Palinurus Maciver Jr. was found dead at the Moscow House. His body was in a locked-room, gunshot wound to the head, and an open Emily Dickinson poetry book on the desk. Cressida, Pal’s sister, was certain that their stepmother, Kay Kafka, has something to do with it. Similar to how she blamed Kay for her father’s death ten years ago.
Superintendent Andy Dalziel appeared at the crime scene to be an aid for Kay, his long time friend. Dalziel approached Detective Peter Pascoe and shared his confidence that this is a suicide case. No more, no less. To eliminate the detective’s doubt, he disclosed Palinurus Maciver Sr’s death which happened a decade ago — killed himself at the same place, through gunshot with the same book.
If Pal took his own life then why would he imitate the way his father did it? Perhaps Pascoe should go back ten years ago.
Good Morning, Midnight is a novel under the crime fiction genre. The author Reginald Hill has already produced 25 books featuring the two detectives — Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe. Good Morning, Midnight was 21st in the series. It has a stand-alone plot and reading the whole series isn’t necessary to understand the story’s main characters. Although at the start, Dalziel might be mistaken as one of the antagonists given that he has a special relationship with one of the possible suspects.
Pal Junior’s death is carefully planned and, I can say, is artful. It was not a result of mental sickness but his real intention is to dig up a long been buried case (his father’s) and it’s like telling the police: ‘I’m here. Sacrificing my life because you didn’t do your job properly! You messed up!’
Emily Dickinson’s poem is an interesting element used. Dickinson’s work has a major part in the investigation. It’s like a riddle and a tool to know more of a person’s suspicious past and identity.
The author also concluded the story differently. Of course, every reader of crime fiction expects a clean ending — for the real perpetrator to be punished. Well, it did not happen and it’s for you to find out why. The conclusion made me contemplate the actual events that have or might be happening in reality. We could be placed in a circumstance where we have to keep things as they are because it is the best thing to do at the moment especially when it has something to do with the dangerous stuff. Just gonna leave my favorite quote in this book:
‘He has no explanation for what he’d seen, but he was old enough to know he lived in a world where knowledge could be dangerous.’
I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. I won’t recommend this to readers below 18 years old because of the sexual narrations.