The Pure in Heart (Simon Serrailler Series #2)

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Overview

The second novel featuring Detective Inspector Simon Serrailler set in the English Cathedral town of Lafferton.

A little boy is kidnapped as he stands with his satchel at the gate of his home, waiting for a lift to school. An ex-con finds it impossible to stay straight. A severely handicapped young woman dies in the night ? has someone who loves her helped her out of this world?

Once again, Susan Hill brilliantly creates a community, with ...

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The Pure in Heart (Simon Serrailler Series #2)

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Overview

The second novel featuring Detective Inspector Simon Serrailler set in the English Cathedral town of Lafferton.

A little boy is kidnapped as he stands with his satchel at the gate of his home, waiting for a lift to school. An ex-con finds it impossible to stay straight. A severely handicapped young woman dies in the night — has someone who loves her helped her out of this world?

Once again, Susan Hill brilliantly creates a community, with detail so sharp and convincing that readers feel that these people are their neighbours. And that terror and evil are always in their midst. . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In Hill's fine second Simon Serrailler crime novel (after The Various Haunts of Men), Inspector Serrailler, who's still brooding over the unsolved murder of a fellow officer a year earlier, has sought solace amid Italian ruins with his sketchbook, much to the disapproval of his father back in England. Summoned home to the cathedral town of Lafferton, Serrailler finds that murder, family breakups and the abduction of a schoolboy have occurred in his absence. Other worries include the impending death of his handicapped sister, Martha, and a mob attack on the home of the pedophile suspected of kidnapping nine-year-old David Angus. Meanwhile, down-and-out ex-con Andy Gunton finds dubious employment shipping cars for sleazy Lee Carter. The patient reader must wait until these subplots come together, but Hill's smooth and engrossing style creates riveting suspense as Serrailler and sidekick Nathan Coates pursue David's abductors through Lafferton's seediest areas to an astonishing conclusion. (Nov.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

A little boy is kidnapped while waiting for a ride to school in Hill's second mystery featuring Detective Inspector Simon Serailler (after The Various Haunts of Men) and his bucolic English cathedral town of Lafferton. Few leads exist. Crime reconstruction and interviews with local pedophiles, ex-cons, transients, and the boy's family turn up no clues. The community is gripped by fear, and the boy's family unravels. Simon's personal life is also turbulent-his institutionalized sister has suddenly died, his other sibling is about to give birth to her third child and her medical practice is suffering, and his sometime girlfriend is in desperate need of attention and stalking him. Simon is clearly not functioning at his best in the face of this truly baffling and tragic case. Thanks to Hill's deft prose, his character gains both depth and humanity. This novel showcases the author's exceptional skill at complex plot development and the creation of a community of thoroughly engaging and believable characters. Fans of English mysteries will be delighted. Strongly recommended.
—Susan Clifford Braun

Kirkus Reviews
The disappearance of a small boy disorders the lives of many people. DCI Simon Serrailler (The Various Haunts of Man, 2007, etc.) is recalled from his Venetian sketching holiday by his father. His younger sister Martha, physically and mentally challenged from birth, is dying. Martha recovers only to die suddenly in her sleep, leaving Simon bereft. A triplet and a policeman in a family of doctors, he is slowly recovering from the murder of a young woman he may have loved. His attention shifts when a young boy goes missing while waiting for his ride to school. The whole force work night and day searching for a lead. Lack of progress and internal pressures cause the boy's father to commit suicide and leave his mother in a trance, alternating between rage and despair, while ignoring his older sister. Simon's beloved physician sister Cat has recently given birth. He finds her cozy home a haven of peace until she tackles him about his treatment of women after receiving a visit from the ex-lover who's stalking him, desperate to understand why Simon ended their affair. The stresses on artistic, introspective Simon, who's obviously modeled on Adam Dalgleish, mount as his team continues to search for the boy they fear is dead while pursuing their other cases. A gripping and unusual procedural focusing more on the characters' complex lives than the crimes. A must-read. Agent: Katherine Fausset/Curtis Brown
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780099462101
  • Publisher: Random House UK
  • Publication date: 7/4/2006
  • Series: Simon Serrailler Series , #2
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Hill is an award-winning novelist. She wrote Mrs de Winter, the bestselling sequel to Rebecca, and the ghost story The Woman in Black, which was adapted for the stage and has been running for eighteen years. Her most recent books are a collection of exquisite short stories, The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read, and the highly successful crime novel, The Various Haunts of Men. She lives in Gloucestershire where she runs her own small publishing company.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

4 Star

(3)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    I discovered this through Barnes a Noble. They got me her books through Canada as she is sold in the UK. This book is great on all levels, as a police procedural, mystery, family involved with the central character, and as a great novel. This is an outstanding writer.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2013

    Good Read

    Enjoyed this book and the main character. I especially liked the ending (often not the best part of the book). Will read more by Susan Hill.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2013

    A multi-layered read

    The first of Susan Hill's mystery series that I have read and I have to say I'm a little ambivalent about it. One would think that the case around which the novel is built would provide a strong central theme, but in Hill's hands, the action takes a distant second place to her characters' personal lives. Her characters are beautifully developed and sharply drawn, but while I appreciated her skill, I found that I really didn't care enough about them to be more than mildly interested in their lives. And yet I kept reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2013

    This second book in the series was quite good. We learn more ab

    This second book in the series was quite good. We learn more about Serrailler. I have read all the books in this series and have enjoyed them for the most part. There are some repetitive themes. There are also some inconsistencies (mistakes?) as characters go from one book to the next. For instance, a character has ovarian cancer in one book, but in the next book it has turns into breast cancer. Also, in one book a character is told about a pivotal event, only to hear it for the first time in the next book. But all in all, a good read for someone hooked on Brit. police procedural, mystery books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2012

    An author worth reading.

    I have now read two of Susan Hill's books featuring Simon Serrailler as the lead character. I found the second in the series just as engrossing as the first book. She creates characters that are both believable as well as interesting and the story line, in this case, a mystery, has the reader constantly trying to figure out where the story is leading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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