Hill, Reginald. Midnight Fugue.
Midnight Fugue is Fat Andy's journey to regain his rightful place in the police hierarchy after his injury and coma in Death Comes for Fat Andy. Dalziel has cut his convalescence a little short, and even he has some questions about his abilities, but he is determined to re-establish his prominence in the Mid-Yorkshire Constabulary.
In an attempt to do a favor for an old acquaintance, Andy sees a way to provide aid to another policeman and to get back in the game unofficially. Events, however, take some unpleasant twists when Shirley Novello is seriously injured and a young journalist murdered. Andy discovers that the roots lead back into the past as the branches reach toward future political ramifications.
As usual, Hill can be counted on for great characterization and a tight plot (with some satisfying subplots) as well as his customary literate and literary allusions. I had to check on the allusion to Vicar Bray as I'd never heard of him before, but a couple of allusions to Hamlet, one to Joseph Conrad, one to a character in a nursery rhyme (one of my favorites for some odd reason, Dr. Fell), one to William Blake, more than one to Edwin Muir, and who knows how many I may have missed. All allusions are perfectly incorporated, an addition to your pleasure if you catch them, no loss to the story if not. There is also a musical motif running through the chapters headings -- from the prelude to con fuoco poi smorzando.
Andy takes the lead in this novel with Pascoe, Ellie, Wieldie, Novello, and Hat just along for the ride, but that is as it should be as the Fat Man returns after his long coma and recovery. The novel is shorter than many of Hill's more recent Dalziel & Pascoe novels, but in my admittedly prejudiced opinion, another good'un!
Fiction. Mystery/Crime/Police Procedural. 2009. 361 pages.