Exit Lines, by Reginald Hill

Another Dalziel and Pascoe book... After I read An April Shroud I said I wouldn't read any more of these, but it was the only thing in the library that seemed interesting while I'm waiting for the next Elizabeth Jane Howard to arrive.

The story starts with the death of three old men on the same night, one of which was caused by a car that Dalziel was in (and maybe driving?). Both detectives are involved throughout the story, although not together. Maybe all the books are like this or maybe I've just picked two odd ones.

The characters of D+P are quite well done, although Dalziel feels a bit of a cliche - the tough unsentimental cop who bends the rules and winds up his superiors but gets results, with Pascoe being a bit more reflective. But the fact that they don't actually do much together means that this difference doesn't really get exploited as much as I think it could.

This isn't really a whodunnit mystery: although murders are involved, the interest comes from the characters and their back-stories. The underlying theme throughout the book is old age and the loss of mental capacity, and so Pascoe is given insight into the possible cause of death of one of the men when he visits his own father-in-law who is starting to exhibit signs of senility. I thought this was a bit corny but I suppose it helps contribute to the atmosphere of the story.

Again, there's an explanatory section at the end of the book: we have Dalziel telling Pascoe (and us) why he's been acting a bit strangely, and so tying up the loose ends. An OK read, better than April Shroud, but doesn't make me want to rush out to get more.

Completed : 16-Oct-2003 (audiobook, read by Colin Buchanon)

[nickoh] [2003 books] [books homepage]