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Publisher's Summary

Three old men die on a stormy November night: one by deliberate violence, one in a road accident, and one by an unknown cause. Inspector Pascoe is called in to investigate the first death, but when the dying words of the accident victim suggest that a drunken Superintendent Dalziel had been behind the wheel, the integrity of the entire Mid-Yorkshire CID is called into question.
©2014 Audible, Inc. (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Topnotch....Beautifully drawn characters who excel at clever sleuthing." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Exit Lines

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This is how it should be

Brilliant interpretation by Colin Buchanan of a great story.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book, excellent narrator.

I've long been a fan of Reginald Hill's Dalziel & Pascoe series, and this entry is one of my favorites.

And Colin Buchanan is a first-rate narrator, doing the voices and the accents quite well.

I'll buy the rest in this series, and I hope more of the series becomes available.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great Characters

This book had some great characters who were believable and funny. It also has a decent plot line. I was surprised by the ending. This will make a great listen for someone who is driving or keeping them entertained while engaging in some boring task.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good enough

Not the best Dalziel & Pascoe - but good enough. Pascoe is in the lead this time and maybe that is why the plot seems to wander around a bit, but it keeps you listening.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

great book but better read than heard

Any additional comments?

Possibly my favorite Reginald Hill, for some reason I didn't find listening to it satisfying. I was unable to take in all the subtle or witty references as I would on the page. The reading was fine, though I was taken aback by Pascoe's strong northern accent---since he was college educated, I would have expected him to have a more up-market accent. This novel has less of Daliel in it than most others, and Daliel is the source of the most funny bits, but the portrayal of old age and its difficulties is very perceptive and moving.

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  • Vivienne Harper
  • 09-11-16

Great listen

Loved the story. Narration brilliant, Andrew Buchanan's wonderful narration really enhanced a very well written story.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicola
  • 03-09-12

very good

Colin Buchanan reading this book makes it enjoyable to listen too, and has an extremely good go at voicing the characters.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • FictionFan
  • 11-01-20

Death in triplicate...

On a stormy November night, three elderly men die: one, murdered in his home; one, while walking home, perhaps by accident, perhaps not; and the third, hit by a car as he rode home from the pub on his bicycle. While looking into the first, definite murder Peter Pascoe finds himself gradually suspecting that the second case may also have been the result of a violent attack. But the third case is the most difficult, since there is a suspicion that Pascoe’s boss, Andy Dalziel, may have been drunkenly driving the car that hit the man on the bike…

Hill must have been writing this around the time of the big debate in the UK over “care in the community” – whether the elderly, disabled and otherwise vulnerable should be de-institutionalised from hospitals and care homes, and be helped to live independently in their own homes. In truth, many were left to fend for themselves with only the support of family, if they had any. Hill uses his three old men to show various aspects of this debate, but with a light touch – he never gets too heavily into polemics, although his left-wing bias becomes more obvious throughout the Thatcher era. He shows us the loneliness of some elderly people, and also the stress placed on families trying to juggle jobs and children with caring for elderly relatives. But while the three men at the centre of the story are victims to one degree or another, Hill doesn’t paint the picture as all bleak – he shows us the ordinary kindnesses of people looking out for each other, whether family or strangers, and he shows the official care system as quite caring on the whole, unusually, since it often gets a very bad rap in fiction, probably far worse than it deserves.

All this is interesting, but I must admit this isn’t one of my favourites in the series. The three storylines are too much, leading to loads of characters in each case, and I often found myself struggling to remember which plotline each person belonged to. The storyline around Andy’s possible drunk driving is a bit messy too, I feel, though it’s interesting to see the other police officers struggling to avoid the appearance of a police cover-up, while staying loyal to one of their own. On top of all this, Pascoe’s wife Elly is worried about her father, who seems to be showing the first signs of dementia. I felt Hill was trying to cover too many aspects of what it is to be elderly and as a result rather lost focus on the plots.

However, even a weaker Hill is better than most other crime fiction, and there’s plenty to enjoy here. Pascoe is at centre stage, leading the investigations while Andy is on enforced leave. PC Hector provides the humour – good-hearted, but so slow on the uptake as to be almost half-witted. PC Seymour makes his first appearance too – unlike Hector he has all the signs of being a very good officer and of making his way up through the ranks in time, although in this one he’s distracted by his attraction to one of the witnesses, a young Irish waitress with a love of ballroom dancing. And as a nicely humorous touch, each chapter is headed by the real or apocryphal “famous last words” of a historical person.

I listened to it this time, narrated by Colin Buchanan who played Peter Pascoe in the TV series. I have mixed feelings about his narration – I didn’t find it seriously hampered my enjoyment of the book, but I wasn’t keen on his interpretation of Dalziel, though his Wield and Pascoe are very good. He speaks far too fast for my taste and I was constantly finding myself jumping back a bit to pick up something I missed. And while I’m no expert on regional accents, I couldn’t help feeling that a lot of his Yorkshiremen sounded more like Geordies. I liked it enough, though, to go ahead and get the next one on audio – maybe he’ll win me over next time.

So a good read, even if it’s not quite up to the standards of the best in this excellent series. It would work as a standalone, but would probably be better appreciated by a reader who already knew the characters from the earlier books.