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The Betrayal of Trust: A Simon Serailler Mystery (Simon Serrailler #6)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,595 Ratings  ·  317 Reviews
In The Betrayal of Trust, she has written the most chilling and unputdownable book yet. Freak weather and flash floods have hit southern England. The small cathedral town of Lafferton is underwater, and a landslip on the moor has closed the roads. As the rain slowly drains away, a shallow grave––and a skeleton––are exposed; twenty years on, the remains of missing teenager ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 10th 2011 by The Overlook Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jane
Dec 05, 2011 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
I was waiting for this, the sixth book in Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler detective series.

I have loved this series for so many reasons. The quality of the writing. The perfectly drawn, complex characters and relationships. The broad view of crime and all those it touches. Consideration of serious issues. And the willingness to break the conventions of crime fiction, leaving loose ends, carrying plot strands between books.

All of that is still present. The body of a girl missing for many years and
...more
Antigone
Every time I open the cover of one of Susan Hill's Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler mysteries I think, well, she's going to have figured this out by now. She's going to have realized that you can't keep passing your readership razor blades and encouraging the location of a vein. She's going to have stopped imagining that she's doing me some monumental literary favor by illuminating the miserable nature of life and the sheer folly of hoping for a moment's joy, some form of contentment, some ...more
Michael
Jan 24, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review from Badelynge.
The sixth book from Susan Hill to feature the inhabitants of Lafferton. The two main characters are siblings Dr Cat Deerbon and top cop DCS Simon Serrailler. The plots and themes explored usually feature the family's ongoing story and topics and situations thrown up by the pair's respective professions; health or lack of it, crime in society - all sensitively addressed in Hill's brilliant prose and her thoughtful insights into human emotions. Crime fiction? Well yeah, but n
...more
Jane
Jan 05, 2015 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
Where I got the book: audiobook on Audible. And yeah, I reviewed this book in 2012 and my other review gives it a higher rating, but this time I'm seeing it in the context of the whole series plus I get grumpier as I get older. I stand by what I said in that review.

And here's today's review:

I get the feeling that Hill got so wrapped up in the subplots about assisted suicide and dementia that she kind of forgot about the actual crime story somewhere in the middle there. I certainly did. The crime
...more
Sam
Mar 03, 2014 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think what struck me most about this book, was how much I've gone off Simon Serailler and Serailler's in general actually. Whereas before I'd found him interesting, talented, cultured, in this novel he came across as bullying (both towards his sister and his new live interest Rachel), self-centred, self-obsessed and not just a little creepy and stalker-ish. His behaviour towards Rachel, her situation and her husband was revolting. He moaned and whined and bullied Cat and provided about as much ...more
Michele
Dec 23, 2011 Michele rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
These books don't require any mental agility; they pass the time and I look forward to the relaxation they afford but really Susan Hill's writing can be so much better than this. I am sure it pays the bills though. I know I will read the next one if only to find out whether our hero finally falls in love with someone who isn't stunningly attractive. How disappointing that in 2011 a female writer will trot out this stereotypical man. Give me Rebus any day of the week.
Carrie
May 26, 2015 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Ronan Drew
Feb 15, 2012 Mary Ronan Drew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill. This latest Simon Serrallier mystery starts with a violent rainstorm, resulting local flooding, and the uncovering of a skeleton. Chief Superintendent Serrallier hopes it will turn out to be a Roman soldier, but it's not. It's the remains of a teenager who disappeared 15 years before and this discovery reopens a cold case. A chief superintendent doesn't usually take on such a case but Serrallier is particularly interested and hopes to be able to solve the crime, ...more
Jane
Feb 16, 2012 Jane rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
SLIGHTLY SPOILERISH IN THE LAST PARAGRAPH.

Where I got the book: from my local library.

I read a lot of Susan Hill when I was a young woman (between dodging the dinosaurs). That was before the internet and I didn't have a TV, so I would go into the W.H. Smith's in the center of Brussels (which had a tea room on the upper floor, just imagine) and come back with a pile of books. When I think of the sheer amount of TIME I had back then...

