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The Various Haunts of Men Audiobook

The Various Haunts of Men: Simon Serrailler 1

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Publisher's Summary

A woman vanishes in the fog up on "the Hill", an area locally known for its tranquillity and peace. The police are not alarmed; people usually disappear for their own reasons. But when a young girl, an old man, and even a dog disappear, no one can deny that something untoward is happening in this quiet cathedral town. Young policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case; she's new to the job, compassionate, inquisitive, dedicated, and needs to know, perhaps, too much. She and the enigmatic detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler have the task of unravelling the mystery behind this gruesome sequence of events. From the passages revealing the killer's mind to the final heart-stopping twist, The Various Haunts of Men is an astounding and masterly crime debut and is the first in what promises to be a magnificent series featuring Simon Serrailler.

©2004 Susan Hill; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (77 )
5 star
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Overall
3.9 (56 )
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Story
4.3 (56 )
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Performance


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  • Audur
    Reykjavik, Iceland
    8/6/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dissapointed"

    Very long winded and slow on the take. Kept hoping for it to pick up but dissapointed

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Linda jh
    West Cornwall, UK
    5/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible!"

    Susan Hill has been one of my favourite writers in the past but this had me asking myself if it was a Mills and Boone book, or was it a different Susan Hill? Not so.

    The embarrassing crush that Freya has on her DCI is totally inconsistent with a professional detective sergeant, or any other professional woman. The country yokel accents of the 'monkey faced' detective and a uniform sergeant do not sit well with the 'proper' accents of the other ranks and other 'middle class' individuals in the story. As a former police officer I find it frustrating that Hill has not done her research into the police service.
    A move into CID is not a promotion!
    it is highly unlikely that a detective constable would speak to his sergeant the way he does in this book ....and certainly not in the whining voice that is sometimes used.
    If a doctor went to see a patient regarding a complaint of assault or sexual assault the last thing they would do would be to ask the police to go along before they had ascertained what had occurred. The police would hardly expect to be called to go and wait outside a house while a doctor interviewed someone to ascertain if an assault had taken place.

    Does Ms Hill really think that a detective sergeant will have encountered many psychopaths? It is unlikely that a police officer will meet many or any in their career!

    Amazing that there is no mention of mobile phones until very near the end of book..... I assumed it must have been originally written in a time before mobile phones, otherwise why have they not have been usefully used earlier in the story? To support this assumption of an earlier era I cite the use of comments like 'yonks' by a 40 year old ...hardly a term used today. Similar expression were used elsewhere which made me cringe.

    To read a book containing many characters, which need to be defined by voice, cannot be easy, but I found the narration 'over the top.'

    If the book had been read aloud by a woman I suspect that the perfume YSL would almost certainly have been read as Yves St Laurent ...no one to my knowledge refers to YSL by its letter format.

    Hardly a Simon Serailler novel, since he is only occasionally in it!

    Obviously a number of people did enjoy it from the reviews, but I have to confess amazement that some of the critics who wrote reviews in the national newspapers spoke highly of the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Di
    2/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing, tedious and not mysterious"

    I was looking for a good classic detective story, and this book was suggested in the category, with overall good reviews. Unfortunately, it was quite disappointing for a crime mystery novel. Perhaps, I was expecting a more old fashion book, or a mid. 20th century classic crime, and the book is contemporary. That I think should have been mentioned in the description. I have to say that the writing style is good, so the book does not fail there, but it fails in storyline and mystery. The narrator Steven Pacey was good, although it was odd and confusing to listen to him narrating all women's voices, as the characters introduced in the first half were mostly women. I was critical of some of the reviewers stating that this is not a book a man could enjoy, it sounded very sexist, but I have to agree that many of the descriptions of characters and relations between them were indeed tedious to listen to and had no bearing to the crimes. It is more of a social novel, if you like a fictional description of what life and people are like in a small English town, you may like it. Perhaps what grabbed the attention of some of the listeners was the chance to peek into what could be the private stories of various people, including a very soapy description of undisclosed feelings of love from first sight, and the life in a somewhat small English town. But with a Cathedral, which should have then been called a city, but never mind. Simon Serrailler is not even a main character of the book. There is no mystery of what has happened to the victims and worst of all, you get to find out who the murderer is whole 4 hours before the end of the book, what follows is tedious, there is no mystery or suspense and without giving out any specific spoilers, the ending is quite disappointing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mutt2356
    1/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"

    Even Steven Pacey, one of the best narrators, couldn't make this story interesting.
    Got as far as chapter 11 then give-up!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas Schaefer
    12/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unfinished"
    What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    A a great fan of Steven Pacey I admit to finding this book through his listings as performer. The book is very well read although I had great difficulty to convince myself that this was the same Steven Pacey I had grown accustomed to so readily from other books.

    As far as the story is concerned I find myself with the minority of reviewers, I am unable to hold out to the end.
    What makes this book so unsatisfactory is that the author overworks the situations she describes and spends so much time on details which contribute very little if anything to the story. Perhaps there is a good plot or a good detective story further down but after 4 hours of listening I am not willing to invest more time..


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ryan
    11/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't finish!"

    I thought this novel was profoundly boring, i couldn't finish it, I found myself daydreaming and having no idea what had been happening for the past ten minutes. It felt more like a love story or a drama than a detective novel. Steven Paceys narration however was flawless and I found his voice captivating, but even his narration couldn't keep my complete attention. Sorry just not for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • G. Myers
    London, United Kingdom
    5/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A can't put down book"

    My first Susan Hill book and it will not be my last, a combination of excellent plot characters and narrative means I am heading for the store to buy my next Susan Hill today.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • David
    5/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unsatisfying"

    A nicely told story until the bizarre fate of the killer that plagues the novel, especially with the focus of the book being told from the police view point. Well narrated. I'm not sure I'll get the next in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sue
    Littlehampton, United Kingdom
    2/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant storytelling, superb writing!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A terrific read, great characters and storyline. You become drawn into the twists and turns of the plot as if you are on a rollercoaster ride, it is hard to stop listening to Steven Pacey's strong narration and by the end you feel emotionally drained.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters were well drawn and totally believable as were the places.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I must admit to shedding a few tears at the end!


    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant book, one of the very best I have listened to and I can't wait to listen to more from Susan Hill.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • G. Ryan
    Suffolk, UK
    1/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping"

    Excellent author, very sympathetic characters and extremely good reading by Steven Pacey. I will be going straight on to the next book in the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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