Saturday, January 28, 2012

Killing the Lawyers by Reginald Hill (Harper Collins 1997)

"I know the Spartans, that's my old club, have been using the track evenings for training to help it settle. Plus there's the workmen putting finishing touches. Plus people using other bits of the Plezz could easily stroll in here. Shouldn't you concentrate on who's got access to the spare keys? Can't be too many of them."

Oh dear, thought Joe. Like a good princess, she wasn't going to be shy about telling the help what they ought to be working at.

He said, "Got your key handy?"

She passed it over. Joe moved along the wall of metal lockers. They came in blocks of eight. Zak's was second from the left. He counted two in the next block and inserted the key. The door opened. He did the same with the next block.

,p>This way the manufacturers only need eight variations on locks and keys instead of an infinity," he explained.

"But it's lousy security!" she protested angrily.

"Saves rate payers money," said Joe with civic sternness. "As for security, your crook's got to work it out first."

"You worked it out," she said not un admiringly

That's my job," he said modestly, not thinking it worthwhile to reveal that the lockers at Robco Engineering where he'd worked nearly twenty years had suffered from the same deficiency which he'd worked out after ten.


Darren said...

Picked up after reading about Reginald Hill's recent passing via Impossibilist Bill.

I hope the excerpt captures the humour of Hill's writings. I just want to go and read all the Sixsmith novels now. (I think I may have read the first in the series many, many years ago.)

Another blogger - that I just happened to stumble across - had the same idea of reading a Reginald Hill book to mark his passing, and they just happened to also pick 'Killing the Lawyers'.

They also had the good grace to write an enjoyable review of KtL.


mikeovswinton said...

Have you read The Woodman? I guess (unless I missed something) that'll be Mr Hill's last production. Perhaps something will come out posthumously. Let's hope so. Dialogues of the Dead is probably my favourite fiction book full stop.
(By the way your comment elsewhere about "soccer" is slightly unfair. Where I grew up in the North of England it was used. But perhaps that's because there were two kinds of football - association and rugby league. And some people did refer to RL players as footballers.)

Darren said...

I haven't read The Woodman. As I'm in the mood to go on a Reginald Hill binge, I may look out for it. (And, tbh, I can't remember if I've read Dialogues of the Dead.)

Believe or not I discovered Reginald Hill via the pages of Tribune. I subscribed to - but rarely read - the magazine for a couple of years in the early 90s, and one issue carried an interview with Mr Hill.

I can't remember why the interview piqued my interest but the next time I was in a shop selling secondhand books - not a secondhand bookshop, per se - I was able to buy a job lot of Dalziel and Pascoe novels for a ridiculously low price and went on a Reginald Hill binge.

That interview with Hill and the excellent cartoons of Phil Evans are, in truth, the only things I remember about the contents of a hundred issues of Tribune. I'm sure that reflects worse on me than it does on the magazine.

Of course, you're probably right about the whole 'soccer' thing. It's just a pose I adopt to appear more interesting. ;-)