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The Soul of Discretion: Simon Serrailler Book 8 (Simon Serrailler series) by [Hill, Susan]
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The Soul of Discretion: Simon Serrailler Book 8 (Simon Serrailler series) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 353 customer reviews

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"This is modern crime writing with a dark, fierce edge - and all the better for it" -- Geoffrey Wansell Daily Mail

"A wonderful storyteller... she is also one of those rare crime writers whose books invite a second reading" Scotsman

"Hill's Serrailler novels have developed into a series whose appeal stretches beyond their genre... The secret of Hill's narrative style is that she forces the readers to invest emotionally in her characters. And then she makes ghastly things happen to them... It sounds easy, but it isn't" Spectator

"The Simon Serrailler novels are in a league of their own; literate, detailed and full of drama - they stand head and shoulders above the majority of crime novels. This is the eighth novel in the series and is the darkest and most disturbing yet. It is also the best." CrimeSquad

"Kept me turning the pages, gripped" Woman & Home


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

'What you know about human nature is simultaneously being enlarged and improved upon thanks to Hill's almost Shakespearean insights into what it is to be.' (The Daily Express)

'She has the priceless ability to construct a solidly-researched narrative that keeps the reader turning the pages.' (The Independent)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1709 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (2 Oct. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701187646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701187644
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 353 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,685 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
When so many books use crimes of rape and sexual abuse as easy, almost throwaway, devices to structure a story, it's a relief to meet one where the author takes these ideas seriously. Hill is always a sober, clear-sighted writer with a sense of moral calibration: here she tackles high profile issues - a paedophile ring, rape - without sensationalism.

The rape story, especially, foregrounds vexed issues around the shifting of blame from rapist to victim, and tackles head-on the misconceptions around what is a 'real rape', as one characters terms it.

For long-time readers of this series, Simon has moved Rachel into his flat; Cat has new challenges to tackle; and the Richard/Judith marriage stumbles on. Simon himself, in a slightly unbelievable development, is assigned to an undercover job with a child protection/pornography unit - and comes up against one of his personal worst cases.

As ever, this isn't so much a crime novel - though, arguably, the crime element is stronger here than in some of the other books - as a book set amongst a family where one of the key characters is in the police.

This may be acutely distressing in parts but Hill is unflinching as she casts her eye over modern society. Her characters belong, in lots of ways, to a narrowly upper-middle class milieu - Oxford-educated, choir-singing, let's-buy-a-second-home-in-France, professionals - but part of the vision this offers is how a sense of privilege may itself feed some of the worst social abuses.

If you haven't read this series before, this may not be the best place to start - but this is undoubtedly one of the most literate, socially-intelligent, and emotionally-engaged series currently being written.

(I received a review copy via Netgalley)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Susan Hill is a wonderful writer and I buy her books for the sheer pleasure of reading her beautiful concise prose. Before she started writing detective fiction Hill produced atmospheric ghost stories with complex characters that often chilled the blood.

She switched with the ease of a master to writing the Serrailler series of detective stories. DCI Simon Serrailler is the central character in Hill's series and this is his eighth outing. Over the course of the previous novels we followed Serrailler both as a professional and also in his personal life. There is naturally a cast of regular characters who feature in the novels and Serrailler's sister Cat Deerborn, is a doctor which gives Hill the scope to explore such important themes as the Health Care System, terminal illness, hospice care and more controversially, assisted dying along with the usual detective fiction themes of brutal murder and intrigue.

This novel is superbly written and Hill deals sensitively and unmelodramatically with sexual crimes and in particular with the question of consent and when consent can be deemed to have been effectively given. It is difficult to deal with the horror of paedophilia, rape etc. but Hill manages to do so without sensationalism while also pointing out the difficulties and perhaps flaws inherent in the legal system.

I recommend this book not just to fans of the genre but to readers of general fiction but with the caveat that it is deals with very disturbing topics and is not one of those books, however well written, that I would return to again.

Two quibbles. Simon Serrailler is a very highly regarded senior police officer who has gone undercover before undertaking this latest and most serious operation.
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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Simon Serrailler is asked to take on the most dangerous and difficult job of his career. Naturally he has mixed feelings about it but his overwhelming feeling is that the job must be done. His family - sister Cat and her children and his father, Richard and stepmother Judith - are used to him being incommunicado from time to time but for Rachel, his partner, it is difficult to deal with. She isn't finding it easy living with Simon.

While Simon is preparing for his new undercover existence there is a rape in Lafferton and an elderly woman hears strange noises at night in the empty building next door to her flat. Simon's sister, Cat, needs to find another source of income and their stepmother, Judith is wondering whether her marriage was all a mistake.

I found this a tense and harrowing read and probably, in my opinion, one of the best books in this excellent series. It does not shirk the difficult issues of terminally ill people, child abuse and rape and it deals with them sensitively and well. There is little graphic violence but the book is all the more horrific for its absence.

The book could be read as a standalone novel as there is enough background information to inform the new reader about the things they need to know. However, reading the whole series in the order of publication gives a more in depth picture of the series characters. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My first comment is unfortunate: much as I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the other Serrailler books, and I have, if I had realised what the subject of this book was, I would not have bought it, or gone anywhere near it.
It is one of those subjects that I realise has to be addressed and fiction is probably as good an arena for it as any other. However, I have now reached an age where I do not have to read about such a subject when I am reading purely for enjoyment. In a previous book, Hill came very close to this subject matter without, as I recall, becoming fully immersed in it.
Because this subject is so nauseous to me personally, I have admit that these comments are made without finishing the book. I will do that in due course, when I am feeling somewhat stronger.
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