three-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
14-Jan-Feb-2005
user_rating: 
0

A-GoodMorningMidnightThe corpse of Pal Maciver is discovered in a room in an old house in Yorkshire that’s been locked from the inside. While Detective Andy Dalziel pushes to close the case quickly, his assistant, Peter Pascoe, discovers that Maciver’s father met the exact same fate 10 years earlier. Dalziel’s curious friendship with Maciver’s stepmother, Gulf Wars I and II, and clues decrypted from Emily Dickinson poems all combine for a much more complicated investigation than the apparent suicide might have otherwise warranted.
Harper Collins. 448 pages. $24.95.
ISBN: 0060528079

Rocky Mountain News 4 of 5 Stars
"This is a complicated book that deserves a couple of readings. … Hill’s political outlook is bleak and not terribly enlightening, but his continued willingness to challenge the mystery genre and the masterful way he works his story are well worth the price of admission." Jane Dickinson

Toronto Star 4 of 5 Stars
"Good Morning, Midnight amounts to far more in the totality of its ingredients than do the novels that Hill has been writing for the last decade or more. This one is superior by several degrees: exciting, amusing, original, thoughtful and intricately constructed." Jack Batten

NY Times Book Review 3.5 of 5 Stars
"[F]or all the humor and grace of [Hill’s] sly literary allusions, it’s worth noting that the evil machinations of his characters could have been lifted out of a blood-and-thunder Jacobean revenge tragedy." Marilyn Stasio

Guardian 2.5 of 5 Stars
"Hill, in drawing on both [Iraq] conflicts, is at least trying to go beyond topical commentary. But the distance between Iraq and Dalziel’s patch that the ... plot-twist required to make a connection gives this element of the book the feel of an authorial afterthought." Mark Lawson

Scotsman 2 of 5 Stars
"This is the crime novel as game. … There is nothing here to touch your emotions." Allan Massie

Critical Summary

British writer and Dagger award-winning author Reginald Hill isn’t just verbose; he’s prolific as well. That the 21st installment of his Dalziel-Pascoe series (after 2003’s Death’s Jest-Book) turns its attention to America and international arms conspiracies strikes some critics as evidence that Hill’s mid-Yorkshire has been tapped out of story ideas. Worse yet, The Scotsman believes Dalziel has devolved from a character to a caricature. On the western side of the Atlantic, the critics welcome Hill’s intricate plots, large vocabulary and wit, and intelligent approach to the mystery genre. Hill "keeps the reader mesmerized," noted the Providence Journal.