Review: A Killing Kindness by Reginald Hill


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Harper, 2013. Format: Paperback. First published in Great Britain by HarperCollinsPublishers in 1980. 384 pages. ISBN: 9780007936823.

I submit this review as part of Rich Westwood’s meme Crimes of the Century, the chosen year this month was #1980.

9780007313075

In less than four weeks three women have been murdered, they were all strangled. The first one was Mary Dinwoodie, a widow aged forty, owner of the Linden Garden Centre in Shafton; ten days later, June McCarthy, single, nineteen, a shift worker at the Eden Park Canning Plant on the Avro Industrial Estate; the third victim has been Brenda Sorby, she had just turned eighteen and worked as a teller in a suburban branch of the Northern Bank. None of them showed signs of having been sexually assaulted. The crimes were soon labelled by the media with the macabre name of the Yorkshire Choker. The Mid-Yorkshire police is completely baffled; there is no apparent connection between the victims nor is there any obvious suspect. Apparently, there is only one thing in common. Once committed each crime, a local newspaper had received a mysterious phone call with a quotation from Hamlet. Superintendent Dalziel and his team, including Inspector Pascoe and Sergeant Wield, will have to confront an extremely sensitive challenge. Like every year around this time, a gypsy camp has been installed on the town outskirts.

Dalziel will be forced to consent to the collaboration of a pair of linguists. Linguists, psychiatrists and mediums, as far as Dalziel is concerned, are a bunch of nonsense. Inspector Pascoe will play a more important role in this instalment, while his wife Ellie is expecting their first child. And Sergeant Wield, aware that declaring himself openly gay will be a serious obstacle to his career, hides his sexual orientation without much success given that other officers, including young Peter Pascoe, has been promoted ahead of him.

Reginald Hill was born in 1936 in Hartlepool in the North-East of England. At the time his father was a professional footballer playing for Hartlepool United, but Reg says he never took to the round ball game, much preferring rugby which actively encouraged the drinking of beer both before and after (and sometimes during) the game. When he was three his family moved to Cumbria, where Reginald spent his entire childhood before going off to Oxford University and eventually becoming a teacher. A teller of tales from his earliest years, Reg had his creative epiphany aged seven when he discovered people actually got paid for making things up. From that day on he was always certain that one day he would become a writer. He spent many years as a teacher in Yorkshire which provided the inspiration and setting for the novels featuring the Falstaffian figure of Andy Dalziel, Head of Mid Yorkshire CID. In 1970 his first book, A Clubbable Woman, was published by Collins and featured Dalziel and his more sensitive sidekick, Peter Pascoe. Hill was hailed as ‘the crime novel’s best hope’ and, thirty years on, he has more than fulfilled that prophecy. The series of 25 books featuring the ever-popular pair has have gone from strength to strength and been turned into a hugely successful BBC television series featuring Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan. Reginald Hill has written over forty books in many genres, from historical novels to science fiction. His crime writing includes the series featuring the likeable redundant lathe operator turned PI from Luton, Joe Sixsmith (Singing the Sadness, Killing the Lawyers, Blood Sympathy and Born Guilty) and several thrillers under the pseudonym, Patrick Ruell (The Only Game, Death of a Dormouse etc.) Hill has won many awards for his books and short stories. One of the most notable was the Crime Writers’ Association’s prestigious Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year for Bones and Silence. In 1995 he was further honoured by the Crime Writers’ Association with their Cartier Diamond Dagger for his lifetime contribution to crime writing. Hill died on 12 January 2012, of a brain tumour.

A Killing Kindness, the 6th book in the Dalziel and Pascoe novels, is a solid police procedural with the right amount of twists and turns to capture the reader’s attention until its last chapter. Like most of the books in the series, its reading is a real pleasure. Hill is a highly talented writer and with a good sense of humour. The story plot is clever and is nicely crafted. As the series progresses, it is worth noting that the main characters gain in depth and are far from turning into stereotypes. I trust that A Killing Kindness will make you have a good time if you read it.

