Posted in Book Review, Books I have read

The Soul of Discretion – Susan Hill

Crime Fiction 4*'s
Crime Fiction
4*’s

I have read some of the earlier books in this series but then Simon Serralier inexplicably dropped off my radar, as soon as I read the first few sentences I knew that this would be a book that I would enjoy.

All is not going smoothly for Simon as he struggles to accommodate his latest girlfriend Rachel in his life and the tensions are growing between the two when everything changes when Simon is summoned to a top secret meeting. Simon is being sent off on an undercover mission to a secure unit that seeks to rehabilitate child abusers, a tough subject to cover but Susan Hill handles it incredibly well as she portrays these men as individuals but without sympathy and as the reader we are invited to watch their therapy sessions where they seek to rationalise their past behaviour with worthy words of how they are going to change, to become better men and live, either in prison, or out of it, cured of their habits.

Meanwhile unknown to Simon, his father, Richard is becoming more boorish and his wife Judith is assessing whether they can ever capture their earlier happiness. Cat, Simon’s sister is also having a hard time readjusting to life now the aims of the hospice have changed leaving her with less contact with patients so when a terminally ill patient in the Lafferton needs someone to listen she is glad to make a difference.

Susan Hill’s writing draws you into the story which is populated with a multitude of characters who feel so realistic. I may not have liked many of those I met in this book but they were far from two-dimensional characters and the writing flows so well so that even the subject matter of this book is extremely dark at no point did it feel too much. This is partly because the awful acts are not described but rather happen ‘off screen’ which allowed me to sympathise with the victims and decry the perpetrators without the awfulness perpetuated page after page.

Simon’s family provide a number of side-plots, all with thought-provoking issues which neatly dovetail into the main plot. Susan Hill cleverly uses these sub-plots to keep the reader’s interest and move the story along at a good pace throughout cleverly building the tension before a heart-stopping finale which had me racing through the pages at the end of the book.
Reading this book has convinced me to go back and read those I have missed in the intervening years as I have been missing out on an excellent series.

I’d like to thank the publishers Random House UK, Vintage Publishing for giving me a copy of this book to read in return for this honest review.

Posted in Weekly Posts

WWW Wednesday (October 22)

WWW Wednesday green

Hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill which is the eighth book in the Simon Serrailler series.

The Soul of Discretion

Blurb

The cathedral town of Lafferton seems idyllic, but in many ways it is just like any other place. As part of the same rapidly changing world, it shares the same hopes and fears, and the same kinds of crime, as any number of towns up and down the land.
When one day DC Simon Serrailler is called in by Lafferton’s new Chief Constable, Kieron Bright, he is met by four plainclothes officers. He is asked to take the lead role in a complex, potentially dangerous undercover operation and must leave town immediately, without telling anyone – not even his girlfriend Rachel, who has only just moved in with him.
Meanwhile, Simon’s sister Cat is facing difficult choices at work that will test her dedication to the NHS. But an urgent call about her and Simon’s father, Richard, soon presents her with a far greater challenge much closer to home.
To complete his special op, Simon must inhabit the mind of the worst kind of criminal. As the op unfolds, Lafferton is dragged into the sort of case every town dreads. And Simon faces the fight of his life. Amazon

I have just finished the novella The Whispers by Lisa Unger which tells the tale of Eloise Montgomery who develops psychic powers following the death of her husband and eldest daughter. This is the first part of a three part series which are being published a month apart.
My review will follow shortly…

The Whispers

Next I am going to read The Night Hunter by Caro Ramsay

The Night Hunter

Blurb

Elvie McCulloch’s sister Sophie has been missing for 57 days. She went out for a run – and never came home. Several young woman in the area have disappeared in similar circumstances, and Elvie’s family fears the worst.
As Elvie is driving to her new job late at night, the naked, emaciated body of a young woman crashes from high above onto an oncoming car. Elvie recognises her as Lorna Lennox, who has been missing for weeks. But why was she up there? Where had she been all this time? And why was she running for her life?
Teaming up with retired detective Billy Hopkirk, who has been retained by the mother of one of the missing girls to find her daughter, Elvie determines to find out the truth. But as the pair alternately collaborate with and infuriate investigating police detectives Anderson and Costello, they find themselves up against a terrifying enemy. Someone who has killed before. Someone who will kill again, for pure enjoyment. Someone they call The Night Hunter. NetGalley

What are you reading this week?

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (October 17)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS

This week I have two novella’s by Lisa Unger, first up is The Whispers

The Whispers
Blurb

It’s a day like any other for Eloise Montgomery—until tragedy strikes. While she is recovering from a horrible accident that takes the lives of her husband and oldest daughter, and as she works to help her younger daughter move forward, Eloise experiences her first psychic vision. Though she struggles to understand her newfound gifts, Eloise finds a way use them to save lost women and girls—for whom her help may be the only way out…NetGalley

and the second being The Burning Girl

The Burning Girl

Blurb

Ten years after Eloise Montgomery discovers her psychic abilities, she is a full-fledged working psychic, with a partner and a business. Now, in The Burning Girl, she’s discovering some disturbing things: secrets about her genealogy that are, perhaps, best left in the past; that her granddaughter Finley has powers of her own; and that not all of Eloise’s visitors actually want to be helped. Some of them are just looking for trouble… NetGalley

I also have a copy of The Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill which is the eighth in the Simon Serrailler series, I think I read one and two some years ago! I know I swore I wouldn’t join series part-way in but I weakened…

The Soul of Discretion

I’ve also got a copy of The Heart of Winter by Emma Hannigan after enjoying the author’s previous book The Summer Guest which I read earlier this year.

 

The Heart of Winter

Blurb

Holly Craig’s family have lived happily in Huntersbrook for generations but when times grow hard, even she must admit defeat and sell off their once-successful stables.
The three Craig children, Lainey, Joey and Pippa find themselves locked in a fight to keep their beloved Huntersbrook; dare they transform it into one of Ireland’s most sought after countryside venues?
Renovation work is well underway when life rears its ugly head and everything stops in its tracks. The Craig family is forced to reassess what matters and although they no longer live at Huntersbrook, can the house work its magic even so … and lead them into the light once more? Goodreads

and lastly I have a copy of Interlude by Rupert Smith

Interlude

Blurb

A compelling examination of how secrets can tear one family apart; the tale moves from the repressed society of 1930s England where the consequences of two men s actions still reverberate through their families in the present day. Bored housewife and mother Helen has always known her grandfather Edward was a famous author, but her parents had severed connection with him whilst she was still young, refusing to discuss the matter. After embarking on a whirlwind affair with her writing tutor, Helen decides to visit her reclusive grandfather and discover more about the identity of the mysterious Rose in his most famous novel, Interlude, who has baffled critics for years. Their brief meeting reveals little but when her grandfather dies and makes Helen his executor, she discovers a stash of his diaries and an unpublished manuscript. They reveal a long hidden secret and a forbidden love affair with devastating consequences for her whole family. Helen s journey is interspersed with Edward’s works which slowly reveal the ambiguity of truth and the depth of deception that permeates the family.
A stirring look at not just the treachery of family secrets but of how truth can be buried within a text and how society imposes limits on love. Amazon

What have you found to read this week?