Singing the sadness. Reginald Hill. 1999.

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Joe Sixsmith is going west.

But only as far as Wales where they keep a welcome in the hillside and the Boyling Corner Choir has been invited to compete in the Llanffgiol Choral Festival.

Trouble is, no one seems to have heard of Llanffugiol. And instead of a welcome, all they find on the hillside is a burning house with a mysterious woman trapped inside.

Add to this in rapid succession an aggressively suspicious policeman, a patronising headmaster, a drug-dealing student, a gang of disaffected locals bent on sabotaging the festival, and a caretaker’s daughter who seems ready to go to extraordinary lengths to take care of Joe, and what we have is the kind of criminous confusion which the famous Sixsmith detective technique soon turns into utter chaos.

But Joe is no quitter. Doggedly, aided by little more than that instinct for truth which is his unique talent, he moves forward over the space of a single weekend to uncover crimes which have been buried for years.