Wednesday 21 September 2022

πŸ“– Book Review ~ A Question of Identity by Susan Hill



Simon Serrailler #7

My thanks to the publishers and Graeme Williams Marketing for my copy of this book

One snowy night in the cathedral city of Lafferton, an old woman is dragged from her bed and strangled with a length of flex.

DCS Simon Serrailler and his team search desperately for clues to her murderer. All they know is that the killer will strike again, and will once more leave the same tell-tale signature.

Then they track down a name: Alan Keyes. But Alan Keyes has no birth certificate, no address, no job, no family, no passport, no dental records. Nothing.

Their killer does not exist.

πŸ“– My Review..

I don't often come into a well established series especially when the book is several books behind the latest one. However, when I was invited by the publisher to read a 'mystery book' from a well established crime writer I was intrigued to find that it was A Question of Identity which is book number seven in the successful DCS Simon Serrailler crime series.

A Question of Identity starts with a trial in 2002, the outcome of which will have repercussions far into the future especially for those who live in the cathedral city of Lafferton. The story builds gradually, and I think what strikes me most about this story is that there doesn't seem to be a rush to get straight to the nitty gritty of the plot. The author's calm and controlled style shows that it's enough, sometimes, to just observe and get to know the place, the mood and the characters before the investigation starts to climb to its frightening culmination. 

I would imagine that it is perfectly possible to read each book as a clever standalone however, there are occasional references to the back stories of some of the more well known characters which had me a little bit perplexed but putting that on one side I thought that A Question of Identity was a very cleverly controlled crime novel by a writer who certainly gives the reader more than enough to think about and ponder over. I've certainly enjoyed this dip into the series and will certainly look out for more.

Book number eleven in this series, A Change of Circumstance, was published in 2022 with book number twelve expected in 2023.

πŸ“– Best read with ...a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake

About the Author

SUSAN HILL has been a professional writer for over fifty years. Her books have won awards and prizes including the Whitbread, the John Llewellyn Rhys and a Somerset Maugham, and have been shortlisted for the Booker. Her novels include Strange Meeting, I'm the King of the Castle, In the Springtime of the Year and The Mist in the Mirror. She has also published autobiographical works and collections of short stories as well as the Simon Serrailler series of crime novels. The play of her ghost story The Woman in Black is one of the longest running in the history of London's West End. In 2020 she was awarded a damehood (DBE) for services to literature. She has two adult daughters and lives in North Norfolk.

Twitter #SusanHill


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