- Buy this item and get 90 days Free Amazon Music Unlimited. After purchase you will receive an email with further information. Offer valid for a limited time only. Terms and Conditions apply.” Learn more here.
The Comforts of Home: Simon Serrailler Book 9 Digital – 4 October 2018
|New from||Used from|
Special offers and product promotions
- Publisher : Vintage Digital (4 October 2018)
- Language : English
- Digital : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 144813756X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1448137565
- Customer Reviews:
Susan Hill offers something different... fans cherish Hill's work for its judicious mix of the professional and personal... one of the most richly drawn coppers in the field -- Barry Forshaw ― Guardian
Hill paints a powerful picture of a proud but damaged man trying to remake his role in the world ― Mail on Sunday
About the Author
Susan Hill has been a professional writer for over fifty years. Her books have won awards and prizes including the Whitbread, the John Llewellyn Rhys and a Somerset Maugham, and have been shortlisted for the Booker. She was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Honours. Her novels include Strange Meeting, I’m the King of the Castle, In the Springtime of the Year and A Kind Man. She has also published autobiographical works and collections of short stories as well as the Simon Serrailler series of crime novels. The play of her ghost story The Woman in Black has been running in London’s West End since 1988. She has two adult daughters and lives in North Norfolk.
Review this product
Top review from Australia
Top reviews from other countries
One of my major problems has always been the alienness of the south of England prosperous upper middle classness of it all, and in this one I'm afraid SH has gone the same way as P D James did in old age and given in to the temptation to dump chunks of undigested Tory dogma, in the shape of enthusiasm for private GP provision, into the text, where it sits steaming gently and smelling rank. Saint Cat's so-called mental turmoil about her deceased husband's views on private medicine were only ever going to end in one way, and come across as perfunctory at best. SH makes no secret of her political views in real life, but until now she has managed to be more subtle, and the unvarnished reality isn't pretty. On the up side, I now know exactly what the Hill Approved Diet consists of - much fish in many guises, lamb, lamb and more lamb, green beans, preferably home-grown, and eggs, bacon and toast for breakfast. Plus of course gin, whisky and wine. You really can't help knowing, because every morsel the characters swallow is lovingly described. Positively Blytonesque.
Of the characters: Simon is as cold and detached as ever, and the description of his hair as "wheat in sunshine" is both jarring and uncomfortably reminiscent of another high-profile Tory whose predilection for Europhobia is well-known (surely not, Susan?); Cat's Teflon coating is unscratched; Sam starts off as repellent as ever but by the end of the book may actually be showing signs of humanity at last, and boy it's been a long wait; Father Richard fails to raise even the slightest sympathy in me despite his creator's best efforts, after his thorough demonisation in previous books. New husband (no spoilers) is solid wood. Scottish islanders are cardboard cliches. Worried elderly lady (who can't actually be THAT elderly) and villain are characters SH has done before, many times. I do regret that we won't see the new young DC Monroe again - she has a strong feeling of Freya way back in the first of the series and could be a strong character if developed.
Style - SH has been slipping, for some time, into a peculiar quirk consisting of a string of single-word sentences to set an atmosphere or speed quickly through some action. She does it so much now that it feels like being hit on the head. Please tone it down.
And yet, it kept me reading, so a grudging 3 stars.
There are three stories going on in this novel: an island murder - so easily solved by Serrailler that it's really an independent short story; a cold-case of a missing girl whose mother still persists in calling the police to account for not solving the mystery of her disappearance. (Unlike many of us, she has access to the Chief Constable to make her complaints.) Serrailler easily sees that the original investigation was very slapdash indeed, and solves the case with a few DVD images. Ends are tied and knotted when the complaining mother dies in a fire. The third story involves a series of arson attacks in Lafferton. And this annoyed me more than anything else in this weak and pallid fiction. The first attack is announced by a massive explosion. These days, here as elsewhere, that immediately says 'terrorism,' and raises one of the most serious problems facing us today. Furthermore, by a stroke of irony, just before The Comforts of Home was published, the cathedral city of Salisbury was the site of a very nasty terrorist attack. So what does Hill think she is doing by turning this narrative strand into petty arson, again easily solved so that the novel can come to its comfortable end? Val McDermid is showing signs of tiring, too. But her latest novel, Broken Ground, showed this in an impatience with getting the novel down on paper. One almost felt as if one was reading notes rather than a rounded and honed novel. And this is because she still has so much to say.
I'm not blaming Hill for not being McDermid. I'm accusing her of complacent irresponsibility. I'm disappointed. The author of I'm the King of the Castle has become Enid Blyton. 'Let's all go home and have tea'.