THE WOOD BEYOND by Reginald Hill
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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. For Chief Inspector Peter Pascoe, who's still getting ordered around by the contrarious grandmother he's just buried, the bones are clearly tied in to a shameful episode in his family history that his grandma has just brought out--his grandfather's court-martial and execution for cowardice at Passchendaele in 1917. But what's the connection between the Pascoe dirty linen and the dead man, or between the Grindal and Batty families, who combined their names in founding ALBA, and Superintendent Andy Dalziel's unlikely romance with Amanda ("Cap") Marvell, a self-described "born-again pagan" who's the guiding spirit of the animal protestors? Beginning with some detective work that's exasperatingly casual, Hill's 14th case for Dalziel and Pascoe (Pictures of Perfection, 1994, etc.) gradually reveals its several mysteries coming together with the fatal majesty of icebergs hoving into view, till they collide in a dazzling climax. 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.
Pub Date: April 15th, 1996
ISBN: 0440218039
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1996


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