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Three times Yorkshire policeman Peter Pascoe has wrongly accused ex-con, aspiring academic, and inveterate joker Franny Roote of a crime, only to have Roote walk free. Now Roote is sending strange and threatening letters that connect back to a nineteenth-century poet-physician, and Pascoe fears there is worse to come. This time he's determined to prove Roote guilty as sin.
Meanwhile, Pascoe's colleague Edgar Wield rides to the rescue of a boy in danger, and in return, the boy tips him off about the heist of a priceless treasure. Soon Wield is torn between protecting the lad and doing his duty.
At least Detective Constable Bowler is looking forward to a blissful New Year with the girl of his dreams. Unfortunately, her dreams are filled with a horror too terrible to tell ...
Over all this activity broods Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel. As trouble builds, Dalziel discovers that omniscience can be more trouble than it's worth.
In this brilliant novel of suspense, complete with intricate plotting, sly humor, and deft wordplay, acclaimed author Reginald Hill sets up a battle of wills between determined cops and an ingenious villain. Hill has been praised by the "New York Times Book Review as "ever the master of form and sorcerer of style," and with "Death's Jest-Book, he delivers a tour de force not to be missed.
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