This is the first Dalziel/Pascoe novel. It's going to be a lot of fun reading the series through in order. I suspect that they just get better and better.
If I had read this one first, I'd have been really impressed with it--since I'd already read one of his later novels, I already knew what he's capable of--but in comparison with Bones and Silence, it was kind of weak. (Of course, a weak Reginald Hill novel is still better than a lot of stuff out there).
In some mysteries, the main characters are great, but everyone else might as well be cut from cardboard. Not these. Like the Carol O'Connell books I've been reading, the characters are real people, fully fleshed out--not just Dalziel and Pascoe, but all of the secondary characters. I especially liked Antony, the boyfriend of the murdered woman's daughter, who attempts to help the investigation:
"Oh please, Sergeant. I would not presume to try to do your job. No, I haven't come down here with suggestions--that would be presumptuous--but with information, or what might be. This chap had obviously been watching Mrs. Connon in her bedroom, from the street almost certainly, or the garden. When I was waiting at the Connons the other night before you all so efficiently arrested me, I had occasion to use the phone-box almost opposite the house. I rang my parents to say where I was. I also took the opportunity of giving them Mr. Connon's phone number so they could contact me if they wished. To do this, I had to look in the directory."
"And it was heavily underlined."
He's lucky that he was talking to Pascoe. Dalziel might have strangled him for taking so long to get to the point.