'Not all great novelists can write crime crime fiction but when one like Susan Hill does it the result is stunning.' Ruth Rendell
Susan Hill is an award-winning novelist.She wrote Mrs de Winter, the bestselling sequel to Rebecca, and the ghost story The Woman in Black, which was adapted for the stage and has been running in the West End for 18 years.Her most recent books are a collection of exquisite short stories, The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read, and the highly successful crime novel, The Various Haunts of Men.She lives in Gloucestershire where she runs her own small publishing company, Longbarn Books.
A little boy is kidnapped while waiting for a ride to school in Hill's second mystery featuring Detective Inspector Simon Serailler (after The Various Haunts of Men) and his bucolic English cathedral town of Lafferton. Few leads exist. Crime reconstruction and interviews with local pedophiles, ex-cons, transients, and the boy's family turn up no clues. The community is gripped by fear, and the boy's family unravels. Simon's personal life is also turbulent-his institutionalized sister has suddenly died, his other sibling is about to give birth to her third child and her medical practice is suffering, and his sometime girlfriend is in desperate need of attention and stalking him. Simon is clearly not functioning at his best in the face of this truly baffling and tragic case. Thanks to Hill's deft prose, his character gains both depth and humanity. This novel showcases the author's exceptional skill at complex plot development and the creation of a community of thoroughly engaging and believable characters. Fans of English mysteries will be delighted. Strongly recommended.-Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Highly unsettling * Daily Telegraph *
All the ingredients for the perfect English crime novel are here * Daily Mail *
A tantalising mystery * Sunday Telegraph *
Captures sinister atmosphere brilliantly * Spectator *
For the first time in years, P.D. James has serious competition -- Philip Oakes * Literary Review *
In Hill's fine second Simon Serrailler crime novel (after The Various Haunts of Men), Inspector Serrailler, who's still brooding over the unsolved murder of a fellow officer a year earlier, has sought solace amid Italian ruins with his sketchbook, much to the disapproval of his father back in England. Summoned home to the cathedral town of Lafferton, Serrailler finds that murder, family breakups and the abduction of a schoolboy have occurred in his absence. Other worries include the impending death of his handicapped sister, Martha, and a mob attack on the home of the pedophile suspected of kidnapping nine-year-old David Angus. Meanwhile, down-and-out ex-con Andy Gunton finds dubious employment shipping cars for sleazy Lee Carter. The patient reader must wait until these subplots come together, but Hill's smooth and engrossing style creates riveting suspense as Serrailler and sidekick Nathan Coates pursue David's abductors through Lafferton's seediest areas to an astonishing conclusion. (Nov.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.