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Deadheads by Reginald Hill

Deadheads (1983)

by Reginald Hill

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Upper-Intermediate Early,
  ChatterMatters | Aug 12, 2018 |
Dandy Dick Elgood is concerned that one of his employees might, just might, be a serial killer, so he approaches his friend Dalziel, who in turn passes him on to Peter Pascoe for follow-up. Almost immediately after their talk, Dandy Dick retracts his accusations, saying he didn’t know what he was thinking about. But there are other indications that the employee, a rose-obsessed accountant named Patrick Alderman, might be somewhat more than he seems…. This is the seventh in Reginald Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe series, set in contemporary Yorkshire. I go back and forth with these books, because Dalziel is either very funny in a cynical kind of way or he’s terribly sexist and racist, and I just can’t seem to decide which it is in any given novel. In this one, he treats an Asian police cadet very badly while being very delicate with respect to the extremely closeted gay sergeant on his team. An interesting story, framed by descriptions of specific roses, but each reader will have to decide for herself if she can tolerate Dalziel’s manner or not. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Oct 28, 2016 |
I like DS Wield so much I got another one. Much fun to be had. Should reading be this easy? ( )
  veracite | Apr 7, 2013 |
WARNING: This review contains spoilers.

Another early Dalziel and Pascoe mystery (published in 1983). The back cover describes the events of the book as a "cold enigmatic trail of murder", and this description is very apt. It seems that whenever Patrick Aldermann runs into circumstances that may deprive him of his house, Rosemont, and its beautiful rose gardens, the person who stands in his way conveniently dies. But is he actually a murderer, or is it just coincidence? Basically, he is, but there's not enough solid evidence or reliable witnesses for the police to convict him. In this respect I think the ending is pretty realistic. Sometimes people do walk away because there's not enough solid evidence.

As for the writing and other aspects of the book, it was the usual treat to read. Hill has a lovely way with language and his dialogue sounds natural. Dalziel is his usual outrageous self, with a few lines prompting some pretty scandalized laughter. The description is very vivid -- the final victim's demise was pretty gruesome to read about, and it made the character of Patrick that much more chilling to contemplate because he displayed absolutely no remorse about it and would very likely have known just how horrifying a death his victim was in for.

It also occurs to me that the multiple murders made to look like accidents is somewhat reminiscent of Agatha Christie's Murder is Easy, although Patrick is even more subtle than the murderer in that book, because in one case it is implied that Patrick merely suggested that the victim return home at a certain time, knowing full well that the circumstances that would greet the victim would produce the desired result. Creepy.

To sum up, this is a good book, an interesting mystery and you may even pick up a thing or two about roses. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Mar 12, 2011 |
Dalzeil/Pascoe with Hill on top of his game. This is truly a delightful book, in its clever structure—each chapter is themed by the description of a particular rose variety, and the title provides the unifying concept to the plot. There is some crackling dialogue, with the Pascoes taking more of centre stage this time. And effortlessly the author weaves in story lines of racial discrimination (both malign and benign reactions to Cadet Singh); homosexuality (Wield’s repressed desire); and marital fidelity (Daphne and Dandy Dick). And oh-by-the-way there are several suspicious deaths that follow the oddly disquieting Aldermann around. With a masterful touch Hill continues to leave the answer to the mystery in doubt until the end. Delicious. ( )
1 vote JimPratt | Aug 1, 2009 |
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I shall never be friends again with roses. Swinburne
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Mrs Florence Alderman was distressed by the evidence of neglect all around her.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0586072527, Mass Market Paperback)

'Humour and topicality along a cold enigmatic trail of murder' Observer Life is a bed of roses for Patrick Aldermann when Great Aunt Florence collapses into her Madam Louis Laperrieres and he inherits Rosemont House with its splendid gardens. But when his boss, 'Dandy' Dick Elgood, suggests to Peter Pascoe that Aldermann is a murderer -- then retracts the accusation -- the inspector is left with a thorny problem. By then Police Cadet Singh, Mid-Yorkshire's first Asian copper, had dug up some very interesting information about Patrick's elegant wife Daphne. Superintendent Dalziel, meanwhile, is attempting to relive the days of Empire with Singh as his tea-wallah.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Life was a bed of roses for Patrick Aldermann when Great Aunt Florence collapsed and he inherited Rosemont House. But when Peter Pascoe's boss suggested to him that Aldermann was a murderer, the inspector was left with a thorny problem.

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