‘Luminously written, thrilling, unexpectedly erudite, and beautifully structured’ Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail
When Ellie Pascoe finds herself under threat, the men in her life assume it’s because she’s married to a cop.
But while they trawl after shoals of red herrings, Ellie is blasted off course with a motley crew of women on a voyage of discovery whose perils make Scylla and Charybdis look like a pair of Barbie dolls.
Irish arms, Colombian drugs, and men who will stop at nothing, create a tidal wave which threatens to sweep her away. She heads out of town in search of haven, but instead finds herself at the very edge of the storm in a remote clifftop house undermined by the sea.
Fat Andy eventually smells a Security Service rat and comes steaming to the rescue, but for once it’s too little, too late. Ellie’s on her own (apart from her Middle England friend, Daphne; an octogenarian aid-worker and her vapid secretary; a gorgeous South American money launderer; an ancient crone; and a female cop who gets up her nose) and must reach deep down into her reserves to find the strength to survive.
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Readers await each new Dalziel and Pascoe novel from Reginald Hill with great anticipation and fans will be pleased to find that Arms and the Women is absolutely vintage stuff: pungently witty dialogue coupled with Hill's highly intelligent plotting. And after the massive success of On Beulah Height, Hill took a risk by introducing an innovation--the new novel is written in the book-within-a-book format. Dalziel and Pascoe, however, are true to form. The former as blunt and bawdy as ever, while the university-educated Pascoe with his troubling conscience makes the perfect contrast.
Ellie, a former campaigner for the hard left, is writing a book--the very book that readers have access to. So when Ellie's life is threatened, her friends assume it has to do with her marriage to a cop. But Ellie isn't so sure and enlists the help of the doughty duo, soon finding the death threats lead to packs of Irish Republicans, Colombian drug-dealers and bogus council officers. Interestingly enough, Ellie's problems are shared with a motley assortment of other women: her middle-class friend Daphne, a vivacious South American money-launderer and a pushy female copper. Is the target her husband Peter? Needless to say, the narrative has enough twists and turns to baffle the most astute reader, and each fresh revelation is both dramatic and unexpected.
Even without the pyrotechnics of plot, Dalziel remains a highly entertaining, and Hill enthusiasts will feel that they are getting their money's worth. --Barry ForshawReview:
‘Few writers in the genre today have Hill’s gifts: formidable intelligence, quick humour, compassion and a prose style that blends elegance and grace’ Donna Leon, Sunday Times
‘The fertility of Hill’s imagination, the range of his power, the sheer quality of his literary style never cease to delight’ Val McDermid, Sunday Express
‘He is probably the best living male crime writer in the English-speaking world’ Andrew Taylor, Independent
‘Reginald Hill’s novels are really dances to the music of time, his heroes and villains interconnecting, their stories entwining’ Ian Rankin, Scotland on Sunday
‘An increasingly lyrical and always humorous writer, he is first and foremost an instinctive and complete novelist who is blessed with a spontaneous storytelling gift’ Francis Fyfield, Mail On Sunday
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Book Description Harper, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 6512879