3 February 2008

THE RISK OF DARKNESS, Susan Hill

THE RISK OF DARKNESS is #3 in Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series, and in many ways a continuation of THE PURE IN HEART. That fact causes problems in writing even a short review, because I don't want to spoil THE PURE IN HEART for those who have still to read it.

THE RISK OF DARKNESS could certainly be read on its own, but I have seen comments where people say it has sent them scurrying back to find the two preceding novels.

One concept that I thought Hill explored really well in this novel was that of the impact on victims of crime - the impact on those whose loved one has been killed or has disappeared, and the impact on relatives of the person who committed the crime.

What also comes over really well is that no detective works in a social vacuum - they too have family, ambitions, and emotional quagmires.

As she did in the two earlier novels, Hill leaves threads and questions, un-resolved, that will probably carry over into the next. New characters come onto the scene, and Hill, seemingly without a qualm, ditches others who have been with us throughout.

The one constant in all novels is Detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler, at times a frustratingly flawed character, sometimes blind-sided by his own emotional needs, and often insensitive to how others might feel, but always concerned with active detection.

Simon Serrailler series in order:
THE VARIOUS HAUNTS OF MEN (2004), my rating: 4.6
THE PURE IN HEART (2005), my rating: 4.7
THE RISK OF DARKNESS (2006), my rating: 4.7

To be published in 2008
THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN
VOWS OF SILENCE

Susan Hill's website: http://www.susan-hill.com/
Her blog: http://blog.susan-hill.com/blog/index.xml

2 comments:

Petrona said...

Agreed with your pertinent comments on this novel, Kerrie.

The two titles you mention at the end, are these in fact the same book? (Vows of Silence and The Going Down of the Sun)? Seems a bit hard to tell from UK Amazon: keying in the latter brings up only the former.

Kerrie said...

over on Fantastic Fiction http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/h/susan-hill/ they are listed as #4 (THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN)and #5 (VOWS OF SILENCE)
#4 has a cover, but #5 does not.
Confusingly
Her own site only mentions THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN
http://www.susan-hill.com

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