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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Although Yorkshire's Superintendent Andy Dalziel and Inspector Peter Pascoe are strong supporting characters in Hill's 18th entry in this enduring series, the real stars are an evocative array of women.
Deeply shaken by her 9-year-old daughter's close encounter with death in On Beulah Height, Peter's wife Ellie has taken to writing a novel for comfort. It's about the Greeks and the Trojans, but the odd thing is that her Odysseus looks and sounds a lot like Andy Dalziel. (After Aenas accuses him of being one of his sworn enemies, Odysseus replies, "Nay, lord ... I've sworn to nowt about you lot. I've never heard owt about you but good, nor do I wish you any harm, and I'll swear to that here and now, if you like."). Still, her happy days spent writing are soon cut short when she narrowly avoids being kidnapped by a slick couple who show up in a white Mercedes. Then her neighbor, Daphne Aldermann, has her stiff upper lip split when she goes after an intruder outside the Pascoe house and is badly beaten. Other compelling female characters include the tough and glamorous Constable Shirley Novello (who volunteers to guard Ellie despite an instinctive dislike between them), an elderly activist called Feenie Macallum, and a con woman, Kelly Cornelius (who is linked to some IRA gun runners and Colombian drug dealers). Between them, these women work out a beautiful, dangerous revenge on the villains who threaten them.
Once again, Reginald Hill has found a new way to get our attention and prove that--for him--the restraints of the mystery are nonexistent. --Dick AdlerFrom the Inside Flap:
Reginald Hill's last Dalziel/Pascoe novel, On Beulah Height, was a New York Times notable book, and drew acclaim from critics everywhere. With Arms and the Women, Hill has written the book that will secure his place alongside Ruth Rendell and P. D. James.
The New York Times Book Review called Reginald Hill "the master of form and sorcerer of style." His Dalziel/Pascoe series has already earned him both Britain's prestigious Golden Dagger Award and its most coveted mystery writers award, the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award. Back to weave more magic in Arms and the Women, Hill will keep readers heatedly turning pages from shocking start to unexpected finish.
In the space of a few days, a series of events will set Peter Pascoe and Andy Dalziel off on a case where the stakes have never been higher or more close to home. First, an attempt is made to abduct Peter Pascoe's wife, Ellie. Then Ellie's friend, Daphne Alderman, is assaulted by a man lurking around the Pascoes' house. Convinced that the crimes are somehow linked to one of Peter Pascoe's cases, either current or past, Dalziel and Pascoe race to find the culprit.
As the search goes on, Peter sends Ellie and their daughter, Rosie, with Daphne Alderman to their vacation home with Detective Constable Shirley Novello as a police escort. Soon Novello begins to wonder if the stalker drawn to the Pascoe family is connected not by Peter but, rather, by Ellie.
With Dalziel and Pascoe pursuing one set of leads, and Novello exploring her own, all roads eventually lead to a decaying mansion on the Yorkshire coast, where the deadly truth all seek is waiting to come to light.
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0002258455