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Publisher's Summary

Simon Serrailler is faced with that most complicated of investigations - a cold case. Freak weather and flash floods have hit southern England. The small cathedral town of Lafferton is underwater, and a landslip on the moor has closed the roads. As the rain slowly drains away, a shallow grave - and a skeleton - is exposed; 20 years have passed, and the remains of missing teenager Joanne Lowther have finally been uncovered.

Joanne, an only child, had been on her way home from a friend's house that night. She was the daughter of a prominent local businessman, and her mother had killed herself two years after she disappeared, unable to cope.

Cold cases are always tough, and in this latest mystery in the acclaimed series from Susan Hill, Simon Serrailler is forced to confront his most grisly, dangerous, and complex case yet.

©2011 Susan Hill. All rights reserved. (P)2012 AudioGo

What listeners say about The Betrayal of Trust

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Love the series; this one not my favorite

While this book does move along the underlying story of the major characters, and it does solve the central crime, it leaves so many open story lines that it is not quite as satisfying as most of the books in the series. Still, I do enjoy this series. The characters feel like old friends. Hill's stories always move along at a good pace, and this one raises some interesting questions. All in all, I enjoyed the book but it is not the star of the series.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This series has it all....

Most of the professional reviews of the Simon Serrailler books -- of which this is number six -- talk about 'crime fiction'. In this book, the blurbs note that Detective. Serrailler is trying to solve the mystery of two young girls who disappeared. That's true of course -- that's one story line, and a fine one it is. But there are many more fictional genres woven into these books -- there's the family saga of the inherently fascinating Serrailler family themselves, where a set of now-adult triiplets (Simon is one) were pretty much forced by their demanding and uncompromising father to take up the family profession, medicine. Dr. Cat Dearborn did, Dr. Ido Serrailler did -- but then left for Australia, never to return. So far, anyway.

But Simon, also a gifted artist, refused to study medicine and took up police work instead, a choice he continues to suffer for. The family dynamic in these books is endlessly fascinating -- Dr. Cat's young (doctor) husband recently passed away, leaving her a young widow with responsibilities not only for running their clinic but for their kids as well, some of whom aren't doing as well as they'd like. And then there's Simon's inability -- or unwillingness -- to commit himself to a woman, a theme which continues in this book in a totally unique way.

But each book also addresses a contemporary social issue -- this one involves questions of life and death, specifically who should make the decision about when to die. There's a story line in this book about Jocelyn, a 73 year old woman with a not only incurable disease, but one which will soon bring about a very painful and lingering death. The story of Jocelyn is some of the best writing of this entire series. There was one segment when I was listening so hard I hardly dared breathe, I was so afraid of missing a word. In terms of psychological suspense, this is the best example I've ever read. In terms of "tense", fiction just doesn't get any better than this.

Then there's the unscrupulous death-masters, in Switzerland and elsewhere, who prey on suffering people wishing to end it all with an "assisted suicide". It's said that if you want to learn the truth, you must read fiction, and in that sense, this is the greatest book on the subject anywhere -- not that it will give you answers, but that it makes you ask the questions. Who gets to play Gd? Does anyone? That's one of the recurring themes in this book, and to some extent, in different ways, all the characters find themselves addressing that issue.

Maybe Susan Hill's greatest genius is that she weaves all this together in a 'can't put it down' format -- there's nothing preachy about these books, nothing scholarly, or nothing that would appear to be so. Just strings of absolutely fascinating storytelling, tales of lives so good you simply can't wait for the next book, so you go back and listen to the earlier ones again. And she always leaves a few strings dangling, too -- stories left unfinished, not that it's necessary. Having read one of these books, there's no way you won't be holding your hands out, waiting for the next.



7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just love Susan Hill

Amazingly gifted story writer. Each one of the books in this series were so enjoyable and Steven Pacey should win an award for his narration. Hoping for another in this series.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I realize I don't like Susan Hill

I've just read the entire series, so this review is to cover them all. She writes well, plots are unlikely, but she carries them off for the most part, due to character development and command of English language.

My problem is that with this book and several others she commits what I feel is outright "entrapment". She starts out with characters who take opposite sides of moral arguments, leading you to believe it is just that--a discussion meant to show two sides of the debate and hopefully enrich plot development. And then, she turns the person(s) who represent the side of the argument the author doesn't represent into evil, or insane serial killers. Her side of any argument is based solely on traditional medicine, and traditional beliefs underpinned by very traditional Catholic morality.

A good example is Book 1, wherein at first a main character, Cat, appears to accept the idea that acupuncture can have real benefits, then Hill ends up turning the practitioner into a sexually deviant psychopathic serial killer, and with one broad brush paints all alternative healing methods into evil quackery.

This particular book turned on the subject of the right to choose the how and when of one's own death. I happen to live in a Right to Die state, and am glad of it. Once again the proponents of the side of the argument she doesn't like turns out to be nuts, or evil, or both. She does this a number of times during the series, and by the end I realized that if these books represent the personality and beliefs of the author herself, that I wouldn't like her very much. Way too dogmatic and narrow minded.

And when all was said and done, the short prequel that sucked me back into finishing this devious series just to find out why it even existed, was pointless--as nothing in the previous books led me to understand why Serailler lost an arm and why he was being feted.

I felt like an entire book was left out at the end. Tricked again...

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not A Typical "Procedural"

This is a captivating story and a good mystery. Much time is spent on the stories of the non-recurring characters. I liked that very much. Their stories caught my interest and kept me listening. I wondered how they would all mesh together. The story of the Serrailler family is also continued and I enjoy that aspect of these books as well. The mystery is good. I wasn't able to guess the solution ahead of time.

This series deals less with the actual police work and more with the stories of the people. I like that aspect of the series very much. However, if you prefer stories that stay strictly within the bounds of a specific crime and it's solution, these books may not appeal to you.

Steven Pacey's narration is excellent.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Unsatisfying enfing

Would you try another book from Susan Hill and/or Steven Pacey?

Yes. Love Steven Pacey, loving the Serrailler family drama's.

What could Susan Hill have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

It was an interesting story, a little anti-climatic.

Have you listened to any of Steven Pacey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I think I will have to search for something I like. Love him...

Did The Betrayal of Trust inspire you to do anything?

No.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Truly engaging

What made the experience of listening to The Betrayal of Trust the most enjoyable?

I've listened to all of the Susan Hill/Simon Serrailler novels. I can't say what makes them so engaging, but they are. They are not the best mysteries, but it hardly matters, since the characters are so real and engaging, that I'm happy to follow them along as they do their day-to-day activities -- be that cooking meals for their families or solving murders. They are like those long BBC detective series that are long on detail w/o much action, which for me are a great pleasure to watch.

What other book might you compare The Betrayal of Trust to and why?

Any P.D. James

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story

This is one of the best in my opinion. Along with the mystery, as usual there is another story going on. It takes on a very serious,debated subject. Assisted suicide. The subject is covered well with one character being terminally ill and looking into it. We get a little of the “pro and con” sides. I am loving this series, only a couple more with the Plus Catalog, will wind up buying the rest!

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  • ti
  • 11-04-20

Great Audible Plus Find

I was able to stumble across this gem, due to the availability of the Audible Plus catalog. Having searched extensively for a new listen, as soon as I heard the narrator and the writing style of the author I knew it was the one for me. The author has the ability to write as though reading one’s thoughts. Atmospheric and descriptive, the author writes about, murder, life, death, love, sickness, aging, ethics and a number of those compromising niggling things in between, which fall between the bookends of black and white.

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Love this series!!

Another great installment and as usual makes us readers think deeply and presents different perspectives to difficult subjects.