cover image Underworld


Reginald Hill, Ros Hill. Scribner Book Company, $14.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-684-18931-4

The British author's faultless writing, ironic wit andabove allrecognizably human characters defy limiting his police stories to the mystery category. In the 10th novel featuring mild Detective Pascoe and his chief, Superintendent Detective Dalziel, the reader feels the tensions in their Yorkshire mining town, partly caused by handsome young Colin Farr. After a long absence, Colin comes home, where he hears revived rumors about his late father, Billy. Although respected and even loved, Billy is suspected by some of having killed himself after murdering a little girl whose body has never been found. Dalziel, whose rough and irreverent persona hides a caring heart, worries about trouble brewing in his town and possible threats to Pascoe's marriage. As a volunteer at the local university, Pascoe's wife Ellie tutors Colin and takes more than a teacherly interest in him. Crises proliferate in the wake of Colin's drunken rampages and his disappearance after the murder of a man the young fugitive hates. Acting on instinct, Pascoe races to a mine and down the shaft; Dalziel reaches him just before they are trapped by a cave-in. The dark drama is fittingly played out underground. (June)