Sunday 26 November 2017

A Clubbable Woman

Finished November 10
A Clubbable Woman by Reginald Hill

The book is the first one in the mystery series I've read a few of, and quite enjoyed. Set in the sixties, and first published in 1970, this one shows the gradually developing relationship between ex-rugby player, rough around the edges Dalziel and university-educated, perceptive Pascoe. As the book opens a rugby match is going on and one of the players Connon has been dealt a head injury. He steps out of the game and, after changing, goes to the clubhouse, where the other players catch him up after the game. His head injury continues to act up and trouble him throughout the book, in a classic example of what we now recognize as concussion. When Connon goes home, a neighbour sees him opening the gates, and stops to talk to him, and Connon finds his wife has eaten without him, and, feeling sick he goes up to lie down. When he comes down again he finds his wife dead.
As we get to know the other rugby players, their wives, and children, as well as Connon's neighbours, we find lots of secrets, resentments, and suspicions. Connon's wife is gradually revealed as a woman not beloved by many.
The interactions, socially and privately, are definitely of their time, but there are some good strong female characters here as well. It gave me insight into the series that I didn't have before.

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