The Stranger House by Reginald Hill

PUBLISHED: 11:49 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:09 06 May 2010

REGINALD HILL is the engaging author of the Pascoe and Dalziel crime novels that have figured prominently on TV in recent years. But The Stranger House is a completely new kind of work for Hill and his detective duo are nowhere to be seen. Instead we have

REGINALD HILL is the engaging author of the Pascoe and Dalziel crime novels that have figured prominently on TV in recent years.

But The Stranger House is a completely new kind of work for Hill and his detective duo are nowhere to be seen.

Instead we have young Australian mathematician Sam Flood and Spanish mystic Miguel Madero, who are both carrying out research in the little Cumberland village of Illthwaite - Sam into her family tree and Mig for a book on old Catholic families.

They meet at the sinister Stranger House and rapidly realise there is a secret here that the villagers will seemingly do almost anything to preserve.

I never felt as easy in the presence of Sam and Mig as I do with Pascoe and Dalziel. The story does gather pace but seems rather contrived. Personally I prefer the professional detectives with their feet on the ground to Mig and his stigmata or Sam and her profuse red hair. 3/5


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