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by Reginald Hill
Dell Books, August 1993
392 pages
ISBN: 0440215730

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Yorkshire Superintendent Andy Dalziel and Detective Chief Inspector Peter Pascoe are two of the longest-running characters in British police procedurals out there today. After reading one of their numerous volumes in the series, you will see why. Reginald Hill writes a smart and funny story with unforgettable characters and gives the reader something to think about by story's end.

In this installment, former American nanny Cissy Kohler has been granted parole from the British prison system after new evidence uncovered by her cousin, television journalist Jay Waggs, shows mishandling of the thirty-year-old case. Ms. Kohler was convicted of killing a child in her care and being an instigating factor in the death of her employer's wife. While in prison she was also convicted for the murder of Daphne Bush, a corrections officer inside the prison. Not everyone is happy with her release, not even Andrew Dalziel, who was part of the original investigation all those years ago. The new evidence points at the incompetence of the Commanding Officer at the Scene, Chief Superintendent Walter Tallantire. Dalziel will not let anyone besmirch the name of his dead friend and will do his own unofficial investigation of the case. He will drag a reluctant Peter Pascoe to the case and they will uncover a national scandal. If you have yet to meet these two characters, you are in for a treat. Pascoe's straight man to Dalziel's maverick is a joy to read.

Dalziel is always three steps forwards in every investigation and is always running circles among his bosses. He might look and act like a lug, but inside he is a brilliant and relentless investigator. If he is on the case, it will be solved. Humor is also important in a good book and there is plenty to see in this book. When Andy goes to America to try and interview the nanny, Pascoe sums it up with three words, "God Save America" As soon as Andy gets off the plane his presence will be clearly known.

In RECALLED TO LIFE, Hill borrows elements from Charles Dickens's A TALE OF TWO CITIES and uses an infamous case in British history. The thing these detectives uncover may make you think twice of the way you look at things throughout time. This book is not a quick read but it is highly enjoyable. The twist in the book will keep you guessing till the very end. Great mystery writers do not only come from the U.S., Britain has more to share. Reginald Hill is one of the best right now.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, March 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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