The new Dalziel and Pascoe novel to delight and thrill Reginald Hill fans.
Some say that Andy Dalziel wasn’t ready for God, others that God wasn’t ready for Dalziel. Either way, despite his recent proximity to a terrorist blast in Death Comes for the Fat Man, the Superintendent remains firmly of this world. And, while Death may be the cure for all diseases, Dalziel is happy to settle for a few weeks’ care under a tender nurse.
Convalescing in Sandytown, a quiet seaside resort devoted to healing, Dalziel befriends Charlotte Heywood, a fellow newcomer and psychologist, who is researching the benefits of alternative therapy. With much in common, the two soon find themselves in partnership when trouble comes to town.
Sandytown’s principal landowners have grandiose plans for the resort–none of which they can agree on. One of them has to go, and when one of them does, in spectacularly gruesome fashion, DCI Peter Pascoe is called in to investigate–with Dalziel and Charlotte providing unwelcome support. But Pascoe finds dark forces at work in a place where medicine and holistic remedies are no match for the oldest cure of all . . .
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Reginald Hill has won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association’s Cartier Diamond Dagger Award in 1995 for his lifetime contribution to crime writing. He is married and lives with his wife in his native Cumbria.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Volume the First
Every Neighbourhood should have a great Lady.
SUBJECT: cracked jugs — daft buggers — & tank traps
Hows things in darkest Africa? Wierd & wonderful — I bet — but not so w&w as what weve got here at Willingden Farm. Go on — guess! OK — give up?
& I dont mean awful Uncle Ernie on one of his famous surprise visits. These are strangers!
What happened — at last after our awful wet summer Augusts turned hot — not African hot but pretty steamy by Yorkshire standards. Dad & George were working up in Mill Meadow. Mum asked if Id take them a jug of lemon barley — said it would please dad if I showed willing. Weve been in armed truce since I made it clear my plans hadnt changed — ie do a postgrad thesis instead of getting a paid job — or better still — a wellpaid husband — & settling down! But no reason not to show willing — plus it gave me an excuse to drive the quad — so off I went.
Forgot the mugs — but dad didnt say anything — just drank straight out of the jug like he preferred it — so maybe mum was right & he was pleased. In fact we were having a pleasant chat when suddenly old Fang let out a growl. Lost half his teeth & cant keep up with the sheep any more — but still manages a grand growl. Dad looked round to see what had woken him — & his face went into Headbanger configuration.
— whats yon daft bugger playing at? — he demanded.
Youll recall that in dads demography anyone living outside Willingden parish is a daft bugger till proved innocent. In this case I half agreed with him.
The DB in question was driving his car fast up the lane alongside Mill Meadow. How he got through the gate I dont know. The HB had to take his chain & lock off after the Ramblers took him to court last year — but hes fixed a catch like one of them old metal puzzles we used to play with as kids. Maybe the DB just got lucky — he thought!
He was driving one of these new hybrid 4x4s — you know — conscience without inconvenience! — & when he saw how good the surface was — (tractor tyres dont grow on trees! — remember?) — he mustve thought — great! — now for a bit of safe off-roading.
What he didnt reckon on was what George calls dads tank trap — the drainage ditch where the lane bends beyond the top gate & steepens up to the mill ruin.
New tourist map came out last year — with water mill marked — no mention of ruin. Result — a lot of DBs decided this meant Heritage Centre — guided tours & cream teas! After losing out to the Ramblers — dad was forced to accept ‘bearded wierdies’ trekking across his empire — but the sight of cars crawling up his lane drove him crazy. So one day he got to work with the digger — & when hed finished — the drainage ditch extended across the lane — a muddy hollow a hippo could wallow in — the tank trap!
Most drivers flee at the sight of it — but this DB obviously thought his hybrid could ford rivers & climb Alps — & just kept going.
For 30 secs the wheels sent out glutinous brown jets — like a cow with colic — then the car slipped slowly sideways — finishing at 45 degrees — driver side down.
— now hell expect us to pull him out — said the HB with some satisfaction.
Moment later the passenger door was flung back. First thing out was a floppy brimmed sun hat — sort posh lady gardeners wear in the old Miss Marple movies. Beneath it was a woman who started to drag herself out — followed by a scream from below — suggesting shed stood on some bit of the driver not meant to be stood on.
