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on 25 September 2015
The trust betrayed is marital, parent/child, doctor/patient, in a thought-provoking drama about the bonds between us – personal and professional – and the responsibilities we bear.
Exploitation, dominance and manipulation should not belong in the patient/carer sphere, but here Hill examines the difficult zone of terminal illness.
Heavy rains and floods reveal first one skeleton, then another. The first is identified, the second is a mystery. Simon Serrailler must investigate, working almost on his own as police cutbacks see drug busts getting more staff than his investigative team. And then at what promises to be a dull evening, an official dinner at which he wears his police hat, he falls instantly in love: never a convenient time, for all sorts of reasons. In the midst of love at first sight we see a different Serrailler, not in control of the situation, distracted, wracked by longing.
This is the sixth in the series, but unlike other crime series you can read these in or out of order. Of course there are references to long-running storylines – all related to the Serrailler family - which may pass you by if you read them out of order, but that will not affect your enjoyment of the story. Susan Hill crafts her book well, as both stand-alone detective story, and long-term story arcs. But if you can, read from the beginning.
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on 29 January 2013
i'd liked the other Serrailler novels so much - and i was thoroughly getting into this one and enjoying it, when... it suddenly came to an end! there were so many loose ends left hanging i don't know where to begin - in fact i won't even try, because i don't want to spoil this book for anyone.
most of it was great, but i felt it could have run to at least four more chapters. what a great shame, because this book was really shaping up to be first rate: attempting the difficult issue of assisted suicide, for instance, with what felt like a (fairly) open mind. i think if Susan Hill were not such a respected novelist - indeed, if this was a first book by an unknown writer - her editor would have pressured her to resolve all the threads thoroughly at the end, and not dump everything in an inconclusive heap.
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on 25 September 2016
All the Seraillier books were unput down able. I was bereft when I finished the last of the series. It was particularly gruesome compared to the other earlier ones. Been reccommeding this series to everyone
Feeing I want to read them all over again as I devour a good book then when finished wish I had treasured it and read more slowly. This series had everything in it. Family sagas, Doctors . Police. Cancer death you name it it was just like real life and you knew the characters, kept you guessing and made you think.
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on 30 October 2012
I would have given 5 stars for the quality of Susan Hill's writing but the number of times scenes were filled with people drinking or making coffee looked like she didn't know what else to say. The characters must have had caffeine poisoning and it really irritated me.

I've long accepted that this series is about a detective and his family rather than detection. However, this book was obviously an attempt to explore other issues and the detective aspect was a bit perfunctory. It didn't seem quite finished, again as if the author was either bored or ran out of things to say.

In fairness, I probably read this book at the wrong time while recovering from an operation. While the subjects are worthy of discussion, it left me feeling depressed. Susan Hill is not the only author to bolt social issues on to detective fiction (cf. Elizabeth George) but the combination doesn't work for me.

As others have said, the romance storyline didn't work at all.
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on 19 January 2013
I was a bit disappointed with this book having enjoyed the rest in the series. It does run out of steam and leaves odd ends hanging - I know from reading the start of the next that at least one is tied up early in that. I think the author is very anti euthanasia and comes down too strongly against it when she describes the clinic a character goes to. The clinic featured in a recent clinic in a programme with Terry Pratchett was nothing like that although it is in a similar area. I wouldn't have minded going to that one. She also describes the character's illness, motor neurone disease, with some detail. My sister died recently of this very much wanted to go to a clinic, but was unable to.
I think there is too much personal detail about Simon and his sister as well. It detracts from the criminal element of the books.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 June 2013
I don't mean more of the same in any derogatory sense but rather that Susan Hill's books tend to use a crime to further explore the Serailler family life and wider social issues - in this case euthanasia. In some respects the crime is rather secondary to these issues. Having said that I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found the meandering pace soothing. I think, because I read crime books almost exclusively, the change of pace from my usual fare was a welcome change.
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on 17 January 2013
There is something peculiar about the ebook process. This book is the story of the discovery of the body of a young girl murdered many years ago. Location 64 refers to her as 'Joanne Lowther' as do location 65 and 66. Ever after the girl is called Harriet Lowther. What happened?
I appreciate that the characters in a series aren't going to be introduced in great detail and I soon worked out that Cat is a sister to Simon, Lenny is Leanora and Penny is the daughter of Jocelyn who has motor neurone disease but who was:
1 Jane p114
2 Freya p 140
3 Don p168
4 Meriel and sister Martha (step mother and aunt to our hero?)
5 Ivo p216

The ebook editors need to actually read the ebooks they produce.
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on 2 November 2016
Please don't let this be the last I have read the six so far and hope this isn't them finished!
Brilliant stories and a brilliant author she lets you get to know the characters so well.
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on 13 December 2012
The Serraillier books always have two story-lines - that of the murder mystery and that of the Serraillier family and in particular Simon Serraillier the detective in charge of the murder. He is a somewhat complicated character and his relationships with women are usually a disaster. In this book he meets and falls for Rachel Wyatt, a married woman with an elderly sick husband who she has said she will not leave. Is this a real passion on his behalf or another case of Simon wanting someone he cannot have. Only time will tell. There is also Simon's relationship with his widowed twin sister and his failure to give her the support he promises and she needs with her three young children. I am beginning to see him as a rather shallow, selfish character but again time will tell. The actual murder story I did not feel was as good as some of the earlier ones but I am still looking forward to reading the next Serraillier novel which I now have.
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on 18 April 2014
This is a great book.
It's an easy read for what should have been a depressing subject!
Hill manages to bring a cosy feel to her book, it's not exactly body in the library stuff, but if you like P.D. James, then give her a whirl. A wonderful writer who's talents go well beyond the stage.
Ger H.
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