©2004 Susan Hill; (P)2005 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
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really enjoyed this audio book. its the first of series of three. iv already requested the second one for my next moths choice. easy to listen to. good characters & really well read. i get 'comfortable' with a lead character & the simon serrailler is 'most agreeable'! its definately worth a listen
"Don't go out alone!"
Susan Hill usually manages to scare the pants off me and has pulled this off (if you pardon the pun) with applomb. She manages to lull us into a sense of security in this sleepy little dormer town even though we know things are going on. Hill constucts a gradual psychological build up amongst a cast of well developed characters right up to the 'twist of the knife' ending. The reader - Stephen Pacey - skillfully brings each character to life, adding to the drama and climax of the story.
This is the first of Hill's 'Simon Serrailler' series and I'm looking forward to listening to others in the series providing I'm somewhere safe and with the lights on.
"very good book"
pulled me in quickly and kept me till the end.
"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.
"My first read of a Simon Serrailler"
My first read of a Simon Serrailler and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The great combination of the story and the excellent narrator
It kept me listening long after I should have been asleep
He is very good and I will be ooking for more of his narrations
Number 2 in the Simon Serrailler series will be mynext purchase.
"I was hooked from the moment I started."
This was the first Susan Hill book I listened to and it just totally blew me away. Firstly it is because her Simon Serrailler Series is not your average crime novel. In fact often the crime aspect takes a backseat to the other more human events in the book such as mental illness, dealing with being on the edges of society, divorce, love, the reality of simply being a rather mundane human being. She explores the people who most novels forget, the insignificant, the ugly, fat, lonely people, sex-workers, and she gives them a voice. Which actually is incredibly liberating. When I'm listening to her books I feel as though I might really know some of these types of people.
Secondly Simon Serrailer is not your traditional maverick cop. Yes he has some of those anti-social traits other authors use, but he toes the line he doesn't act rashly or unbelievably and he doesn't always have a fast pace job with shootings every five minutes. He is believable, which so many of today's "crime-fighting protagonists" just aren't.
My favourite character is Kat. She is the rock in the book, the voice of reason and I really love the way her character develops over the series, as we begin to see that she isn't perfect but once again a whole, rounded person. Especially in the 4th book I cried so much as she tries to rebuild her life and struggle on. But also she is the expressive voice of many of my own opinions on euthnasia and the hospice system so I like that as she gets her feelings straight in her mind I can also follow her arguments and form my own.
Steven Pacey's narration is brilliant, mellow and melodic, and he also give the narration a great rhythm and timbre which is very relaxing but also he injects great energy at the action moments. I could listen to his voice all day.
I actually cried several times during this book, but especially at the moment of the 2nd murder, because I felt that the victim was such a pathetic creature, whilst at the same time had so much potential in her life cut short. There were many things about her which I empathized with.
This novel is the first in a series and as hopefully the character development will expand. The story starts off quite slow and the first two or so chapters were a bit of a struggle to listen to, though they were probably easy to read but they did set up the beginning of the story. Once Freya got on the scene the story was more involving and interesting and was a pleasure to listen to. The ending how ever would have been unsatisfying in a stand alone novel but as part of a series I will hold off until I listen to the next one.
I can recommend this novel but the Simon Serrailler was quite unimpressive in this first novel so the recommendation comes with the caveat that he needs to developed more in the next novel.
This was my first foray into the Simon Serraillier series and I have to say I am hooked. In another time the plot might have been implausible, but in modern times... A very good listen.
"Not what I expected and not a lively narration"
I downloaded this to listen to in the car on a long journey following a successful journey listening to The Woman in Black (which was excellent). The Various Haunts of Men however did not live up to expectations and we gave up less than an hour in - despite trying to listen to it on 3 separate occasions. The narration is bland and boring and the story just failed to get going. A waste of money really. I could not recommend this.
Very long winded and slow on the take. Kept hoping for it to pick up but dissapointed
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