Cover image for Arms and the women : an elliad
Title:
Arms and the women : an elliad
Author:
Hill, Reginald.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
408 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780385332798
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Searching...
Searching...
X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
Searching...
Searching...
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Searching...
Searching...
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Searching...
Searching...
X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Reginald Hill's last Dalziel/Pascoe novel,On Beulah Height, was aNew York Timesnotable book, and drew acclaim from critics everywhere. WithArms 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 Reviewcalled 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 inArms 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.


Author Notes

Reginald Hill has received Britain's most coveted mystery writers award, the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, as well as the Golden Dagger, for his Dalziel/Pascoe series.

(Publisher Provided) Reginald Hill was born in Hartlepool, England on April 3, 1936. He received an English degree from St. Catherine's College, Oxford University and worked as a teacher until 1980, when he retired to become a full-time writer. His first novel, A Clubbable Woman, was published in 1970. During his lifetime, he wrote over 50 books that range from historical novels to science fiction including Fell of Dark, No Man's Land, The Spy's Wife, and The Woodcutter. He was best known for the Dalziel and Pascoe series and the Joe Sixsmith series. He also wrote under the pseudonyms of Patrick Ruell, Dick Morland, and Charles Underhill. He received the 1990 Golden Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year for Bones and Silence and the 1995 Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement. He died from a brain tumor on January 12, 2012 at the age of 75.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Hill's latest Dalziel and Pascoe novel ranges from highbrow Homerian rhetoric to lowbrow slapstick and from heartbreaking pathos to heart-stopping violence while combining the cryptic plotting of le Carre, the subtle psychology of Rendell, and the taut suspense of Cornwell. Yorkshire DCI Peter Pascoe's wife, Ellie, is the focus of an aborted kidnapping. Peter initially believes an enemy is targeting him through Ellie, but he soon learns it is Ellie herself who's the mark, apparently because she's a member of Liberata, an Amnesty International^-like organization that writes to female political prisoners worldwide. Thinking it's safest to spirit Ellie to a safe hideaway, Peter sends her to a remote cottage in the Yorkshire Dales, while he stays behind attempting to unravel the mystery. With help from his corpulent but crusty boss Andy Dalziel and trusty sidekick Edgar Wield, Peter opens a Pandora's box of political intrigue involving a cocaine ransom and black-market gun-running. Divine justice is finally administered, but only after a daring rescue and a terrifying confrontation with the bad guys. A grand, masterful crime novel, Hill's best yet! --Emily Melton


Publisher's Weekly Review

Few mystery authors know better than the prolific Hill (Singing the Sadness, Forecasts, Aug. 23) how to keep the delicate engine of a high-quality series running. After successfully mining the past for his last two books about Yorkshire coppers Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe (The Wood Beyond and On Beulah Height), he now takes an entirely new directionÄcentering the series' action on Pascoe's wife, Ellie, and surrounding her with a captivating gallery of mostly female characters. The result is a delightfully quirky, literate, often explosively funny novel that actually extends the genre's range. Ellie PascoeÄformer activist and deeply involved teacher, now recovering from the serious medical threat to her nine-year-old daughter, Rosie, that was detailed in On Beulah HeightÄis a "pre-published" novelist working on a book about Odysseus (who in Ellie's hands sounds a lot like a Greek version of Fat Andy Dalziel, complete with Yorkshire vernacular). When a slick couple show up in an expensive car, claiming to be from the local education authority and offering to give her a lift to the spot where a bus carrying Rosie has broken down, Ellie almost goes alongÄescaping an abduction attempt only because of the deeply implanted suspicions of a cop's wife. Pascoe, Dalziel, the wonderfully resourceful Sgt. Edgar Wield and the extremely sharp Constable Shirley Novello try to link the attempted snatch to some of Pascoe's past cases and enemies, especially to the gorgeous money launderer Kelly Cornelius. Hill soon lets us know better, however, introducing a shadowy figure who calls herself Sybil and a wheelchair-bound intelligence gatherer working for a high-ranking spook. And there's also the Colombian drug bandits and Irish arms-runners who somehow figure into the attack on EllieÄand then in the assault on Ellie's marvelously acid, deceptively stiff-upper-lipped neighbor Daphne. Also vital to the plot is Feenie Macallum, the aged but doggedly energetic daughter of a legendary arms merchant, whose crumbling seaside estate provides the locale for the novel's amazing finaleÄa rare, perfect blend of danger and hilarity. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Hill has written some very good mysteries in the last several years (e.g., Asking for the Moon: Four Dalziel and Pascoe Tales), and this work continues that tradition. In fact, it is among his best, filled with classic Hill characters that include Dalziel and Pascoe. This time, they play supporting roles, as Hill's narrative focus shifts to other charactersÄsome from past books and some brand new, some good and some evil. There are revolutionaries and drug couriers, embezzlers and spies; even Odysseus and Aeneas make an appearance. The story, which concerns the disappearance of several little girls, is slow to get moving as Hill reintroduces old plots lines and characters. But soon it picks up speed and takes the reader along. You could either start or complete your library's Reginald Hill collection here and serve your patrons well. Recommended for all libraries.ÄPatrick J. Wall, Univ. City P.L., MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves Eleanor Soper . . . Memory time. Yours, not mine. Strange. I have been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave, and have been a diver in deep seas, and keep their fallen day about me, but my own reality still troubles me. The little patch of blue I can see through the high round window is probably the sky, but it could just as well be a piece of blue backcloth or a painted flat. On the other hand, with one touch of a key, I open up your past, my Eleanor . . . I remember I remember the house where you where born . . . The little window where the sun came peeping in at morn . . . My window's too high, and I in my wheelchair too low for the sun to peep in at me. Distantly I hear a clatter of hooves. They're changing guard at . . . I've heard them do it thousands of times. But they could be mere sound effects played on tape. You don't take anything on trust in this business. Not even your friends. Especially not them. I who know everything knew nothing till I knew that. Back to Eleanor.  School and medical records . . . bright, alert, slightly hyperactive . . . an only child, much loved though maybe your father would have preferred a boy . . . ? This might explain your preference for soccer over netball . . . your fury when told you weren't eligible to play on the school soccer team. An awkward, angry teenager . . . an anger that was eventually chanelled into protests, sit-ins, flag-burning, civil disobedience . . . but did it stem in part from your reluctance to admit the undeniable evidence that you weren't a boy? I remember, I remember the fir trees dark and high; I used to think their slender tops were close against the sky . . . The only undeniable reality lies in the machine. But while reality hardly changes at all, the machine has changed a lot. It grows young as I grow old. Shall I like my namesake grow old forever? My namesake, I say. After so long usage, am I starting to believe as so many of the youngsters clearly believe that my name really is Sibyl? Strange the name my parents gave me also labeled me as a woman of magic, but an enchantress as well as a seer. Morgan. Morgan Meredith. Morgan le Fay as Gaw used to call me in the days of his enchantment. But now my enchanting days are over. And it was Gaw who rechristened me when he saw that I had no magic to counter the sickness in my blood. A wise man hides his mistakes in plain sight, then over long time slowly corrects them. My dear old friend Gawain Clovis Sempernel is a wise man. No one would deny it. Not if they've any sense. Aroynt thee, hag. Ripeness is all. And I have work to do. When I first took on my sacred office, the machine loomed monumentally, like a Victorian family tomb. Thirty years on, it's smaller than an infant's casket, leaving plenty of room on the narrow tabletop for my flask and mug, and also my inhaler and pill dispenser, though generally I keep these hidden. Sounds silly when you're in a wheelchair, but I was brought up to believe you don't advertise your frailties. That's a lesson a lot of folk never learn, which is why so many of them end up frozen in my electronic casket where there's always room for plenty more. If I wanted I could ask it to tell me exactly how many people had passed through my hands, or, rather, my fingertips, for that's the closest I get to actually handling people. But I don't bother. This isn't about statistics, this is about individuals. Like Eleanor Soper. For my casket is also an incubator. Here they make their first appearance, often looking completely helpless and harmless. But, oh, how quickly they grow, and I oversee their progress with an almost parental pride as their details accumulate and their files fatten out. Some live up to their promise. (By which I mean