She looked around in search of help — & there we were — me — dad — George — & Fang — staring back at her from 50 yds.
— help! — she called — please — can you help me? —
George & me looked at the HB — G because he knows his place — me because I was curious what hed do.
If it had been a man I doubt hed have moved — not without serious negotiation. But this was a woman doing what women ought to do — calling for male assistance.
— reckon wed best take a look — he said — we meaning him & George — of course.
He drained the lemon barley — thrust the jug into my hands like I was a docile milkmaid — & set off towards the accident — G close behind — even old Fang got to go.
I dropped the jug on to the grass. Sods Law — hit a stone & cracked. — O shit! — I said. It was that old earthenware one thats been around forever. I knew the HB would reckon bringing out the lemon barley in anything else would be like serving communion wine from a jam jar. O well — from now on hell have to make do with a plastic bottle!
I set off after them. This was the first mildly interesting thing to happen since I came home — & I wasnt going to miss it.
Woman was thin & wispy — bonnet askew — big straw shoulder bag round her neck like a horses feed sack. She looked so worried I thought the driver must be seriously injured — but now I know its just a couple of notches up from her normal expression of unfocused anxiety. Another thing I noticed — words sprayed on the car door — pro job — elegant cursive script —
Sandytown — Home of the Healthy Holiday.
She was saying — please can you get my husband out? I think hes hurt himself —
— no — Im fine — came a mans voice — really — just a sprain — nothing in the world to worry about dear — aargh! —
As he spoke his head had appeared at his wifes waist level. Gingery hair — soft brown eyes in a narrow mobile face — not bad looking even with a bloodied nose & a footprint across his left cheek — mid to late 30s. He was trying a social smile — till presumably he put more weight on his ankle than it could take.
George jumped up on the side of the vehicle — hooked his hands under the womans armpits — & swung her clear of the muddy sump into dads arms. At 18 — G makes Arnie Schwarzenegger look like a hobbit! On our skiing trip last December — (yeah that one — when I hooked up with lousy Liam) — I could have rented G out to my mates by the hour. In fact — if you count free rounds of gluhwein as rental — thats exactly what I did!
The injured man came next & the HB passed the woman on to me — looking relieved to be rid of her. Thought of making some crack about him preferring men — he still thinks gays should be treated surgically — but decided not time or place.
— youre so kind — many thanks — Ill be fine in a minute — Mary my dear are you all right? — burbled the man.
She said — Oh yes. But your nose dear — its bleeding —
— its nothing — must have banged the wheel when we stopped — he said — rubbing at a mark across his bridge.
Looked very like a footprint to me. I gave him a plus for diplomacy. Made a change from dads Old Testament determination to track all bad shit back to females.
The DB now decided to introduce himself. Unfortunately this involved twisting out of the HBs grip to offer his hand with the inevitable result to his ankle.
— Tom Parker — he said — my wife Mary — aargh! —
Another plus — in dads eyes anyway. Had to be English — first thing they taught us in psych school was only the English risk pain for the sake of politeness.
— let me have a look — I said — set him down there dad —
Dad obeyed. Must be a first!
— my daughters had St John Ambulance training — he said proudly. Touched me for a moment to hear him bragging about me — then he spoilt it by dragging you into it!
— when she wanted to go to college — he went on — I told her she ought to sign up for training as a nurse like her sister Cassie — but of course it was like banging my head against a brick wall —
1st time the famous phrase had cropped up in a week. Found Id been missing it!
I said — ignore my father. When he dies were going to build him a headstone out of cracked bricks. Now lets get that shoe off while we can —
The DB winced as I removed his shoe & sock — then regarded his enlarged ankle with a kind of complacent pride. I was about to offer my not very expert opinion when he forestalled me — addressing his wife — something like this.
— look Mary — some typical subcutaneous swelling — the beginnings of what will doubtless be an extensive ecchymosis — tarsal movement restricted but still possible with moderate to acute pain — a strain I would say — certainly no worse than a sprain. Thank heaven I have always mended quickly. What a laugh they will have at home when they ask how I hurt myself — & we tell them I did it looking for a healer! —
This odd bit of self-diagnosis — with its odder conclusion — confirmed dads suspicion he was dealing with a particularly daft DB — & he burst out — what the hell were you playing at? This is a country lane not a public race track! —
Parker replied — youre right of course. But ...
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110007252676
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0007252676
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0007252676 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0940387