My rating: A (I loved it) (Me encantó)

I’ve previously reviewed in this series:

A Clubbable Woman (B) (Dalziel & Pascoe #1)
An Advancement of Learning (A) (Dalziel & Pascoe #2)
On Beulah Height (A) (Dalziel & Pascoe #17) 

HarperCollins

Felony & Mayhem

A Killing Kindness (Un asesinato por generosidad) de Reginald Hill

En menos de cuatro semanas tres mujeres han sido asesinadas, todas fueron estranguladas. La primera fue Mary Dinwoodie, una viuda de cuarenta años de edad, propietaria del Garden Center Linden en Shafton; diez días después June McCarthy, soltera, diecinueve años, una trabajadora por turnos en la planta de conservas de Eden Park en el Polígono Industrial de Avro; la tercera víctima era Brenda Sorby, acababa de cumplir dieciocho años y trabajaba como cajera en una sucursal suburbana del Northern Bank. Ninguna de ellas mostraba signos de haber sido agredida sexualmente. Los crímenes fueron pronto etiquetados por los medios de comunicación con el macabro nombre del Estrangulador de Yorkshire. La policía de Mid-Yorkshire está completamente desconcertada; no existe ninguna conexión aparente entre las víctimas ni tampoco hay ningún sospechoso evidente. Al parecer, sólo tienen una cosa en común. Una vez cometido cada delito, un periódico local había recibido una llamada telefónica misteriosa con una cita de Hamlet. El superintendente Dalziel y su equipo, incluyendo al inspector Pascoe y al sargento Wield, tendrán que enfrentarse a un reto extremadamente sensible. Como cada año por estas fechas, un campamento de gitanos se ha instalado en las afueras de la ciudad.

Dalziel se verá obligado a dar su consentimiento a la colaboración de un par de los lingüistas. Lingüistas, psiquiatras y mediums, por lo que se refiere a Dalziel, no son más que una sarta de tonterías. El inspector Pascoe desempeñará un papel más importante en esta entrega, mientras que su esposa Ellie está esperando su primer hijo. Y el sargento Weld, consciente de que declararse abiertamente gay será un serio obstáculo para su carrera, oculta su orientación sexual sin mucho éxito dado que otros oficiales, entre ellos el joven Peter Pascoe, ha sido promocionados por delante de él.

Reginald Charles Hill (1936 – 2012) fue un escritor inglés de novelas policíacas, galardonado con los más prestigiosos premios a los novelistas de misterio en Gran Bretaña. Por ejemplo, en 1990, con el Golden Dagger Award por su serie de Dalziel y Pascoe o en 1995 con el Cartier Diamond Dagger Award a la obra de toda su vida, por la Asociación Británica de novelistas de misterio. Durante muchos años fue profesor en Cumbria y se jubiló en 1980 para dedicarse a escribir a tiempo completo. Hill es conocido por sus más de 20 novelas protagonizadas por los policías de Yorkshire Andrew Dalziel, Peter Pascoe y Edgar Wield, personajes que protagonizaron una serie de la BBC basada en sus libros. También escribió más de otras treinta novelas, cinco de ellas protagonizadas por Joe Sixmith, un operario mecánico negro convertido en detective privado en un Luton ficticio. Muchas de sus novelas fueron originalmente publicadas bajo seudónimo. Hill escribió también relatos cortos y cuentos de fantasmas. Las novelas de Hill emplean varios “trucos” estructurales, tales como presentar partes de la historia alterando su orden cronológico, o alternando con partes de una novela supuestamente escrita por la esposa de Peter, Ellie Pascoe. Utiliza también a otros escritores o partes de alguna obra de estos o elementos de los mitos clásicos griegos como elementos centrales alrededor de los cuales estructura su propia obra, la cual, en algún caso, se desarrolla en el futuro e incluso en la luna En algunos casos sus detectives no consiguen atrapar al delincuente. Hill falleció el 12 de enero de 2012, a causa de un tumor cerebral.

A Killing Kindness, el sexto libro de las novelas de Dalziel y Pascoe, es un sólido procedimiento policial con la cantidad correcta de giros y vueltas para captar la atención del lector hasta su último capítulo. Como la mayoría de los libros de la serie, su lectura es un verdadero placer. Hill es un escritor de gran talento y con un buen sentido del humor. El argumento de la historia es inteligente y está muy bien elaborado. A medida que la serie avanza, vale la pena señalar que los personajes principales ganan en profundidad y están lejos de convertirse en estereotipos. Confío en que A Killing Kindness le hará pasar un buen rato si lo lee.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

6 thoughts on “Review: A Killing Kindness by Reginald Hill

  1. What a coincidence – that’s the next on my TBR pile, for the same reason you picked it – #1980book. Glad you enjoyed it – I’m looking forward to it even more now.

  2. Pingback: Review: A Cure for All Diseases by Reginald Hill | The Game's Afoot

  3. Pingback: August Reading Round-Up | The Game's Afoot

  4. Pingback: ‘It gets odder when Troy wears a jumpsuit’: #1980book roundup | Past Offences Classic Crime Fiction

  5. Pingback: Review: Ruling Passion (1973) by Reginald Hill – A Crime is Afoot

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s