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
The New York Times Book Review
…[a] twisted mysterysurely the darkest entry in an elegant series…
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.
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.)
"Hill is a fine writer ... Brooding, downright ominous."
"Crime fans on the lookout for intelligent examples of the genre will enjoy."
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.