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Friday, April 17, 2015

The Shadows in the Street by Susan Hill

The Shadows in the Street is the 5th book in the Simon Serrailler crime series.  The author is Susan Hill and if you've been reading this blog for the last few months, you know that I have been listening to this series on audio - and loving it.  Again, Steven Pacey is the narrator and a fine job he does.  I only have 3 more of this series to go and then I'll be current.  Not sure what I'll do then, but hopefully another series will appear and fill the gap.

Susan Hill's books are mysteries, yes, but they are also character studies of the Serrailler family and, in addition, include morality and health issues.  This book takes on prostitution and gives us a personal look at a few of the woman who are in the game, their lives and children.  There is a mental health storyline, the ravages of a person suffering from bipolar disorder and how it affects that person's loved ones.  There is a theme of loneliness in the book and how some cope with it or don't.

 The character studies include Simon Serrailler's police colleagues and changes in personnel, Cat Deerbon's decisions as she tries to go on with her medical career in the wake of a personal tragedy, and Simon himself, always attempting to figure out whether to indulge his artistic side or his logical police superintendent half.  As our story begins, Simon is on leave and enjoying a holiday time on a Scottish island.  His superiors have insisted that he get away and it has been good for him to do so.  His sister, Dr. Cat Deerbon, has been adjusting to a new normal and is questioning whether general practice is what she wishes to do in the future.  Her heart lies with the hospice patients and she is mulling over some decisions that will allow her to spend more time with her children and make her job more rewarding.

Two local prostitutes have been brutally strangled near the canal.  Simon is called back to head up the investigation.  He and his team, which includes a new Detective Sergeant, are working hard, but making no headway in solving the murders.  There are people who reach out to the women, trying to help them with food, hot drinks, and clean needles.  Could the murderer be hiding among these individuals?  Several men are brought in and questioned.  And then another woman disappears and another.  Simon is getting all kinds of pressure from above and from the community.

Lafferton's cathedral is going through a transition as well, with a new head, whose wife wants to institute an extensive program to help the prostitutes.  The new dean or head is making waves among the congregation for the many updates he is proposing.  All that grinds to halt though when the dean's wife herself goes missing.  And before Simon and his team can catch the killer, that person gets way too close to someone Simon cares for.

Again, there are changes in store for our characters in the coming books.  Susan Hill is not an author to be averse to big challenges for the characters she creates.  The next book in the series is The Betrayal of Trust and I'm happy to say that I have that one loaded on my phone and am ready to begin listening.

14 comments:

  1. I have the first in Susan Hill's series on my kindle, haven't read it yet. I'm glad you are enjoying this series. I am eager for a chance to start it now.

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    1. Rita, you should try them. I've posted reviews of all 5 I've read. They are a bit like Deborah Crombie's books. Not completely, but are more than crime scenes.

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  2. I'm not sure how I missed reading Susan Hill's books but she is firmly on my TBR now. This one sounds especially intriguing. You are not good for my TBR! You keep adding authors to my list!

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    1. I think you would like these, Katherine. And I have loved them on audio.

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  3. I've not heard of this series before but it sounds really good. I really like listening to mysteries or thrillers on audio. It seems to bring them to life so much more.

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    1. Darlene, if you like crime novels on audio, you should try these. They are very well done.

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  4. Sounds like a great series with interesting characters. I may give this one a try.

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    1. You might like them, Catherine. I've reviewed all 5 that I've read and they are here in earlier posts.

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  5. Shoot-- I forgot to look for more in this series on my last library visit!

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    1. You'll get to them eventually I suspect, Jenclair. :-)

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  6. I have a lot of catching up to do with this series. I think this might work well for me in audio - I've been gong through my audiobook reads quite quickly recently.

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    1. The audios are so well done. Truly.

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  7. I am glad you are continuing to enjoy this series, Kay. Oh, how I wish I had more time read! Why is there never enough?!

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    1. You are at a busy time of life, Wendy. I did not used to have so much time for reading and I will say that the audio is helping. But, again, you have a little girl in the car with you right? The time will come. Trust me.

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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!