Arms and the Women (Reginald Hill)


A departure for Hill: a book of pure fantasy in the Innesian manner, but without Innes’s way of making the thing palatable.  Pascoe’s wife Ellie finds herself threatened—by the Secret Service?  By Colombian terrorists?  By the IRA?—but copes by writing a novel parodying Homer by representing Ulysses as Dalziel and Aeneas as Pascoe.  The plot is too wild and wheeling to really pass muster, just like Cymbeline; and Franny Roote appears only to cut his wrists—a great pity he didn’t do the job properly.  What is really incomprehensible, though, is the fact that Dalziel and Pascoe let the villain go.  Unlikely and uncharacteristic—like the book (a thoroughly silly effort) itself.