©2006 Susan Hill; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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"Nail biting story and brilliant narration"
I found the first book in the series quite difficult to get into, but once I did I was hooked and am now in the middle of Book 4. I like the fact that the main character, Simon Serrailler is quite socially awkward and has many contradictions, and but most of all I think the narration is the one of the best I've heard. Steven Pacey is excellent and the story moves quickly through many twists and turns.
This is a great audio to run to and I've found this last week I've gone a km or more out of my way to keep listening. Would definitely recommend.
"An Excess of Story Lines"
I listened to the first three books in this series pretty quickly and enjoyed the writing and the characters. Simon Serrailler and his family are full of surprises and offer real depth to the works. In this book, the family dynamic changes considerably, setting up lots of possibilities for future revelations.
"The Risk of Darkness", I think, has at least one two many plotlines - one in particular could easily have been eliminated altogether without damaging the overall story. Hill is a very serious writer - the gloom factor is pretty high, even for readers who don't much care for a lot of humor in mysteries. In this listen, it's a bit of overkill.
This was satisfying in that some questions from earlier books are answered. So, despite being a bit less impressed by this addition to the series, I am willing to continue to the 4th book - but I need a little break before the plunge.
Steven Pacey is one of the main reasons for pursuing the Simon Serrailler series - his narration is fantastic.
"A great sequel to Pure of Heart"
amazing story and amazing performance by Steven Pacey. Can't wait for the next Susan Hill Nove.
"Sticking with the series a little longer"
I only know the audio--I do love the way Steven Pacey narrates.
This book resolves much of the unfinished business that left me irritated by the previous one in the series. On the other hand, Simon's reputed horrible treatment of the women he dates is revealed in full detail. I know protagonists need to have flaws, but this one of his and the way both his sister and the author deal with it are frustrating to me.
This book seems to be about "this is just how some people are and they can't be understood or changed." Not my favorite, but at least facts get resolved and Simon finally gets to experience being dumped. On the other hand, he can't seem to have empathy for the women he dumps even then. He still seems to see himself as a blameless victim of all women--incredibly self-centered.
There are also almost too many story threads and it gets hard to keep track of them. But I do find myself wanting to keep listening/reading to find out what will happen.
"Susan Hill a master"
I immensely enjoyed The Risk of Darkness, not only because it is well written, but also because of the very interesting and surprising plot. Hill runs several story lines alongside each other and you get to know the characters very well. I've certainly become a fan.
"5 Stars Minus 3"
This is my fourth book by Susan Hill and each time I finish one I vow to listen no more. But, like other readers I keep coming back hoping each time that this will be the one where she finally decides to finish a book with a logical ending! I end up trudging through hour after hour of details about the lives of the characters and get about 5% of the actual plot's story line. Then, after spending those hours I get to the end and nothing has been explained about the actual plot! Quite frustrating! So...great stories. Great narrator. Terrible endings!
"her books are great"
I found her books because of the narrator Steven pacey. great job. she has a unique style the author.
Although this book held a lot of promise initially, the characters came in and dropped out with no purpose. The end was also extremely disappointing leaving me hanging on several levels. Not sure what her point was??
I have read the first two of this series which were ok but this one streached my patience so far I could not even finish the book.
The characters act against basic comon sense so often it became infuriating. Everyone displays bad judgement occassionally, its enivitable, but not so often and with such predicatable results.
"Strong writing, interesting characters"
With a large number of characters, it is sometimes hard to keep track of everyone, but overall this is very well written, with interesting characters and nice literate prose. Too creepy to be a cozy mystery, but subtle, not too dark for me. I will continue with this series.
"Another gripping instalment beautifully read"
For those who were frustrated by the unresolved ending of The Pure in Heart, the second novel in the series, this third book brings matters to a conclusion. Very easy to get into, if you have listened to or read the previous two, as the central characters, DCI Simon Serailler, DI Nathan Coates and Dr Cat Derebon have become very familiar. However, I found this an altogether darker book than the previous two. An air of danger, menace and general moral decline pervade the story. Some extremely unpleasant crimes are committed, some by people who are pure evil, some seeking retribution and others by people who have been brought to the edge by tragic events. As before, I found the novel more about the exploration and development of the characters: the difficulties they face, the opportunities which are presented to them, the choices they make, rather than a concentration on police procedure. Once again, Stephen Pacey?s reading is impeccable. Very highly recommended.
"What an amazing trilogy!"
Loved each of these books for their attention to detail, vivid portrayal of the characters and ability to allow total immersion in the stories. As you listen to each book it further develops individual character strengths and weaknesses, their lives and ambitions.
Could not put this down and look forward to more Susan Hill books, so well read by Steven Pacey
"Brilliant narrator. Good story."
This was a well narrated story. Steven Pacey brings life to all the characters. I thought the storyline was ok, but the narration did it for me.
Steven brings all the characters to life brilliantly. His accents are spot on.
Another fantastic book in this series - can't wait for Susan Hill to write another. Brilliantly read by Stephen Pacey. Highly recommended.
"Main story hampered by a subsidiary one"
The main crime story in this book is gripping and, while it is out of the ordinary, it is not out of the realms of possibility, whereas a extra story, about the irrational behaviour of a bereaved man, which is largely irrelevant spoils the book by being ridiculous. I would have given the book 5 stars had it not had this subsidiary thread. The reader is excellent.
"MIDDLE CLASS PRETENTIONS"
I am finding these Simon Serrailler books weak in plots with no skilled detection work taking place. I realise it is personal preference but I am constantly irritated by the middle-class lives, behaviour and pretensions. Do I really need to know the characters are drinking from Emma Bridgewater mugs, that avocado plays a big part in every salad, or listen to repeated descriptions of doctors and their children living in such idyllic conditions in the farmhouse? Personally I prefer the down to earth Ruth Rendell's Wexford and his colleagues, alongside P D James' Adam Dalgleish. Narration, as usual, excellent. Definitely a book to fall asleep whilst listening!
"Simon Serrailler Trilogy, Books 1-3"
I bought the 1st 3 Serrailler books together as the blurb was quite adamant they should be read in order, or listened to in this case.
This review could be applied to any one of the three books in the trilogy, or all three.
Steven Pacey did a great job with very weak material.
There were far too many characters introduced that had nothing to do with the story.
There were character story arcs that lead nowhere, or just stopped when they were getting interesting.
There was no conclusion to the main 'thriller' story in the book.
I listened to all 3, felt the same way about all 3, and as the end of book 3 approached seriously began to doubt that all the previous storylines were going to be resolved and explained, and unfortunately it turned out I was right to doubt.
I will not be buying any more books in the series, it was so frustrating to have the books finish so abruptly with no conclusion to the main storylines.
This is another great tale in the Simon Serrailler series. It ties up loose ends from the previous one. The main characters in the series are all a bit 'posh' and mostly religious, which is fine. There was a little too much religious worship in this one for me though. Hence, the loss of one star.
"Thrilling and beautiful"
A human story, dealing with priests in a normal way, the grief the families feel when losing - and the bloodthirst of the press!!! Maybe the outline is concentrated on the middleclass, but the questions in this book is about every human being. Overall a very good thriller, dealing with the devil.
"best so far"
this the third of the series and best so far. The narration from Stephen Pacey continues to entrance and engage. The story is beautifully crafted and akin to Scandinavian fiction deals with the relationships between the characters rather than the linear plot -I hghly recommend this.
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