Reginald Charles Hill was a contemporary English crime writer, and the winner in 1995 of the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement.
There was no sign of life. But not for a second did Pascoe admit the possibility of death. Dalziel was indestructible. Dalziel is, and was, and forever shall be, world without end, amen. Everybody knew that. Therein lay half his power. Chief constables might come and chief constables might go, but Fat Andy went on forever.
Caught in the blast of a huge explosion, Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel lies on a hospital bed, with only a life support system and his indomitable will between him and the Great Beyond. Meanwhile, his colleague, Chief Inspector Peter Pascoe, is determined to find those responsible.
Ignoring his own injuries, the advice of his friends, and the pleas of his wife, Pascoe follows a winding trail to the Templars, a mysterious group that believes the only way to fight terrorism is through terror. Where the arm of the law cannot reach, their work begins. Soon Pascoe comes to suspect that they may have support and sympathy in high places, from men ready to accept the death of a policeman or of any other innocent bystander as regrettable but unavoidable collateral damage.
From the streets of Manchester to the Yorkshire countryside, Pascoe searches for the truth. And above it all, like a huge zeppelin threatening to break from its moorings, hovers the disembodied spirit of Andy Dalziel.