Book Review: The Death of Dalziel – Reginald Hill

Reg Hill’s Self-deprecation

By Barry Forshaw

Whenever I met Reg Hill, I always found the most winning of his many winning features was his reluctance to take himself seriously – a characteristic he shared with Colin Dexter, but burnished to an even more self-deprecating level. He was always polite about anything I wrote about him in various newspapers over the years (whatever his private view!), but told me that the following (for The Death of Dalziel) was his favourite review of mine. My day was made. Now I can sadly quote the first line of the piece about Reg himself.

Is he really dead? Has the Fat Man really sung at last? That’s something you won’t learn from this review (and Reginald Hill’s publishers are keen that you pay to find out the answer). But there’s no denying that many will read this latest entry in Hill’s exemplary series with an extra frisson of interest (has it really been 37 years since we first met the educated, sensitive copper Peter Pascoe and the coarse but lovable Andy Dalziel in A Clubbable Woman?). And many of us will be wondering – has Hill tired of Dalziel? Continue reading