The Stranger House

Reginald Hill, Author . HarperCollins $24.95 (470p) ISBN 978-0-06-082081-7

Fans of the witty Dalziel/Pascoe police procedurals (Good Morning, Midnight , etc.) by Diamond Dagger–winner Hill may be nonplussed by this stand-alone, a mix of historical mystery, gothic romance, ghost story and tutorial on religion and Norse mythology. Samantha "Sam" Flood, an Australian mathematics whiz, visits the isolated British village of Illthwaite before attending graduate school at Cambridge, hoping to discover the origins of her grandmother who emigrated from the place as a child. Miguel "Mig" Madero, a former novice priest now a history scholar, seeks the link between an ancestor who disappeared during the Spanish Armada defeat and a Catholic Illthwaite family. The villagers, quirky and devious, seem to know more than they'll reveal. Sam and Mig, initially antagonistic, join forces when their quests intersect. Spanning four centuries and related by several narrators, who slowly clarify the mystery, the book is too long and repetitive and seasoned with wild coincidences. Still, the engrossing historical background, especially Elizabeth I's campaign to eliminate English Catholicism, more than compensates. Agent, Caradoc King at A.P. Watt (U.K.) . (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/29/2005
Release date: 10/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-06-185624-2
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Paperback - 640 pages - 978-0-00-733476-6
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Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 480 pages - 978-0-06-128689-6
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Mass Market Paperbound - 470 pages - 978-0-06-082142-5
Open Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-06-128686-5
Ebook - 480 pages - 978-0-06-128626-1
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