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There is also talk of a television adaptation. ITV plans to make the crime drama a long-running series, with the broadcaster said to be viewing the show as a modern-day Morse. I personally cannot wait! Her bibliography can be found here. Susan Hill in quotes. Pingback: My personal canon the books that shaped my life Fictionophile.

Like Like. Like Liked by 1 person. I have just read the Serrailler books for the second time. I fell in love with her Simon Serrailler series before I read any of her other books. Eagerly awaiting her next release.

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I have read all the Simon Serrailler mysteries by Susan Hill. Wonderful books. Rich in character development. Eagerly awaiting the next volume. I wonder how on earth she could have imagined the scenes of war; her words carry absolute conviction. Anyway, thank you for the introduction to Simon Serailler! She is an amazing talent.

Thanks for your comment. This is a wonderful post; I have never read Susan Hill, but I love the name Simon, I love the setting; her first Simon book has been on my TBR list for awhile, and my close friend has seen and enjoyed the film Woman in Black. I am won over, I believe, and thank you. Great post. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account.

Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. All pictures, and other items, etc. Fiction reviews, Bookblogger, Fiction book reviews, books, crime fiction, author interviews, mystery series, cover, love, bookish thoughts…. Skip to content. Like this: Like Loading About Fictionophile Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read!

Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October This entry was posted in Authors , award winners , Favorite books , Mystery fiction , Series order , series to savour and tagged authors , characters , England , mystery fiction , mystery series , police procedurals. Buy this book. Zeebra Books. Show other formats. Discover what to read next. The Most Anticipated Books of Fall There seemed to be an awful lot of emphasis on physical appearance and superficial surroundings, with frequent descriptions of everything from bodies and hairstyles, to food and decor.

One detective was repeatedly referred to as being unattractive I think the phrase "his monkey face" was used several times , while a victim was almost never mentioned without reference to her either being overweight or having acne. Is that what we''re supposed to focus on about these people?

Is that supposed to make the more "real",interesting, or sympathetic? It makes me roll my eyes in exasperation. Then add in the occasional conversation on the glories of motherhood or the wonders of small-town living, and it gets even more juvenile, in my opinion. The villain in cliched, the setting is cliched, the doctor is cliched, and the depiction of the police is either sexist or comically inept.

I'd recommend you take a pass. Would you listen to The Various Haunts of Men again? Yes, it was an interesting story. I found the story engaging and I did not see a twist in the story coming. The killer is quite a chilling character and it kept me guessing who it was among the characters.

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I liked the way the story unfolded, it set a good pace. How does this one compare? Any additional comments? A very good audio book, and the start of a detective series, I am looking forward to hearing more. Perhaps that raised my bar too high. I was a bit dissapointed by this book. The plot is familiar to anyone who follows Midsomer Murders - cosy villages and toy towns harbouring deep secrets and a host of macabre characters. However, it is still masterfully written, if unoriginal and forgettable. I could fare better with my credit Narrator is very good, though To start a crime series with a book that gives you quite a small glimpse of the central detective is definitely something that bit different.

I heard about the Simon Serraller series via one of my favourite Radio 4 programmes "A Good Read" and the panel's discussion really made me prick up my ears. I was delighted to discover that the series was on audible and believe the whole experience has been made even better by an absolutely tremendous reader that I have not come across before. Full marks to Steven Pacey. I became absolutely wrapped up in the characters of this story, in the little details of their lives, some of which of course cleverly mirror your own.

The Various Haunts Of Men: Simon Serrailler Book 1

I think I am right in remembering another reviewer saying the end was poor and I too feel it lost its way a little. Having said that the main element of the 'end' will I am sure surprise you as much as it did me. I certainly hadn't seen it coming. A good solid crime story with lots of dark corners to explore and some neat pen-portraits.

The Various Haunts of Men

So why only 4 stars? I felt the characters of Simon Serrailler and Freya Graffam to be a little cliche. There was a little bit too much of "woman escaping bad relationship to start again" in Freya and a little too much of the strong silent enigmatic alpha-male about Simon. Put those two aspects together and at times there were sections which read like a formulaic romance novel rather than a murder mystery.

No reason why an author cannot have both romance and murder in one novel, but it needs to be done with more finesses than it is here. But that cannot take away from a sound plot and some other interesting characters. The ending is also good. I had already formed in my mind where the sequels would go with the characters only to have the rug pulled out from under me! Definately worth a read but bear in mind the peculiar treatment of the two main characters and read past the cliches if you can. 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.

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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. Susan Hill's early novels were of the serious sort still labelled 'literary' and I devoured them when they appeared. I became aware that she had turned herself into a more 'popular' author when she started a stint as scriptwriter on The Archers. This is the first book of hers I have read since then. I don't read many crime novels, because I expect to find them formulaic, like so many TV shows.

My reservation, though, is that the author appears to be too fond of some of her people, making them almost cloyingly altruistic and unrelievedly kind, like the worst sort of soap-opera stalwarts. Her female characters seem to be over-busy for a novel - always doing drop-scones and meticulously making beverages; which is rather a lazy way for a writer to imply the ordinary background to extraordinary events.

Despite these peevish criticisms, I was glad to have downloaded the book. It had a strong sense of place, one I look forward to revisiting in the sequels. Steven Pacey is an excellent reader, reminding me of the superb David Timson. I disagree with two points made by other reviewers. Come on, we are all human beings, and we all need stories.

There's a middle ground, and this book belongs in it, as do most well-written novels. Secondly, the ending of Susan Hill's book is perfectly in tune with tone of her narrative, which stresses psychological development, not merely suspense and satisfying retribution. I couldn't put it down. Brilliant narrator, no stumbles or stutters apparent. Good plot and interesting characters who could be easily visualised.

Would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery. It took me a little time to get into this story, but once I did I was hooked into nearly 15 hours of a complex and surprising story. Susan Hill has avoided many of the cliches of crime fiction creating well-rounded and believable characters, including the police men and women. Unlike real-life, as befits the genre, the crimes are meticulously planned by a highly intelligent psychopath. I didn't twig who this was until it was revealed near the end of the book.

It's not just a well-crafted crime thriller, but also explores alternative versus conventional medical treatments as part of the fabric of the story. Initially I was concerned that the author might be trying to encourage patients with serious conditions, such as cancer, to try alternative medicine in place of effective treatments, but was relieved that this turned out not to be the case.

Steven Pacey's reading of the book is superb: he brings the different voices convincingly to life. I don't know how these readers manage it, but the best of them can switch from being female to male; young to old; regional accent to accent without caricaturing their voice. This was very well read and enjoyable. However, I felt that, suddenly, the author ran out of steam and interest as the ending was rather abrupt and various story lines were left in the air.

Up to this point it was very engrossing.


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  • Suitable for both men and women. This is a beautifully written book, and beautifully read.

    The Various Haunts Of Men: Simon Serrailler - Susan Hill - Google книги

    The characters are rounded and recognisable. These are the people we meet in our daily lives who are dealing with tragedy. The plot is lively and there are twists and turns. I enjoyed every second and thoroughly recommend it. This book will appeal to both men and women. Very long winded and slow on the take. Kept hoping for it to pick up but dissapointed.

    ABFTD #68

    By: Susan Hill. Narrated by: Steven Pacey. Series: Simon Serrailler , Book 1.