But I digress. This is the second Simon Serrailler book I've re
...more
Victoria
Unfortunately, this is not the high point of the Simon Serrallier series. This sixth book takes a much longer time than usual for the story to start moving, and when the various pieces of the plot begin to come together, it is quite disappointing how predictably these pieces fit. The characters lose a lot of their likability here, and there are some holes in the continuity of the series as a whole here, too. It also leaves the ending plot rather open, but rather than make me excited to read the ...more
Bridget
First time I've read a Susan Hill and I get why they are so popular now. This was a little bit cosy mystery. A little bit of the feel of a Peter Robinson novel, the grand tradition of the nice frightfully British detective. The crime seemed to be almost a side issue compared to the relationships of all the characters to each other. I liked the way it all slotted together, I'd been trying to figure out how that was going to happen and then rather liked how it all slotted together. There are a few ...more
Roxanne
Dec 13, 2011 Roxanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am usually a fan of Hill's work but I found this particular book a disappointment. A blurb on the cover described it as 'brooding'. I realize now that is a synonym for 'boring'. There were so may different characters in various scenarios that I starting confusing the characters and grew tired of waiting for their stories to weave together in some coherent fashion. And one that wasn't boring (sorry, brooding). It actually seemed to be setting the stage for her next book by leaving some things p ...more
Shonna Froebel
Dec 17, 2014 Shonna Froebel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another mystery in the series featuring Simon Serrailler of the Lafferton police. Here we have a few storylines, and while they all relate to each other, Simon doesn't directly interact with all the storylines.
The bones of a young woman are exposed as a hill collapses after a rainstorm, and thus a case of a missing girl that began sixteen years before is closed with her murdered body. As Serrailler reopens her case hoping to discover her murderer, another woman's body is found in the same locati
...more
Eva
Feb 01, 2013 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Susan Hill. I consider it to be a good book although couldn't agree with Daily Mail that it was "hugely enjoyable" taking into account the euthanasia and palliative care parts of the plot. This is not something I'd describe as "enjoyable". At the beginning, I had problems with the 3 parallel lines and quite a lot of personages but later I found my way through them. The book is skillfully written. So skillfully that sometime you miss some more of author's involvement/heart.
Ann
Jan 21, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another interesting book in this excellent series. The main plotline is about the discovery, after flood damage, of two bodies one of whom is identified as a local teenage girl who disappeared some sixteen years ago. I thought this cold case investigation was well handled and it certainly held my interest. As well as the police procedures the book covers a raft of human issues such as dementia care and assisted suicide. I thought the later was particularly well handled. The effect of cost cuttin ...more
Debbie
Sep 18, 2014 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has become my favorite mystery series. I'm hoping Susan Hill hurries up and writes more - I only have 2 more to read before I am caught up with the series.
If you've never read any of the Simon Serrailler series, start with The Various Haunts of Men. This is one series that it is best to read in order.
Besides being an excellent mystery with plot twists and turns you don't see coming, each book has some larger issues. In this book assisted suicide for terminally ill patients is a sub-plot.
...more
Zeb Kantrowitz
Mar 10, 2014 Zeb Kantrowitz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
England is suffering from heavy rains. The Town of Lafferton is inundated when the local river overflows its’ banks and floods a good part of the area of town around the Cathedral. The quick flowing water has washed away an area that turns out to have two bodies buried in it. It’s quickly determined that one is a fifteen year old girl who disappeared sixteen years ago. The other body is of a twenty-five to thirty year old woman of Slavic background.

So begins this chapter of Chief Detective Super
...more
Louise
Mar 24, 2013 Louise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not brilliant I didn't think, the book spent to long focusing on dementia and terminal illness to only your it briefly in with the story line, that it felt a bit forced. I liked the character of Simon and Cat. It was easy to pick up on them and their lives without feeling like having a whole load of back history rammed down my throat. Might try another...maybe.
Claire
Feb 03, 2014 Claire rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this better than books four and five in this series, but oh, Simon. Falling in "love" over a public dinner where you exchange less than a paragraph's worth of conversation? Of course, she's beautiful with violet eyes. It was such childish, trite writing. The mystery was a good, solid one - two cold cases where female skeletons were turned up by some severe flooding in Lafferton - it was just the interpersonal pieces that seemed to be so ridiculous this time around. Simon himself and his ...more
Thebrook78
I'm reading this series in order. After this book, number 6, I continue to feel strongly ambivalent about the Simon Serailler series. For me the pros are the very good writing; the reliably intriguing themes - death, parenthood, sibling relationships, the National Health, assisted suicide, alternative medicine; and the author's gift for character development, whether of a main and recurring character or just a thumbnail sketch of a one-off character.

