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Reginald Hill

An Advancement of Learning

Collins Crime Club 1971
Jacket by Margaret Murray

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THERE HAD BEEN a great deal of snow that December, followed by hard frost. A few days before Christmas a thaw set in, temperatures rose steeply, the snow became slush. The sun greedily sucked up the moisture till it saturated the air and impinged on all the senses. Fog. You could smell it in the great industrial towns, its edge of carbon and sulphur biting into the windpipe. You could see it clearly wherever you looked. But it was all you could see. You could taste it if you walked out in it without a scarf or kerchief wrapped round your mouth. You could feel it, damp and greasy, on your skin. Almost under your skin.

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