Under World (1988): Set in Yorkshire in the aftermath of the infamous miners’ strikes. I’m a Yorkshireman and the son of a miner, so I took this one personally. Reg got it spot-on, and his humane liberalism shines throughout.“I could go on,” Ripley remarks at the end. That would be fine, except we’d really like to throw this open to The Rap Sheet’s well-read audience. What are the Reginald Hill novels you’ve most enjoyed over the last 40 years? Please make your selections in the Comments section at the bottom of this post.
A Pinch of Snuff (1978): The book that brought Reg national publicity because of the subject matter (snuff movies). As ingenious as always and in parts wickedly funny.
On Beulah Height (1998): Infuriatingly clever, close on a masterpiece. Even the title is a clue.
Urn Burial (1973): Writing as “Patrick Ruell,” this is Reg in Michael Innes mode: a fantastical story involving archaeology, mad scientists, and his beloved Cumbrian Fells. Written with zest and outrageous panache, as all his Ruell books were.
The Spy’s Wife (1980): Sadly overlooked in the Hill canon, but a heartfelt, romantic take on the female angle when a British spy is discovered (as they often are) to be a traitor.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Following up on yesterday’s posting about the death of British novelist Reginald Hill, we asked his friend, critic-columnist Mike Ripley, to choose his five favorite books from among Hill’s extensive oeuvre. He replied with the following: