The Wood Beyond (Reginald Hill)


An interesting plot handled in a novel manner (in both senses of the word—this is the first Hill to use documents to any great degree), spoilt by the fact that it is a savage indictment of the “exercise in futility unprecedented and unsurpassed” that was WWI disguised as a detective story.  There is more emphasis on Pascoe’s attempts to find out why his great-grandfather was shot in Flanders for cowardice than on the three murders and animal rights activism centred around the research centre where the bones were found; and, although the strands of the plot are ingeniously woven together, the big surprise at the end is not the identity of the murderer, but of Pascoe himself.