©2006 Susan Hill; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
I found the first book in the series quite difficult to get into, but once I did I was hooked and am now in the middle of Book 4. I like the fact that the main character, Simon Serrailler is quite socially awkward and has many contradictions, and but most of all I think the narration is the one of the best I've heard. Steven Pacey is excellent and the story moves quickly through many twists and turns.
This is a great audio to run to and I've found this last week I've gone a km or more out of my way to keep listening. Would definitely recommend.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
I listened to the first three books in this series pretty quickly and enjoyed the writing and the characters. Simon Serrailler and his family are full of surprises and offer real depth to the works. In this book, the family dynamic changes considerably, setting up lots of possibilities for future revelations.
"The Risk of Darkness", I think, has at least one two many plotlines - one in particular could easily have been eliminated altogether without damaging the overall story. Hill is a very serious writer - the gloom factor is pretty high, even for readers who don't much care for a lot of humor in mysteries. In this listen, it's a bit of overkill.
This was satisfying in that some questions from earlier books are answered. So, despite being a bit less impressed by this addition to the series, I am willing to continue to the 4th book - but I need a little break before the plunge.
Steven Pacey is one of the main reasons for pursuing the Simon Serrailler series - his narration is fantastic.
amazing story and amazing performance by Steven Pacey. Can't wait for the next Susan Hill Nove.
I don't try write a review as if it were the only review a potential reader will see. I write things that I noticed.
I only know the audio--I do love the way Steven Pacey narrates.
This book resolves much of the unfinished business that left me irritated by the previous one in the series. On the other hand, Simon's reputed horrible treatment of the women he dates is revealed in full detail. I know protagonists need to have flaws, but this one of his and the way both his sister and the author deal with it are frustrating to me.
This book seems to be about "this is just how some people are and they can't be understood or changed." Not my favorite, but at least facts get resolved and Simon finally gets to experience being dumped. On the other hand, he can't seem to have empathy for the women he dumps even then. He still seems to see himself as a blameless victim of all women--incredibly self-centered.
There are also almost too many story threads and it gets hard to keep track of them. But I do find myself wanting to keep listening/reading to find out what will happen.
I immensely enjoyed The Risk of Darkness, not only because it is well written, but also because of the very interesting and surprising plot. Hill runs several story lines alongside each other and you get to know the characters very well. I've certainly become a fan.
This is my fourth book by Susan Hill and each time I finish one I vow to listen no more. But, like other readers I keep coming back hoping each time that this will be the one where she finally decides to finish a book with a logical ending! I end up trudging through hour after hour of details about the lives of the characters and get about 5% of the actual plot's story line. Then, after spending those hours I get to the end and nothing has been explained about the actual plot! Quite frustrating! So...great stories. Great narrator. Terrible endings!
Although this book held a lot of promise initially, the characters came in and dropped out with no purpose. The end was also extremely disappointing leaving me hanging on several levels. Not sure what her point was??
I have read the first two of this series which were ok but this one streached my patience so far I could not even finish the book.
The characters act against basic comon sense so often it became infuriating. Everyone displays bad judgement occassionally, its enivitable, but not so often and with such predicatable results.
I loved the resolution of the previous story, i liked the way she ended the story and the other characters affected by the outcome. I did not like all the other stories, it started to feel too busy and not coherent...it felt too busy.
It was ok. I am just tired of british authors not allowing their main characters to have success in their personal live.
He is the only reason I keep reading, he is excellent.
Yes, would like to find out what happened to Eileen and Ed.
looking for a good read
I found her books because of the narrator Steven pacey. great job. she has a unique style the author.
"Another gripping instalment beautifully read"
For those who were frustrated by the unresolved ending of The Pure in Heart, the second novel in the series, this third book brings matters to a conclusion. Very easy to get into, if you have listened to or read the previous two, as the central characters, DCI Simon Serailler, DI Nathan Coates and Dr Cat Derebon have become very familiar. However, I found this an altogether darker book than the previous two. An air of danger, menace and general moral decline pervade the story. Some extremely unpleasant crimes are committed, some by people who are pure evil, some seeking retribution and others by people who have been brought to the edge by tragic events. As before, I found the novel more about the exploration and development of the characters: the difficulties they face, the opportunities which are presented to them, the choices they make, rather than a concentration on police procedure. Once again, Stephen Pacey?s reading is impeccable. Very highly recommended.
"Main story hampered by a subsidiary one"
The main crime story in this book is gripping and, while it is out of the ordinary, it is not out of the realms of possibility, whereas a extra story, about the irrational behaviour of a bereaved man, which is largely irrelevant spoils the book by being ridiculous. I would have given the book 5 stars had it not had this subsidiary thread. The reader is excellent.
"Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!!!"
What a terrific writer! Susan Hill doesn't put a foot wrong here. Again and again her insights into the characters of good and 'evil' characters ring true. I was profoundly moved by the ending. I was so sad to leave the world of these novels. Stephen Pacey is arguably the best narrator on this site. Read the three books in the right order. Thoroughly recommended.
"What an amazing trilogy!"
Loved each of these books for their attention to detail, vivid portrayal of the characters and ability to allow total immersion in the stories. As you listen to each book it further develops individual character strengths and weaknesses, their lives and ambitions.
Could not put this down and look forward to more Susan Hill books, so well read by Steven Pacey
"Brilliant narrator. Good story."
This was a well narrated story. Steven Pacey brings life to all the characters. I thought the storyline was ok, but the narration did it for me.
Steven brings all the characters to life brilliantly. His accents are spot on.
Another fantastic book in this series - can't wait for Susan Hill to write another. Brilliantly read by Stephen Pacey. Highly recommended.
"The Pure in Heart part II"
In terms of story line this is really a continuation of the previous book, The Pure in Heart, and it turns the pages just as well as the last thanks to the writer's skill and the superb reading of Simon Pacey.
As for subject matter, Susan Hill explores the deterioration of British society of recent years, painting a very grim portrait of life in this materialist and godless culture. She has a sharp eye for observation and sadly it all rings too true. This single novel could easily replace a truckload of academic study for future historians.
But so much for posing the problem, Hill fails to convince when it comes to the answer.
Perhaps, rather conveniently the story introduces a young Church of England clergywoman (incorrectly called a priest), who acts as a focus for asking if God has answers for we disintegrating British or if he doesn't matter anymore. Like too many real CoE churchmen, she has no grasp of biblical doctrine and is little more than a shallow new age pedlar of 'faith'. When she should have plenty of answers she gives none, and the reader is left unconvinced by this cardboard cut-out idea of what church people have to offer the disenchanted. Susan Hill would have done well to research her subject better for this character. She may even have been able to answer the difficult questions she asks in the book.
The police station characters continue to fascinate and Simon Serailler's family still reflect the middle class in all its messy glory, trying to find a place in this brave new world which is coarse, brutal and punishing, both mentally and physically. There is little reward in quality of life.
Roll on the next installment.
"a good listen!"
I cared about these characters and the dramas they faced - can't wait to download the next in the series. As ever, Hill takes you on a well paced and sometimes twisted jpurney to some dark places of the human psyche
"Another very enjoyable 'listen'!"
I am really enjoying this series of books! Love the characters AND Steven Pacey's reading!
"Crimes seem to intrude on personal problems"
For me the crime side of the novel are the incedental parts while the personal problems of the characters form the backbone. This is not ideal for me and seems a more female type of story. It is engrossing though.
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