cover image Recalled to Life

Recalled to Life

Reginald Hill. Delacorte Press, $20 (359pp) ISBN 978-0-385-30131-2

A 1963 murder in Great Britain involving ``a royal, a cabinet minister and an American diplomat'' has repercussions decades later for Det. Supt. Andrew Dalziel and Inspector Peter Pascoe in this dynamic, surprising mystery, their 11th escapade. Shortly after the Profumo scandal rocked England, Pamela Westropp, the wife of a distant cousin of the queen, was killed on a hunting weekend at Mickledore Hall in Yorkshire. Her host and lover Ralph Mickledore was convicted of the crime and hanged, while his alleged accomplice Cissy Kohler, the Westropps' American nanny, was sentenced to life in prison. Nearly 30 years later, the suggestion of new evidence brings about Kohler's release; Dalziel, who was a rookie on the case, enlists Pascoe's help in learning what's behind the current interest. Hill's ( Bones and Silence ) gruff and engaging hero takes on CIA and Home Office figures as he follows Kohler to New York City and Williamsburg, Va., where he unravels the threads of the old crime. Though Hill relies too much on coincidence, the complex plot here sustains interest. The novel's chief rewards, however, are those of character: Dalziel is a brilliant, bearish delight and the supporting players, including a brash black woman CIA agent, provide a constant parade of pleasures. BOMC featured alternate. (Oct.)