Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ruling Passion by Reginald Hill

Ruling Passion
by Reginald Hill
mystery, 1973
finished, 8/12/09

Imagine, if you will, a runner at the start of a race. This runner is accomplished, well-trained, experienced. But at the beginning, he or she is just one of many; a bit of a blur. When the race has been going on for a while, that particular person is running well, though still part of the racing crowd. And then that runner breaks away and shows all the others and the spectators what he or she is really made of. This little metaphor struck me as I was trying to explain to Tom what made the third Dalziel & Pascoe book so good. I liked the first one, the second one was richer and more detailed, while this one shows the true gift of Reginald Hill. Like the breakaway racer, Ruling Passion is the book that really says, this is a great author and a great series. And I'm very happy there are so many ahead to read. I loved this book. It was complex and was actually two mysteries in two different places. The first, sad mystery involves Peter Pascoe. He and his girlfriend, Ellie, who we met in an earlier book, head to a little village for a reunion with friends they knew in college. When they arrive, three of them are dead and the fourth is missing. Pascoe cannot really be the investigator since it is out of his area, but he is a witness and, of course, becomes involved in solving the crime. The other mystery involves a series of break-ins. I was riveted from the first page, and so enjoyed both the crime aspect and getting to know Dalziel, Pascoe, and Ellie much better. The characters now have more depth, more personality, and are more interesting to the reader. Wonderful book.

There is a book report about the first two in the series here, where you'll also find links to another blogger's reviews of this series.
A post on several Reginald Hill books here.
Again this is a Felony & Mayhem publication with that cool little filing cabinet card (which looks like it was written on a typewriter!) to tell the reader where it comes in the Dalziel & Pascoe series.


  1. I watched the TV version of this the other evening. In general I'm not too keen on televised versions of books, but whatever they do with the plot, they got the casting for these just right. Warren Clarke is the perfect Dalziel, and I love David Royal who plays Wield too. I am seriously envious of you having all the series still to read. There is the occasional one that doesn't quiet make it, but I've just finished the latest and they really do get better and better as they go along. My favourite is 'Pictures of Perfection' which is Hill's take on Jane Austen. 'There is a truth almost universal accepted....' I hope you go on enjoying them.

  2. Look forward to starting the series - I'll be a way behind you though.

  3. Table Talk, you are so lucky to be able to see this series. It was over here for a very short time years ago- and only a few episodes- but the casting was wonderful. Way before I picked up the books, I could tell they were absolutely the right actors. I wish the shows would be put out on dvd and that netflix would carry them. Some actors are so perfect - David Jason as Frost, John Thaw as Morse, Leo McKern as Rumpole - as if they were born for the roles.

    Scriptor Senex, you'll catch up in no time. You're a faster reader than I am.:<) I'm quite sure you'll love the books.


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