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Death Comes for the Fat Man (Dalziel and Pascoe Mysteries) Hardcover – March 13, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
Book 22 of 24 in the Dalziel and Pascoe Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Hill, who has created and artfully guided the destinies of Yorkshire policemen Det. Supt. Andy Dalziel (aka "the Fat Man") and his DCI Peter Pascoe through 22 remarkable adventures, doesn't give anything away until the very last page of this excellent mystery (after 2004's Good Morning, Midnight). Only then do we learn whether or not the bomb blast that starts the story marks the end of Dalziel's life. As the Fat Man lies comatose in his hospital bed, the shrewd and usually diplomatic Pascoe—who was also injured in the blast, but saved by his colleague's bulk—takes on some of Dalziel's troublesome tenacity (as well as a touch of his saltier language) as he forces his way onto the team of antiterrorism specialists looking into the incident. The terrorists appear to be linked to an obscure branch of the historic Knights Templar, and Hill's perfect pitch (especially for the short, pithy details of dialogue and character description) carries the story through all sorts of villains—some of whom are even directly connected to the cops. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This twenty-second in Hill's celebrated series about Dalziel and Pascoe, who work uncomfortably together in the Mid-Yorkshire Constabulary, should please longtime fans of the series (or viewers of the PBS version) but may bewilder new readers. Hill assumes a familiarity with the series that makes deciphering who these people are almost impossible without plenty of knowledge. His plotting, too, has an inner-circle feel to it, filled as it is with long digressions into domestic life and station-house characters that only the most loyal Dalziel/Pascoe fan would find compelling. The novel focuses on an explosion during a barricaded-suspect incident that leaves both Detective Superintendent Dalziel and Detective Chief Inspector Pascoe injured, with Dalziel hovering near death, in and out of stream of consciousness for most of the novel. The procedural elements are fairly dull this time, with the miscreants identified too quickly. This is definitely a lesser entry in the series, but Dalziel and Pascoe remain among the most popular coppers in the genre. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Dalziel and Pascoe Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060820829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060820824
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,437,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In this twenty-second Dalziel and Pascoe mystery, a young Mid-Yorkshire police constable sees a man waving a gun inside a shabby video store which has been flagged for follow-up by an anti-terrorist unit, should unusual activity be observed there. The local police, including Det. Supt. Andy Dalziel and Chief Inspector Peter Pascoe, arrive on the scene to investigate this report, just as an earth-shattering explosion takes place. Both Pascoe and Dalziel are seriously injured, with the hefty Dalziel comatose and dying.

Straight-talking Dalziel has always been bold and aggressive, willing to take chances and leave "the book" behind when necessary. Pascoe, by contrast, is a "master of diplomatic reticence." With Dalziel comatose, however, Pascoe determines to find out who and what caused the explosion, and he agrees to work with the Combined Anti-Terrorist Unit (CAT) of MI5 and Special Forces as they try to unravel events. Pascoe soon finds himself acting on his own, however, becoming as aggressive as Dalziel has always been, and even beginning to speak in Dalziel's bold, irreverent manner.

Alternating with this narrative about terrorism and the explosion, are Dalziel's out-of-body excursions through his subconscious as he combines nightmarish elements of his past and present and suffers from his potentially fatal injuries. Several additional plots and subplots ratchet up the action and excitement. A renegade group of Knights Templar decide to take the law into their own hands, murdering men they believe to be terrorists.
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Format: Hardcover
What a fabulous read. First of all, I am not sure why this is, but I find Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe series far more entertaining than his other writings. For instance the Spy's Wife was really disappointing to me, with an ending that fell utterly flat. That never seems to happen when Dalziel and Pascoe are at work. This book has a whipping plot, without the usual slow wind up of books in this series. The dialogue is exceptionally clever and witty. The turn-of-phrase Hill deploys in this series is the equal of my hero, Raymond Chandler.

Despite The Fat Man being somewhat out of the frame in most of the book, there is still wonderful character development, and to be honest (and I was surprised at this), it was kind of nice not to have "Hat" and Novello involved.

Finally, this book does poke into the realm of morality, and how gray much of the world is.

So, this book has it all: great plot, great characters, superb dialogue, and even a bit of philosophy. My only caution would be to those whom have not read books earlier in this series. Go back as early as you can and start from there. The relationship between the main characters is very important for extracting the most out of this book, and they are all great reads.
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Format: Hardcover
I feel as though it's been months since I read anything good, but this book makes up for the drought! As it opens, Dalziel and Pascoe are caught up in a bomb blast, and, as Dalziel lies comatose in the hospital, a less-critically injured but very angry Pascoe takes on the mission, depite the fervent wishes of most everyone else involved, of finding who was responsible. Although you would think that there would be little of Dalziel in a book in which he is unconscious, the brief vignettes that relate what he is thinking/dreaming/doing during this time are worth their weight in gold, metaphysically, medically and even spiritually speaking. And, on his own, Pascoe -- and we -- find that he takes on much of the persona of Fat Andy as he does whatever has to be done to solve the case, damning the consequences.

On the perimeter but no less essential to the book, we have Ellie Pascoe, who provides the voice of love when it's not being a policeman; Rosie Pascoe, who sees and knows a lot more than anyone gives credit for; Sergeant Edward Wield, stalwart and efficient even as Peter goes a bit off the rails; Cap Marvell, Dalziel's lady love and number one supporter, a very Wise Woman; and a great police procedural and mystery story as the bombing becomes entwined with sites known to the Combined Antiterrorist Task Force, a Spook-y group that has a lot of rules but maybe not much right (sorry, Outback).

Hard to imagine all that in just one book? Hill weaves it seamlessly, managing to also include laugh-out-loud conversational interchanges and enought pathos to make you feel as though it was the ones you love that were in danger. Oh, heck, I'll say it -- I love them all and maybe even more to realize that they can't go on forever.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read some reviews on Amazon U.K. which rate this novel lower (to much lower) than Hill's other Dalziel/ Pascoe (D-P)novels. I heartily disagree-- especially,if you have read some of the other novels (this is the 22nd in the series).

I have read many of his novels, most at least two times (Hill is a great writer, not just another airport or beach novelist--see contra James Patterson, Janet Evanovich.) Like the other two great writers of crime/suspense fiction, Ruth Rendell and T. Jefferson Parker, the quality of his writing and the intelligence displayed in the writing of his novels makes him difficult for many readers.

For those familiar with his novels, his portrayal of Ellie in this novel comes off almost perfectly (she has been prominent in several of his novels, but he's always been just a little off-key with her. This time I thinks he gets her right)

In any event, read the novel whether you are new to Hill or not. It's enjoyable, with its "B" novel plot (which Hill has fun with and elevates it into the A- range) and its "A" characterizations.

Please consider reading more of his novels, if not all of them. Certainly, the highly underrated Dialogues of the Dead is one of the top ten mystery/suspense novels of all time. To be fair, Hill must have spent a lot more time on Dialgues, than he did on this one: it is the apex of an astonishing writing career. Still, Hill doesn't have to spend months on a book for it to be top-drawer.

Go ahead and read this book and enjoy yourself (and be prepared to read some of the passages more than once, due to essential depth of the passage and necessary complexity and some passages, just for the fun of it).
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