Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Simon Serrailler

Susan Hill has been writing extraordinary fiction for over four decades. She is adept at characterisation and building complex emotional landscapes for her characters to inhabit. In 2004 she turned her hand to writing in a completely new genre; the detective novel. She plays with the genre's staple ingredients and adds her own flare for exploring human relationships to the mix, creating a thoroughly engrossing series. The latest installment The Shadows in the Street, continues to follow the primary characters, brother and sister, DCI Simon Serrailler and Dr. Cat Deerborn. Serrailler often takes a back seat in the narrative, most notably in the first book, The Various Haunts of Men. The crime or mystery is used primarily as a backdrop to explore related themes of the effects of crime, murder, loss, insanity, loneliness, paranoia and more. Hill never coddles the reader with comfort reading; there are many scenes of true heart rending sadness in all the books. It's not offered up as melodrama but rather as an attempt to show the results of tragedy that can enter any of our lives at any moment. The sixth Serrailler book, The Betrayal of Trust will be out sometime next year. I recommend them all.


  1. I LOVE detective novels so I will definitely have to check out Susan Hill. I'm going to a book signing on Thursday. It's another favorite crime novelist of mine...Sara Paretsky. Anyway, the signing is at a bookshop in Minneapolis, Minnesota called Once Upon a Crime (great name!) so I'm going to see if they have Susan Hill there. In fact, I think I'll call ahead. Thanks for the great review.

  2. I am such a dummy! I totally forgot to call ahead or to bring my notes about this book to the Sara Paretsky book signing and I told the shopkeeper that there was an author I wanted to read but couldn't remember the name. I think he thought I was bonkers - ha!! So now I know...and I'm going to order it, tomorrow.