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The Betrayal of Trust: A Simon Serailler Mystery (Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler Mysteries) Hardcover – November 10, 2011
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"Compelling...Fans and newcomers to Hill's series (The Vows of Silence, 2009, etc.) will appreciate the characters' deep humanity." — Kirkus
"The updated plotlines of the cathedral town's residents will be part of the fun attached to watching Serrailler and his crew solve the two mysteries...this series has many devotees, who find in the enigmatic Serrailler the same appealing mix of intelligence and sensitivity that characterizes P. D. James' Adam Dalgliesh." — Booklist
"Not all great novelists can write crime fiction, but when one like Susan Hill does it, the result is stunning." - -Ruth Rendell
"Thoughtful mysteries...elegant prose." — The New York Times Book Review
"It's the intelligence of this brooding series that rivets a reader's attention." — Maureen Corrigan, Washington Post
"Eagerly awaited by all aficionados of crime fiction." — P.D. James
"If you like your crime fiction with strong overtones of serious literature, look no further than Hill . . . Some suspense novels are demonstrably character-driven and some are plot-driven, while others are atmospheric and haunting. Hill manages to combine all of those elements seamlessly, not favoring one over the other, all the while imbuing her narrative with a social conscience rarely displayed in genre fiction . . . As I wrote of Hill in a review of The Various Haunts of Men (2007): 'Fans of P.D. James and Ruth Rendell can rest easy, knowing that those authors' tradition of fine storytelling will move forward at least one more generation.' I stand by that 100 percent." — Bookpage (November 2011), Top Pick in Mystery
“Hill knows how to keep those pages turning.” — Chicago Sun-Times
"The Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill is a superb mystery." — San Francisco Book Review
About the Author
Susan Hill’s novels and short stories have won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham, and John Llewellyn Rhys awards, and the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is the author of fifty-six books. The play adapted from her famous ghost story, The Woman in Black, has been running in the West End since 1989; it is also a major feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe. Her crime novels featuring DCS Simon Serrailler are currently being adapted for TV.
Top customer reviews
The second storyline I have difficulty with is that of Jocelyn. After devoting a good portion of the book to revealing this woman's most intimate thoughts and inner conflicts (and their apparent resolution), we learn she has simply changed her mind about a couple of very important life decisions. And the manner in which we find out leaves me thinking the author had reached the end of her allotted pages and just checked off the box in order to tie that the thread up. And, as it happens, this storyline really offers next to nothing in terms of understanding the rest of the story, never mind the mystery itself.
I typically purchase the next story in the series as soon as I finish a book but I am holding off, at least for now. I cannot bear hearing any more about Rachel and Simon or their childish behavior with each other. But, mostly, I read this series for the mystery (and love the characters) so if the author is moving away from that and more toward advocacy on behalf of cultural policy I will stop here. While I do not take issue with her apparent positions, this is not the place I look to for information on such.
Her latest, "The Betrayal of Trust" is a worthy addition to the series. Set in the southwest of England, Simon Serailler is the only cop in a family of doctors. A loner by nature, he invests his energies in his job and in his avocation of sketching. He's gaining fame as an artist, but his true interests lie in his job. Crimes are not rare in his town of Lafferton, but the washing away of land in a horrendous storm uncovers two bodies. Both are young women, and one is soon identified as the body of a 15 year old girl who had gone missing some 16 years before. Serailler opens a "cold case" on the bodies and gets to work.
But Simon Serailler's family and friends also come into the picture. His sister, a doctor and a widow who's raising three children on her own, needs help. So does his step-mother, married to Simon's irascible father, who finds things out about her husband and his family that don't sit too well with her. And Simon - long aloof from the vagaries and messiness of love - finds himself struck by cupid's arrow. There are two other plot lines - seemingly at odds with the main one - that are fairly well tied up by Hill at book's end.
Are Hill's "Serailler" books police procedurals or are they family sagas? They're actually a combination of the two and are brilliantly done. I'm looking forward to the next one.