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The Risk of Darkness: Simon Serrailler Book 3 (Simon Serrailler 3) [Paperback]

Susan Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 Sep 2009 Simon Serrailler 3

Children have been vanishing - there are no leads- just a kidnapper at large. The police have failed, the families are distraught and the morale at Lafferton station has collapsed. Then Detective Chief Inspector Simon Serailler receives a call: a child has been snatched in Yorkshire. Has the abductor struck again? And will they find this child alive?

In The Risk of Darkness Simon Serailler takes on killing and kidnap, evil and innocence. The result is a compulsively readable and often chilling novel.

'Not all great novelists can write crime fiction but when one like Susan Hill does the result is stunning' Ruth Rendell

Frequently Bought Together

The Risk of Darkness: Simon Serrailler Book 3 (Simon Serrailler 3) + The Pure In Heart: Simon Serrailler Book 2 (Simon Serrailler 2) + The Vows of Silence: Simon Serrailler Book 4 (Simon Serrailler 4)
Price For All Three: £16.77

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (3 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099535025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099535027
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Hill is a prize-winning novelist, having been awarded the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham and John Llewelyn Rhys awards, as well as having been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She wrote Mrs de Winter, the bestselling sequel to Rebecca, and the ghost story The Woman in Black, which was adapted for the stage and became a great success in the West End. Her books include a collection of exquisite short stories, The Boy Who Taught the Beekeeper to Read, and the highly successful crime novel series about the detective Simon Serrailler. Susan Hill lives in Gloucestershire, where she runs her own small publishing firm, Long Barn Books.

Product Description


"Stunning" (Ruth Rendell)

"A master storyteller" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Exhilarating...addictive" (Independent)

Book Description

The Third Simon Serrailler Case

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A vision of society gone awry 17 Dec 2007
This book could almost be classed in the dystopian novel genre. Hill depicts a society in which violence, whether random or targetted, is everywhere, as civilisation, even in the heart of an English cathedral city, crumbles.

I agree that it can't really be called a crime novel. The story follows on immediately from the Pure in Heart, but the child-abductor of that novel is arrested at the beginning and the story meanders off in different directions: a man literally driven mad with grief by his wife's death; a young clergywoman struggling to realise that she's taken the wrong job and having to cope with murder in the family. As before, loose ends are left and who knows if they'll ever be knitted up?

Hill has a habit of beginning a new chapter talking about 'He' or 'She' and not letting on who the character is for a couple of paragraphs. I found this irritating, as if she was just playing guessing games with me. Such tricks are best deployed to some purpose: when the reader is to be misled over the identity of the character who has taken central stage.

I also struggle with the character of Simon Serailler and find it hard to care what happens to him, which is a major flaw. Cold fish is putting it mildly. The way he treats his ex-girlfriend is unforgiveable. Given the warmth of his twin sister, there seems no real explanation for how he is. There are some good major characters but minor ones often seem underwritten.

That said, I kept turning the pages.
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning! 2 Jun 2006
I think this is the book I have looked forward to most eagerly in the last year, having been bowled over by the first two Simon Serrailler books. And I wasn't in the least disappointed. If you liked the first two, which you really do need to have read before starting this one, you will love, love, love this book. It's got a twist to rival the twist in The Various Haunts of Men - and no, I am not even going to hint at what it is! -, the characterisation of Simon and his family, not to mention the new major characters, both good and bad, continues to fascinate, the plot is as gripping as the first two books, and the atmosphere is beautifully done. I can't be too specific because I don't want to spoil any of the surprises Susan Hill has in store for her readers. But I do highly recommend this book and hope very much that we don't have to wait a whole year for no. 4 in the series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I wish I'd not bothered 12 Feb 2013
By eod
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I started with this series of novels around book 5 & enjoyed that & subsequent novels enough to read the earlier ones. If I'd read the earlier ones first I'd not've read any more.
I'm not interested in the endless drivel written about the wretched family & the friends which goes on & on &......on! Or in the detailed conversations. And loose ends? There are loads of 'em! It is SO frustrating! What did happen about Jane's mother? And the abductor/murderer? And what was the point of Diana? And Max? And what about the gardener chap in book 2? And too many others? Far too many loose ends.
I enjoy murder-mysteries & realise that they aren't renowned for their comedic content but these first books are such depressing reads. So many nasty, nasty people in one small-ish city - if one extrapolates that to the country as a whole there's no hope for any of us!
I'm really sorry I read the early ones as I'm not sure I can now face any more in the series which is a shame as I was enjoying the books.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying. 9 Jun 2008
All was going well with this book for some time. The characters are obvious stereotypes, but I quite warmed to them and their storylines and found the crime storyline interesting and a page turner.

It all fell apart for me because I kept waiting for an amazing twist that never happened (this must have been the small twist near the beginning of the book which, while cleverly done, wasn't the genius that I was expecting, so I assumed that there must be a better one coming towards the end to justify the hype. There wasn't). The book isn't given a proper ending and I was really hoping that all the various characters and storylines would end up intertwining, but no, this didn't happen either. I was left feeling cheated, as if I'd wasted my time on a 'story that never was'. A shame because it started promisingly and I really wanted to know more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A burdensome read 25 Jan 2014
I did enjoy her first book in this series, however I have found this book unbelievable, and there are just too many sub plots veering off from the horrific child murder plot. Max's character is totally tiresome; the fact he is allowed to run around for so long kidnapping and abusing women without anyone preventing him or reporting him is ridiculous. Simon is a sulky,spoilt man who acts like a teenager and continues to play games with women and their feelings. No explanation is given as to why he is like this. This supposed love he felt for Freya in the last book is rubbish, as he was cold and distant to her also.
Of course, not every character in life is easy to explain, but he seems two dimensional and is a confused character.
I do not like her stereo typical cliche descriptions of weak, single mothers at all. I have only got three quarters through and I feel depressed with this book, and I know that Cat's husband is yet to die, and also her mother. I do not feel I can face it! Rather than quality, I feel that Susan Hill has relied on quantity.
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