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Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill

Bones and Silence (1990)

by Reginald Hill

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I really enjoy the audiobooks of the Dalziel and Pasco series that are read by Brian Glover. Great accent, although it's occasionally hard to decipher, but the voices are great.

Dalziel witnesses the murder of a woman. Problem is that his story doesn't match those of others present in the room. As one would expect, his badgering and harassment soon reveals a host of nefarious activities.There's a side plot, the outcome of which I found a bit bizarre and unsatisfying. A woman has written to Dalziel that she intends to commit suicide and there i an underlying challenge for him to find her. He dismisses, it and it remains for Pasco, at the very end of the book to discover the woman's identity. In the meantime, Dalziel has been cast as God (!) in a local play.

Several readers have complained the book is not one of Hill's best and that the book drags. The beauty of the series is in the language, ribaldry, and the characters and their interactions. ( )
  ecw0647 | Jul 15, 2017 |
Chief Superintendent Dalziel witnesses the shooting death of a woman from his kitchen window; it appears to him that either the woman’s husband or lover killed her. But when questioned about the events, both men swear the woman killed herself and what Dalziel saw was each of them trying to get the gun away from her before it went off. When it turns out that the woman was a rich American and that the husband has serious financial problems, Dalziel’s suspicions ratchet up even higher, but he just can’t seem to get anybody to believe him…. I began reading Reginald Hill’s "Bones and Silence" immediately after finishing the previous book in the Dalziel and Pascoe series because of events in that book, which unfortunately weren’t really answered with this one. Never mind; it’s a rollicking story and there’s a marvelous sub-plot about a Mystery Play being performed in town with Dalziel serving as God Himself, which is quite a hoot. Recommended! ( )
  thefirstalicat | Dec 17, 2016 |
Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill - very good

In direct opposition to my OCD nature, I haven't read all the Dalziel and Pascoe books in order ie starting at #1 and working through. Having said that, the ones I have read, I've read in published order. There is a reason for mentioning that: they get better. Now I'm not sure if the writing is better (don't think so, it's always been well written, some lovely turn of phrase) or because the era moves on and it is
less grating. The early books were written and set in the 70s and the attitudes to women etc were really grating. This one was written in 1990 and won the Gold Dagger award. It is still 'of its era' and it is quite entertaining to remember the days when it was acceptable to drink in your lunch break and smoke at the desk.

The story itself is clever. Two differing plots: a mystery woman, contemplating suicide and writing to Dalziel anonymously & the death of a woman witnessed at a distance by him - he thinks it's murder, everyone else, an accident. Alongside this, he is asked to take part in the Mystery Plays being performed over the bank holiday.

So what about Pascoe? He has just returned from extended sick leave (following an accident at the end of the last book I read) and finding his feet both literally and at work. Between them, they solve everything (of course!) but not without a few twists and turns. I was quite blase about who the mystery woman was. Of course, that was the Author's 'plant' and I was quite wrong.

Well deserved of its Gold Dagger and its place on the List of The Guardian's 1000
best novels http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009/jan/23/bestbooks-fiction ( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
The one with the Mystery Play. Dalziel witnesses a murder from his bedroom but what he saw doesn't match the accused man's testimony. Another rattling good mystery, complicated but believable. Lots of humorous stuff with Dalziel being his usual self, up to the very end, which suddenly shifted gears in a way that was surprising, shocking, and utterly sad. I need to go back and re-read for the clues I missed. ( )
  piemouth | Jul 10, 2014 |
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. ( )
2 vote rabbitprincess | Mar 19, 2011 |
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"We insist, it seems, on living. Then again, indifference descends. The roar of the traffic, the passage of undifferentiated faces, this way and that way, drugs me into dreams; rubs features from faces. People might walk through me ... We are only lightly covered with buttoned cloth; and beneath these pavements are shells, bones and silence." --Virginia Woolf: The Waves
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Dear Mr Dalziel, you don't know me
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440209358, Mass Market Paperback)

One woman dead and one threatening to die set Yorkshire's police superintendent Dalziel and Inspector Pascoe on a chilling hunt for a killer and a potential suicide. A drunken Dalziel witnesses the murder that others insist is a tragic accident. Meanwhile the letters of an anonymous woman say she plans to kill herself in a spectacular way...unless Pascoe can find her first. Dalziel has been picked to play God in a local Mystery Play, but can he live up to his role by solving this puzzling psychological thriller...or unveiling the passions and perversions that lie hidden in the human heart?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:19 -0400)

On t.p.: A Dalziel/Pascoe mystery. What appears to be a simple murder case becomes more complicated as Pascoe and Dalziel peel away layer after layer of untruth.

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