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This wasn't really a crime novel at all which was a bit annoying. It was more like a a novel describing the differences between the Dr/lawyer types with smart cars and large houses, and those who live on social housing estates. It was interesting to find out more about Serrailler and his family though, but not to the detriment of the plot of the missing child which seemed to be thrown in for good measure. He appears to be good at his job, but in his personal life his attitude towards women isn't that good. Having said that, Diana Mason should stop the self pitying what did I do wrong attitude, grow up and have a bit of self respect, and stop chasing around after him when it's blatantly obvious he doesn't want her. Would an American no matter how rich, seriously offer £1 million for a project on the same day that he'd heard about it. Not very likely. And so a character on the social housing estate prepares 'white toast'. So what! This comes across as being snobbish, and the author obviously thinks that eating white toast is working class, and that the middle classes only eat wholemeal toast. As well as these niggles, I found the plot somewhat flat with very little action, an unresolved ending, and with the crime secondary to Serrailler and his family. The only redeeming part for me was Andy, after coming out of prison and getting himself involved with a car theft, finally appears to have something going for him. I've already bought the third book which I'll read, but if it's written in the same way, I may not bother with any more.
Not as good as the first book in this series. Far too much of it concentrates on the personalities and inner turmoils of Serailler and his family members. His sister, Cat, doesn't come across as such a great character in this story either. All told, this novel is as much a family saga as a crime thriller which wasn't what I expected or wanted. A good proofreader should have been employed by the publisher as well as it's full of errors.
Like the first book in this series I found this one a slow burner. Felt it dragged until I was over a third of the way through. There is a great deal of detail about the main characters, the Serrailler family disfunction and the location. As with the previous book it built up pace towards the conclusion. Not sure about the ending. Part of me was disappointed, but the realist argued that this is how a lot of criminal investigations end. Good read.
Enjoyed this book as much as the first. It's not your typical murder mystery with the murder at the start and then the solution at the end, it is more subtle and complex. The themes, crimes and relationships aren't just dealt with in one book, but merge between books - in this case taking some of the themes from the first book forwards into the third. It could stand alone, so a cynical view that it is a plot to make one buy all the series is misleading - we never know everything about characters in any book. This book explores further the relationships between the Serralier family and the aftermath of a serial killer in town and the death of a police officer from book 1, whilst introducing a new major crime, child abduction.
This, the second novel in the Simon Serailler series, is even better than the first one. DI Serailler is a less shadowy background figure than in the previous book, and one of the story lines tells of his tender relationship with his severely handicapped sister in a sensitive and compassionate way. There are a number of other characters whose stories Hill weaves into the narrative in a very effective way, creating a rich tapestry of people and plot in an utterly believable way. The main investigation in this book is of the disappearance of a nine year old boy, waiting for his lift to school. The real star of this series though is the fictional small city of Lafferton, with its cathedral, its hill and its beautiful surrounding countryside which are evoked really well through Hill's prose which is beautiful to read. This isn't a crime novel in the usual sense of the word and certainly not a whodunnit. (If that's what you are looking for, you will be disappointed). Instead, it's a novel about the impact of crime on ordinary lives in all sorts of ways. Highly recommended, and I can't wait to get started on number 3 in the series. (By the way, if you haven't read
The Various Haunts Of Men: Simon Serrailler Book 1 (Simon Serrailler 1)
then I would recommend that you start with that because part of this novel deals with the implications of a key event in that first book.)
Having read and enjoyed the first book in this series I looked forward to the second but was sadly disappointed and won't be reading any more. It claims to be a crime novel but the crime element is incidental and unresolved (except for the minor sub-plot which is cleared up by another police force). It turns out that the case continues in the next volume - but I won't be following it. At its heart is a a really tiresome character - DCI Serraiier - who moons about his dead colleague Freya (killed in the first book). Their "relationship" seems to have consisted of a meal in an Italian restaurant - there's an "affecting" scene in this book where he takes a colleague to the same restaurant and the memories come flooding back - give us a break! Then there's his equally tiresome family including a "handicapped" sister - does anyone use that term nowadays? - and a sub-plot about mercy killing (which, again, is unresolved). The appearance of Diana and "old flame" who is pursuing Simon was really a subplot too far and from then on I started to flip ahead - so e=much easier to do on a Kindle - in the hope of rejoining the plot. I don't think I missed anything significant. Hill's attitude to the "handicapped" is not the only annoying element of her world view. The contrast between the cozy, middle=class world of the Seraillers and the working class characters is marked. Apart from DS Coates - who, we are repeatedly reminded, has "escaped" from his council estate origins - all the working-class characters are unpleasant caricatures. (I think Hill must watch a lot of old black-and-white British movies) And the details all underline this - the smelly trainers, the white bread toast!!! And we have two characters introduced late in the book - the Chief Constable and DCS Chapman -who fulfill the same role which is to reassure the investigating team (and us, presumably) that they have done everything possible and by the book to find the missing child. So, if you're looking for a police procedural which focuses on the crime and its solution - look elsewhere.
Read all the series when first published in hardback, so am now enjoying the kindle versions. Good to meet up with Simon Serrailler again, at his work & his home. A very good Stand Alone story, but even better when read in series order. A very troubling series of child abductions this time, and more Simon's family and personal life. Can thoroughly recommend this book and the entire series.
The pure in heart is indeed complex in both characters and story line but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Simon Serraillier is a police officer and also a competent artist which is something of a dilemma for him as well as a relaxation. He also preservse his privacy but enjoys his sister family and his sister Martha, severely disabled to whom he is devoted. A young boy goes missing and the hunt is onto find him and adding to the mix there are high end cars going missing as well as the dramas unfolding in Simon's personal life.
This was an excellent read. I found it almost putdownable. The characters are all believable. It gives you a great view of family life. The main character, DCI Simon Serraillier, a great detective, who has an obvious flawed relationship with women outside his work surrounding. Can't wait to get stuck in to the next one.
Not simply a crime novel but more a study of human nature and the way we respond to life's crises. Yes, the crime mysteries give an sense of compulsion, but the exploration of characters' inner thoughts through various narrative methods, lifts this into a class of its own. It is not neatly tied up at the end, reflecting true life quite accurately. The bonus, of course, is that because this is only one in a series of Serrailler novels, Hill has the luxury of being able able to build her characters at a leisurely pace. However, her style is concise, not superfluous. Where figurative language is used, it is effective in building mood. There is a lot of poorly written literature out there, but it is worth wading through it to find this.