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Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Risk of Darkness by Susan Hill

The Risk of Darkness is the 3rd book in the DCI Simon Serrailler series, written by Susan Hill.  I have been so pleased with my experiences listening to Steven Pacey's narration.  And this book was another winner for me.  If you are looking for a crime novel series that includes multiple characters, intriguing mysteries with a slower pace, and some dark symbolism and themes, this might be the one for you.

In addition to updates of the Serrailler family and work colleagues of Simon's, The Risk of Darkness carries over a missing child storyline.  In the previous book, a little boy was taken and the search continues and expands when Simon is called to consult with police in Yorkshire over another child abduction.  There is a new staff member at the cathedral, a female priest named Jane, who crosses paths with many of the characters.  Simon's sister, Dr. Cat Deerbon has a patient suffering from Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob (Mad Cow) Disease.  Her husband is virtually crazed with grief and anger and becomes more so as the story continues.  The Serrailler family experiences quite a bit of upheaval and some changes are in the works.  All in all, an absorbing book.

I was glad to see the continuation of the missing child case.  That had been left dangling and the effects had been felt by all the characters.  There was a definite theme of grief again in this book, especially the effects felt by family members when their loved ones are lost to them by death or by criminal actions.  Several difficult mother/daughter relationships appear, most of which made this reader want to go hug her own daughter.  A new DC is transferred in and becomes part of Simon's team.  He won't be well-liked, especially by DS Nathan Coates or indeed by anyone.  I'm not sure exactly what part that person played in this book and kind of hope he doesn't appear again.  Probably a hope in vain though as sometimes prickly characters serve to agitate things and keep others on edge.

Simon's brother-in-law, Dr. Chris Deerbon, is at a fork in the road of his career and Simon's sister, Cat, is unsure what lies ahead for their medical practice.  And Simon himself, well, there were multiple occasions in this book when I wanted to smack him.  Sometimes, he is his own worst enemy and his persistence in distancing himself from others, unless it's on his own terms, is hard to watch.  Here's hoping that he will develop a better sense of understanding for women and his relationship with them soon.  Else, he is likely to remain a lonely man.

The next book in the series is The Vows of Silence and I've already got it loaded and ready to go.  Susan Hill's series is one that I'm finding compulsively readable and one that I recommend.  

27 comments:

  1. Sounds like another winner! I'm going to stop in at my library this coming week and request that they get this entire series, either on cd (not my first choice!) or for downloading. I really want to listen to Steven Pacey read these to me, although, I suppose I could pick up the actual print copies. ;)

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    1. That's a good idea, Les. My library has sure loaded up on new audio and e-books.

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  2. Simon anchors the books, but he is less interesting and likable than other characters like Cat and Chris Deerbon. I do hope he will eventually show some growth.

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    1. Me, too, Jenclair. Although, sometimes the more prickly characters have their purpose. Since Cat is so congenial (mostly), Simon probably should be a little reserved and stiff and distant. LOL

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  3. I've only read one book by her; and it's The Woman in Black. Very atmospheric! Guess I need to read her series too!

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    1. Melody, after reading these, I think I need to read THE WOMAN IN BLACK.

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  4. Really pleased you're enjoying this series, at some stage I must get back to it.

    I really just popped in to say that I just started Sworn to Silence by Linda Castilllo. :-)

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    1. Oh, Cath, hope you enjoy the Castillo book. Crossed fingers. ;-)

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    2. Kay, I can't put it down. :-D

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  5. I do want to read this series! I'm not always too keen on child abduction storylines, but I can't resist a good mystery and a book that captures so well the emotions of the characters as they struggle with what is going on in their lives.

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    1. Wendy, these books have a lot of emotions. The Serrailler family provides the backdrop to all the crimes. And they have a lot going on.

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  6. This was a winner for me too - glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. Margaret, I'm probably 2/3 through with the next book. I may have to take a break just to catch my breath. So many emotional storylines.

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  7. I'm going to need a spoiler about the well being of the little boy who is abducted. I don't handle those types of story lines very well! Other than that this sounds great. This is an author I've been wanting to try and I like the sound of the multi-layered plot.

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    1. SPOILER****SPOILER****SPOILER

      Katherine, not good - the well being part.

      Might not be the book for you if that is a problem. :-(

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  8. My book review this week was about an abduction as well. The Risk of Darkness sounds intense. Thanks for your great review. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

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    1. It was intensely emotional in parts, for sure.

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  9. I really, really need to get back to this series. I liked book 1 so much but then never got around to reading the next book. It's good to know you like it in audio - I'm always looking for audio recommendations. Thanks, Kay!

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    1. The audio part has been a big plus for me.

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  10. I haven't read this series but it does sound quite intriguing - thank you for putting it under my radar. Lovely review <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  11. I haven't read this author yet, but she sounds like some of my other favorite books by English authors....I'm going to check this one out.

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    1. I meant to say some of my other favorite English authors...

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    2. Got it. She is similar in some ways and pretty unique in others. I'm so enjoying these books. Love them on audio.

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  12. Your next to last paragraph on Simon - yes! I think that's probably why I put this series on hold and wasn't sure if I was going to continue. He just got on my nerves. So reading your review reminded me that I have read this one but just never moved further in the series. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think of book four. I might re-consider.

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    1. Review of #4 will be up on Thursday, I think. Simon frustrates me a little, but I think that it's that whole loner policeman thing - pretty common device.

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!