threat!) Others, apparently, change direction completely. Such converts I always regard with grave suspicion, even if--especially if--they make it to the very top. They're either faking it, in which case we're ready for them. Or they're genuine, which means the contents of these files could be a serious embarrassment. It's always nice to know you can embarrass your masters. But the great majority merely fade away, became ghosts of their vibrant young selves. You, Eleanor begin to fade the day you trip into church as Ms. Soper, the academic radical, and stroll out as Mrs. Pascoe, the policeman's wife. For a while you resist the change . . . but then you start a family . . . move out of academe . . . one last fling in the underworld of miners' politics . . . and after that . . . perhaps you simply found that marching with a kid on your back wasn't so much fun . . . perhaps . . . or perhaps not. . . . Let's take a look at your current protest status, Eleanor Pascoe. Amnesty --member, nonactive; Anti-Fascist Action --lapsed; Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament --lapsed; Gay Rights --lapsed; Graduates Against God --lapsed; Greenpeace --member, nonactive; Labour Party --member, nonactive; Liberata Trust --member, active; Quis Custodiet? --lapsed; Third World United --lapsed; Women's Rights Action Group --lapsed; World Socialist Alliance --lapsed. Once you squawked so loud in your incubator, Eleanor, now you rest so quiet. Gaw Sempernel (let no dog bark) says there is nothing so suspicious as silence. Must have watched a lot of cowboy films in his youth. It's quiet out there, Gaw . . . too damn quiet! But don't underestimate Gaw. He is often right. Certainly neither sound nor silence gets you out of my casket. Once inside, there you stay forever. And if your presence is ever needed, you can be conjured up in a trice, like the wraiths of the classical underworld, which as my classically educated Gawain likes to remind me were summoned to appear by the smell and the taste of fresh blood. For machines may change, and fashions change, and human flesh, God help us, changes most inevitably of all. But some people have at their hearts something which refuses to change, despite all life shows them by way of contra-evidence. Perhaps it is a genetic weakness. Certainly, once established, like the common cold, no one has yet found a way of eradicating it. Which is why I, practicing what I preach, have demonstrated to the world (or that section of it which shares this lonely building in the heart of this populous city), that there is life after death by staying in gainful employment all these years, Sibyl the Sibyl, sitting here in my solitary cell, hung high in my lonely cage, laying the bodies out neatly in my electronic casket, and, when necessary, conjuring them back to life. My poor benighted ghosts scenting blood once more. Have you really changed, my Eleanor Soper? Or do you still nurse a secret hope that the fir trees' slender tops really do brush against the sky? If so, then you may be in for a lesson in reality. It was a childish ignorance, but now 'tis little joy to know you're farther off from Heaven than when you were a boy. Excerpted from Arms and the Women by Reginald Hill All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves
Eleanor Soper... Memory time.
Yours, not mine.
Strange. I have been dead many times, and learned the secrets of the grave, and have been a diver in deep seas, and keep their fallen day about me, but my own reality still troubles me. The little patch of blue I can see through the high round window is probably the sky, but it could just as well be a piece of blue backcloth or a painted flat.
On the other hand, with one touch of a key, I open up your past, my Eleanor... I remember I remember the house where you where born... The little window where the sun came peeping in at morn... My window's too high, and I in my wheelchair too low for the sun to peep in at me. Distantly I hear a clatter of hooves. They're changing guard at... I've heard them do it thousands of times. But they could be mere sound effects played on tape. You don't take anything on trust in this business. Not even your friends. Especially not them. I who know everything knew nothing till I knew that.
Back to Eleanor. School and medical records... bright, alert, slightly hyperactive... an only child, much loved though maybe your father would have preferred a boy... ? This might explain your preference for soccer over netball... your fury when told you weren't eligible to play on the school soccer team. An awkward, angry teenager... an anger that was eventually chanelled into protests, sit-ins, flag-burning, civil disobedience... but did it stem in part from your reluctance to admit the undeniable evidence that you weren't a boy? I remember, I remember the fir trees dark and high; I used to think their slender tops were close against the sky... The only undeniable reality lies in the machine.
But while reality hardly changes at all, the machine has changed a lot. It grows young as I grow old.
Shall I like my namesake grow old forever?
