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Arms and the Women by Reginald Hill

Arms and the Women (1999)

by Reginald Hill

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498430,890 (3.73)13



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Ellie, the wife of DCI Pascoe, is almost kidnapped one afternoon, and of course everyone thinks the incident is related to Pascoe’s work, but they are baffled with respect to which criminal might be responsible. To protect her, it is arranged that Ellie will, with friends, stay at a remote cottage for a while, but that cottage is not so remote that the culprits can’t find her…. This is, I think, the 17th Dalziel and Pascoe novel and one of the best, albeit most confusing. In addition to Ellie’s predicament, we have Colombian drug lords, IRA terrorists and a tiny but fierce young policewoman, not to mention various shady intelligence organizations. How Mr. Hill pulls all of these disparate elements together is a joy to behold; recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | May 11, 2017 |
Hill for me really goes over the edge in this one. He indulges a high-faulting literary yearning, I'm afraid, that unfortunately is too much for me. Too much showing off classical knowledge and not enough of the mystery/thriller for me. Add a bit of Irish plot and a pinch of a South American plot, and it's kind of a mess. Oh, and the main character is Ellie Pascoe, who is neither sympathetic nor all that interesting. ( )
  Laura400 | Jun 13, 2014 |
Probably my least favorite Dalziel and Pascoe. Large sections of the book are the text of a novel being written by Ellie Pascoe, which I found annoying. When a kidnapping attempt is made on Peter Pascoe's wife, investigations into Pascoe's enemies turn up nothing; the key to the mystery is in Ellie's political involvements. The finale is over-the-top. ( )
  Bjace | Nov 22, 2010 |
One of the great joys of the Dalziel and Pascoe stories, especially the later ones, is that you never know what you are going to get. Hill jumps about - apparently at random - between serious crime stories and genre-bending pastiche, all of them a delight to the reader.

Having lulled us into a false sense of security with this book's immediate predecessor On Beulah Height, a straight and rather harrowing crime story about the disappearance of a number of young girls, Hill now leaps out from behind a tree with this high-camp pastiche of a gun-running story, featuring old-school-tie spies and Colombian and Irish terrorists who would make John Le Carré blush, and building up to a splendid grand guignol finale (in a storm on a cliff-top, no less). If Ronald Firbank had ever written a thriller, it would be like this.

For a change, Ellie Pascoe becomes the main viewpoint character, and there is an extended, and very entertaining, book-within-a-book device involving a pastiche historical novel she is writing for her own amusement. It would spoil the fun to explain what it's about, but suffice it to say that it is the story she started at the end of On Beulah Height, with the wonderful opening line "It was a dark and stormy night." Excellent fun, all round. ( )
  thorold | May 23, 2009 |
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This one's for those Six Proud Walkers in whose company the sun always shines bright, Emmelien, Jane, Liz, Margaret, Mary Teresa ...
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When I go to see my father, he doesn't know me.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0440225949, Mass Market Paperback)

Although Yorkshire's Superintendent Andy Dalziel and Inspector Peter Pascoe are strong supporting characters in Hill's 18th entry in this enduring series, the real stars are an evocative array of women.

Deeply shaken by her 9-year-old daughter's close encounter with death in On Beulah Height, Peter's wife Ellie has taken to writing a novel for comfort. It's about the Greeks and the Trojans, but the odd thing is that her Odysseus looks and sounds a lot like Andy Dalziel. (After Aenas accuses him of being one of his sworn enemies, Odysseus replies, "Nay, lord ... I've sworn to nowt about you lot. I've never heard owt about you but good, nor do I wish you any harm, and I'll swear to that here and now, if you like."). Still, her happy days spent writing are soon cut short when she narrowly avoids being kidnapped by a slick couple who show up in a white Mercedes. Then her neighbor, Daphne Aldermann, has her stiff upper lip split when she goes after an intruder outside the Pascoe house and is badly beaten. Other compelling female characters include the tough and glamorous Constable Shirley Novello (who volunteers to guard Ellie despite an instinctive dislike between them), an elderly activist called Feenie Macallum, and a con woman, Kelly Cornelius (who is linked to some IRA gun runners and Colombian drug dealers). Between them, these women work out a beautiful, dangerous revenge on the villains who threaten them.

Once again, Reginald Hill has found a new way to get our attention and prove that--for him--the restraints of the mystery are nonexistent. --Dick Adler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:30 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

British policeman Peter Pascoe investigates an attempt to abduct his wife. It could be the work of a criminal revenging himself on Pascoe by striking at his wife, or it could have something to do with her own activities, the woman being mixed up in many causes.… (more)

» see all 3 descriptions

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