A Question of Identity (Simon Serrailler Series #7)

A Question of Identity (Simon Serrailler Series #7)

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by Susan Hill
     
 

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The murder of an old woman rocks the town of Lafferton.

The murderer has left a distinctive "sign" on the body and at the scene of the crime. A few weeks later, a similar murder occurs, and then another. Initial investigations discover that the mysterious sign was the calling card of a suspect who was charged with several murders in the northwest of the country

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Overview

The murder of an old woman rocks the town of Lafferton.

The murderer has left a distinctive "sign" on the body and at the scene of the crime. A few weeks later, a similar murder occurs, and then another. Initial investigations discover that the mysterious sign was the calling card of a suspect who was charged with several murders in the northwest of the country, tried but acquitted on the grounds of insufficient evidence. Has he vanished, or is he right under their noses? Simon Serrailler is obliged to delve deeper and scratch out answers in this addictive mystery of surpassing darkness by the bestselling Susan Hill.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
…[a] twisted mystery—surely the darkest entry in an elegant series…
—Marilyn Stasio
The Washington Post
Hill has a keen eye for description, an accurate ear for conversation and an innate understanding of relationships. Ultimately, the town and its families become more intriguing than the hunt for the killer. Social messages are more prolific than clues. P.D. James meets Barbara Kingsolver.
—Phyllis Richman
Publishers Weekly
At the outset of Hill’s solid seventh procedural featuring police detective Simon Serrailler (after 2011’s The Betrayal of Trust), the authorities provide builder Alan Keyes with a new identity to shield him from vigilantes after Keyes is acquitted in 2002 of the savage murders of three elderly women in Yorkshire. Ten years later, similar killings occur on Serrailler’s patch. The first victim, 80-year-old widow Elinor Sanders, is found tied to a chair in her home and strangled. In an additional macabre touch, her murderer has also clipped her toenails. Since a scene featuring the thoughts of the now 42-year-old Keyes precedes the discovery of Sanders’s corpse, most readers will soon suspect that he’s resumed his murderous ways. Not everyone will be engaged by the vicissitudes of Serrailler’s personal life (he’s dating a married woman with a severely ill husband) that fill the long bloodless sections between Keyes’s acquittal and the Sanders murder. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman-Schneider Literary. (Nov.)
Entertainment Weekly
"Hill is a fine writer ... Brooding, downright ominous."
Time Out
"Crime fans on the lookout for intelligent examples of the genre will enjoy."
From the Publisher
"Not all great novelists can write crime fiction, but when one like Susan Hill does it,the result is stunning." — Ruth Rendell

"As every Trollope reader knows, English cathedral towns can be hotbeds of viciousness and vice. And so it is in Lafferton, where Susan Hill sets her thoughtful mysteries." — The New York Times Book Review

"Hill is a fine writer ... Brooding, downright ominous." — Entertainment Weekly

"Crime fans on the lookout for intelligent examples of the genre will enjoy." — Time Out

Kirkus Reviews
The murder of an old woman in a rest home finds DCI Serrailler tracking a killer. Duchess of Cornwall Close is one of those newer, nicer rest homes that almost has an exclusive air about it--the perfect place to spend one's golden years, or so it would seem. So the community is shocked when one of their own is killed in the ritualistic manner of a serial killer. Lafferton's DCI Simon Serrailler doesn't have any leads until an old colleague digs up several similarities with a case from the past whose alleged perp walked on a technicality. Alan Keyes, the person of interest, is hard for Simon to pick up because he no longer officially exists. Meanwhile, Simon's romance with Rachel doesn't seem to have much of a future, and his sister, Cat Deerbon, is having troubles of her own. Molly, Cat's tenant and the surrogate older sister to Sam, Hannah and Felix, can't seem to shake the memories of her run-in with the Dr. Death of Simon's last case (The Betrayal of Trust, 2011, etc.). Heaped on top of these troubles, Cat and Simon's father, Richard, and stepmother, Judith, appear to be having problems of their own. Cat tries to spare Simon from the worst as he desperately searches for a man who isn't there. More slow burn than thrill ride, with the real interest in the characters and the concealment of Keyes' true identity.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781468304558
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
10/25/2012
Series:
Simon Serrailler Series , #7
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
69,913
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Susan Hill’s novels and short stories have won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham, and John Llewellyn Rhys awards, and the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is the author of fifty-six books. The play adapted from her famous ghost story, The Woman in Black, has been running in the West End since 1989; it is also a major feature film starring Daniel Radcliffe. Her crime novels featuring DCS Simon Serrailler are currently being adapted for TV.

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