My namesake, I say. After so long usage, am I starting to believe as so many of the youngsters clearly believe that my name really is Sibyl? Strange the name my parents gave me also labeled me as a woman of magic, but an enchantress as well as a seer. Morgan. Morgan Meredith. Morgan le Fay as Gaw used to call me in the days of his enchantment.
But now my enchanting days are over. And it was Gaw who rechristened me when he saw that I had no magic to counter the sickness in my blood.
A wise man hides his mistakes in plain sight, then over long time slowly corrects them.
My dear old friend Gawain Clovis Sempernel is a wise man. No one would deny it. Not if they've any sense.
Aroynt thee, hag. Ripeness is all. And I have work to do.
When I first took on my sacred office, the machine loomed monumentally, like a Victorian family tomb. Thirty years on, it's smaller than an infant's casket, leaving plenty of room on the narrow tabletop for my flask and mug, and also my inhaler and pill dispenser, though generally I keep these hidden. Sounds silly when you're in a wheelchair, but I was brought up to believe you don't advertise your frailties.
That's a lesson a lot of folk never learn, which is why so many of them end up frozen in my electronic casket where there's always room for plenty more.
If I wanted I could ask it to tell me exactly how many people had passed through my hands, or, rather, my fingertips, for that's the closest I get to actually handling people. But I don't bother. This isn't about statistics, this is about individuals. Like Eleanor Soper.
For my casket is also an incubator.
Here they make their first appearance, often looking completely helpless and harmless. But, oh, how quickly they grow, and I oversee their progress with an almost parental pride as their details accumulate and their files fatten out.
Some live up to their promise. (By which I mean threat!)
Others, apparently, change direction completely. Such converts I always regard with grave suspicion, even if--especially if--they make it to the very top. They're either faking it, in which case we're ready for them. Or they're genuine, which means the contents of these files could be a serious embarrassment.
It's always nice to know you can embarrass your masters.
But the great majority merely fade away, became ghosts of their vibrant young selves.
You, Eleanor begin to fade the day you trip into church as Ms. Soper, the academic radical, and stroll out as Mrs. Pascoe, the policeman's wife. For a while you resist the change... but then you start a family... move out of academe... one last fling in the underworld of miners' politics... and after that... perhaps you simply found that marching with a kid on your back wasn't so much fun... perhaps... or perhaps not.... Let's take a look at your current protest status, Eleanor Pascoe.
Amnesty --member, nonactive; Anti-Fascist Action --lapsed; Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament --lapsed; Gay Rights --lapsed; Graduates Against God --lapsed; Greenpeace --member, nonactive; Labour Party --member, nonactive; Liberata Trust --member, active; Quis Custodiet? --lapsed; Third World United --lapsed; Women's Rights Action Group --lapsed; World Socialist Alliance --lapsed.
Once you squawked so loud in your incubator, Eleanor, now you rest so quiet.
Gaw Sempernel (let no dog bark) says there is nothing so suspicious as silence. Must have watched a lot of cowboy films in his youth. It's quiet out there, Gaw... too damn quiet! But don't underestimate Gaw. He is often right.
Certainly neither sound nor silence gets you out of my casket. Once inside, there you stay forever. And if your presence is ever needed, you can be conjured up in a trice, like the wraiths of the classical underworld, which as my classically educated Gawain likes to remind me were summoned to appear by the smell and the taste of fresh blood.
For machines may change, and fashions change, and human flesh, God help us, changes most inevitably of all.
But some people have at their hearts something which refuses to change, despite all life shows them by way of contra-evidence. Perhaps it is a genetic weakness. Certainly, once established, like the common cold, no one has yet found a way of eradicating it.
Which is why I, practicing what I preach, have demonstrated to the world (or that section of it which shares this lonely building in the heart of this populous city), that there is life after death by staying in gainful employment all these years, Sibyl the Sibyl, sitting here in my solitary cell, hung high in my lonely cage, laying the bodies out neatly in my electronic casket, and, when necessary, conjuring them back to life.
My poor benighted ghosts scenting blood once more.
Have you really changed, my Eleanor Soper? Or do you still nurse a secret hope that the fir trees' slender tops really do brush against the sky?
If so, then you may be in for a lesson in reality.
It was a childish ignorance, but now 'tis little joy to know you're farther off from Heaven than when you were a boy.