On the other hand, I can't think of a series
...more
Thomas Bruso
May 31, 2014 Thomas Bruso rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

In 2004, when Hill published her first Simon Serrailler mystery, "The Various Haunts of Men", the quality of crime storytelling was at its finest. Seven years later, that sustainable writing is back, and richer, in Hill's seventh Serrailler novel, "The Betrayal of Trust". With masterful storytelling and believable characterizations of people, locales--a small town called Lafferton, and the minute certainties of life's fragilities.

A flash flood threatens the quiet town of Lafferton and its unusua
...more
Holly Robinson
Mar 27, 2014 Holly Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Susan Hill is a fascinating writer because she pushes the traditional genre boundaries no matter what she's writing. Her famous ghost story, THE WOMAN IN BLACK, for instance, seems like your typical Gothic horror tale, but she forgoes all of the usual tricks of the trade and somehow manages to creep you out with the sheer beauty of her language and the restrained yet powerful emotional writing. Likewise, THE BETRAYAL OF TRUST, the sixth novel in her detective series featuring Chief Superintenden ...more
Terri Lynn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Feb 13, 2016 Laura rated it it was ok
Susan Hill's writing and characterization in this series is usually excellent, but this installment plodded along for far too long. I had the mystery partly figured out before the midpoint. Moreover, I was very annoyed by Simon's affair with a vapid married woman. He talks to her for five minutes and they instantly start acting out this angsty, juvenile, star-crossed drama.
Naomi Key
Jan 04, 2015 Naomi Key rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Enjoyed this one. Maybe because tea, not coffee was offered on two separate occasions.
Sandra Danby
Sep 25, 2015 Sandra Danby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
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
...more
Alison C
Mar 12, 2015 Alison C rated it really liked it
The Betrayal of Trust is the sixth in Susan Hill's series about Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler set in Lafferton, a quiet English town apparently not far from London. After a huge storm uncovers a shallow grave in which the skeletons of two young women lie, he is assigned to the cold case; it doesn't take long to determine that one of the bodies is that of young Harriet, a 15-year-old who disappeared suddenly some 16 years earlier. That fact, and the subsequent discovery of the name of the ...more
Ange
Jul 29, 2015 Ange rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mixed feelings about this book. I liked Simon Serrailler a lot more than in previous books, and the plot was passable. There were several separate stands to the plot that all came together in the end, although I was annoyed to be left hanging regarding the outcome of Simon's prospective new relationship. Maybe that will resolve in another novel. What I didn't like was the lecturing tone of a number of the characters, particularly Cat. A lot of the time the tone of the writing was a bit too earne ...more
Alej
Jan 08, 2012 Alej rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have enjoyed all the Serrailler series (6th) and looking forward to the next. Susan Hill has created an interesting world and all the characters in it are well drawn and very authentic people. Well written simultaneous plots seem to run parallel and then surprisingly converge at the end. This is a very satisfying series.

My 2012 Page count: 355
Heather Fineisen
Hill tackles mercy killings and develops Simon's storyline as well as introducing a few new characters. Then, cliffhanger. Much like The Various Haunts of Men, dissecting a social/medical issue through different perspectives while solving a murder and complicating family dynamics. Just another day...
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18874
Susan Hill was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire in 1942. Her hometown was later referred to in her novel A Change for the Better (1969) and some short stories especially "Cockles and Mussels".

She attended Scarborough Convent School, where she became interested in theatre and literature. Her family left Scarborough in 1958 and moved to Coventry where her father worked in car and aircraft factor
...more
More about Susan Hill...

Other Books in the Series

Simon Serrailler (8 books)
  • The Various Haunts of Men (Simon Serrailler, #1)
  • The Pure in Heart (Simon Serrailler, #2)
  • The Risk of Darkness (Simon Serrailler, #3)
  • The Vows of Silence (Simon Serailler, #4)
  • The Shadows in the Street (Simon Serrailler, #5)
  • A Question of Identity (Simon Serrailler, #7)
  • The Soul of Discretion (Simon Serrailler, #8)

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