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by Reginald Hill
Dell Books, October 2000
528 pages
ISBN: 0440225949

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

The 18th book in the long running Dalziel and Pascoe series starts off conventionally. Peter is driving home when he comes across a truck blocking a road and a woman in a taxi unable to get to the airport to catch her plane. She talks Pascoe into taking her to the airport, and he accedes, but feels guilty because he feels attacked to the strange woman. He figures out that she's not telling the truth and has her taken into custody.

Rosie, Peter and Ellie's young daughter has physically recovered from her serious illness but Ellie and Rosie have changed. Ellie is waiting to hear from the publisher to whom she has submitted her latest attempt at a novel, and, Rosie is much more subdued than a 9 year old should be. She is wondering if she is becoming an overprotective mother

Ellie is writing in her attic workroom, when a couple comes to the door and tells Ellie that Rose has become ill at school and she is needed immediately because they were unable to contact Peter. Since Peter and Rosie are off on a school trip, Ellie becomes suspicious and slams the door on them.

All the usual suspects are involved in "The Elliad" but as told from Ellie's point of view. She's writing a novel she calls her 'security blanket' which is a rewriting of Greek myth...a combination of The Iliad and The Odyssey, with thinly disguised Andy and Peter as the hero and the son of the King of Troy respectively.

Ellie, Rose, and Daphne Aldermann (and Rosie's new dog) are persuaded to go to Daphne's cottage, with Shirley Novello as bodyguard. The cottage is on land once owned by another of Ellie's acquaintances, Feenie Macallum, founder of Liberata, one of Ellie's save-the-female-prisoner-in-a-South- American-jail organizations.

The story weaves among Ellie and the women, her "security blanket" story, and a strange archivist for a secret organization. The men are secondary characters in this one and even though it has more of the characteristics of a thriller (gun running, cocaine smuggling), it has more character development and intricacy of plot than does the usual airport book.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, June 2002

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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