full book review >
UNDERWORLD by Reginald Hill
Released: June 27, 1988

"Textured, too, with police-department politics, gritty atmosphere, and earthy pubtalk: the richest, strongest Hill since Ruling Passion a decade ago."
Hill's Yorkshire police-procedurals are unusually varied, from the black-comedy of Exit Lines to the psychodrama of A Killing Kindness. Read full book review >
TRAITOR'S BLOOD by Reginald Hill
Released: Oct. 15, 1986

"Unsympathetic hero, frenetic doings: disappointing suspense—even if stylish reminders of Hill's considerable talent abound."
Hill, author of the fine Dalziel/Pascoe mysteries, is less sure-footed when it comes to espionage thrillers—this is his weakest effort in that genre: a hectic yet talky spy/revenge/chase tale that begins with a certain far-fetched vigor, then becomes gnarled in increasingly tiresome convolutions. Read full book review >
AN APRIL SHROUD by Reginald Hill
Released: April 28, 1986

"No great suspense or surprises—but, with a lake-chase at the close and other bits of watery atmosphere, this is a solid entertainment in the Hill manner: sardonic, darkly funny, occasionally even a little haunting, with foul Dalziel at his most grimly vulnerable."
First US publication for a 1975 Dalziel/Pascoe mystery (cf. Read full book review >
CHILD'S PLAY by Reginald Hill
Released: Jan. 16, 1986

"But the getting-there is almost always fascinating and darkly amusing—with a colorfully varied support cast (reporters, lawyers, pub folk) and slightly new roles for Dalziel (more wise than foul this time) and Pascoe (frankly confused)."
Perhaps the best—and certainly the most elaborate—mystery in the Yorkshire series featuring Inspectors Dalziel and Pascoe: two complex cases (one in its psychology, the other in its gothic twists) that wind up overlapping in a downright baroque—yet never foolish—way. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 25, 1985

"But, unlike the rather somber Clubbable Woman, this early Hill is steadily, edgily amusing—blending quiet academia satire with earthier strains of dark comedy and offbeat characterization."
Like the debut novel for Yorkshire cops Dalziel and Pascoe (A Clubbable Woman), this follow-up was originally published only in Britain (1971)—but now appears in a first US edition. Read full book review >
EXIT LINES by Reginald Hill
Released: May 1, 1985

"The talented Mr. Hill (Deadheads, The Spy's Wife) in solid if not top form—with fine character-sketching throughout, a unifying theme of senility (Pascoe's father-in-law is also failing), and a wry, droll manner that never goes overboard."
Yorkshire's unlikely cop-team, fat boor Dalziel and wry smoothie Pascoe, make a welcome return—though this time the two never work together and there are three separate cases involved. Read full book review >
NO MAN'S LAND by Reginald Hill
Released: Feb. 2, 1985

"And the result, while fitfully involving as action-adventure and always earnestly workmanlike, is neither absorbing as a three-cornered character study nor persuasive as an exploration of the deserter phenomenon."
Hill, author of superior mysteries (Ruling Passion, etc.) and so-so thrillers (The Spy's Wife, etc.), offers a much more ambitious novel this time: a tale of three WW I deserters, 1916-1918, that's fairly strong as melodrama, fairly weak when it strains for psychosexual insights and thematic resonance. Read full book review >
A CLUBBABLE WOMAN by Reginald Hill
Released: Sept. 28, 1984

"Neither as dark nor as funny as later, better Hill, with Dalziel and Pascoe (still unmarried) not yet fully-drawn—but curious and atmospheric in its moody, rugby-centered, plodding way."
Only about half of Hill's police-procedurals (featuring Yorkshire cops Dalziel and Pascoe) have been published in America, Deadheads (p. 381) the most recent arrival; and this is the first US appearance for the 1970 Dalziel-Pascoe debut. Read full book review >
DEADHEADS by Reginald Hill
Released: May 22, 1984

"With a nice, low-key fadeout and a botanical motif throughout: sly, tart British crime-entertainment—uncompelling, a bit overextended, but drily engaging."
Yorkshire cops Dalziel and Pascoe (A Killing Kindness, Ruling Passion) make a welcome return here—but, with the killer out-front throughout, this is more a black-comic entertainment than a murder-mystery. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 28, 1983

"None of the plot-pizazz of other Hill creations, but plenty of crisp amusement in Joe's sexual frustrations and enforced crime-role."
Like last season's A Very Good Hater: another early Hill crime-novel (preceding his impressive Yorkshire-cop series), this one featuring a youngish British schoolteacher who gets reluctantly caught up in a heist-caper. Read full book review >
A VERY GOOD HATER by Reginald Hill
Released: Nov. 10, 1982

"A bit too twisty to be believed, and tetchy loner Goldsmith isn't quite appealing enough to carry the story along with him—but an unusual, cross-plotted little fabrication indeed, with more surprise turns than most novels twice its length."
First US printing of a 1974 effort by the author of the outstanding procedurals Ruling Passion and A Pinch of Snuff—with Hill's talents for tricky plotting and tart characterization on modestly effective display. Read full book review >
WHO GUARDS A PRINCE by Reginald Hill
Released: June 14, 1982

"A half-appealing hybrid, then: a corny conspiracy yarn delivered with charm, irony, and laid-back savvy—more akin to Christie and Buchan than Ludlum & Co."
Hill, author of superior mysteries (A Pinch of Snuff) and so-so espionage (The Spy's Wife), now branches out into international conspiracy-suspense-with a crisp, agreeably peopled reworking of the sort of plot that was already old hat when Agatha Christie tried it on in the Twenties. Read full book review >
Released: March 30, 1981

Like most police procedurals about mad mass-murderers, this new case for Yorkshire inspectors Dalziel and Pascoe (Ruling Passion, A Pinch of Snuff) has problems in the motivation department—but otherwise it's the stylish, superior commodity we've come to accept from shrewd, ironic Mr. Hill. Read full book review >
THE SPY'S WIFE by Reginald Hill
Released: Sept. 1, 1980

"But the scene-by-scene storytelling is fine (best by far in the Yorkshire home sequences); the dialogue is often splendidly sharp; and readers with modest expectations will find this an odd, sometimes brutish, mostly attractive mix of espionage, wifely identity crisis, and unlikely romance."
When Mollie Keatley's journalist husband of ten years disappears one day, she's told—by dour British agent Monk—that he's probably now in Moscow: "Sam Keatley's a spy, missus. Read full book review >
A PINCH OF SNUFF by Reginald Hill
Released: Dec. 13, 1978

"Yet, with a new kink on every page, there's no time to focus on the cops, the seedy local color, or anything in particular—making Hill #2 more readable than memorable."
This second case for Yorkshire's Supt. Read full book review >
RULING PASSION by Reginald Hill
Released: Aug. 31, 1977

"Well, if this is what the British mystery is coming to, Rule Britannia and Glory Hallelujah."
Recipe for a winner: combine the best elements of the gritty procedural with a protagonist reminiscent of Dick Francis, then add a gallery of three-dimensional town-and-country characters and repartee worthy of Rex Stout. Read full book review >