©2006 Susan Hill; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
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.
amazing story and amazing performance by Steven Pacey. Can't wait for the next Susan Hill Nove.
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.
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.
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??
"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.
"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.
"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.
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.
"Simon Serrailler Trilogy, Books 1-3"
I bought the 1st 3 Serrailler books together as the blurb was quite adamant they should be read in order, or listened to in this case.
This review could be applied to any one of the three books in the trilogy, or all three.
Steven Pacey did a great job with very weak material.
There were far too many characters introduced that had nothing to do with the story.
There were character story arcs that lead nowhere, or just stopped when they were getting interesting.
There was no conclusion to the main 'thriller' story in the book.
I listened to all 3, felt the same way about all 3, and as the end of book 3 approached seriously began to doubt that all the previous storylines were going to be resolved and explained, and unfortunately it turned out I was right to doubt.
I will not be buying any more books in the series, it was so frustrating to have the books finish so abruptly with no conclusion to the main storylines.
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