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A Question of Identity (Simon Serrailler, #7)
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A Question of Identity (Simon Serrailler #7)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  2,468 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
A particularly unpleasant murder, that of a very old woman in a housing project, rocks the town of Lafferton. The murderer has left a distinctive "sign" on the body and at the scene of crime. A couple of weeks later, a similar murder occurs, and a month or so later, so does another.

Initial investigations discover that the mysterious "sign" left on the body was the calling
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 25th 2012 by Overlook Press (first published 2012)
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Dec 28, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
Susan Hill's got my number.

There is a moment in this book where really not much is happening, but an old lady is alone in her home with an electrician. Suddenly the electrician says "Gotcha!" and I nearly jumped out of my skin. At that point, I broke down, demanded my husband's undivided attention (no small request as he is currently reading the George RR Martin series), and just started telling him all about what was going on in this book. How Hill sets up this evil character then sends him und
I've read all the Serrailler mysteries, and I read this new one eagerly and quickly--though when I think back on it, the story is weak and unsatisfying. Hill is always good at characterization, and the subplots and asides--the glimpses of day-to-day life in the fictional cathedral town of Lafferton--are pleasant, interesting, and diverting. But the mystery itself--who is killing the elderly women of a new neighborhood?--is as close to being an afterthought as you can imagine (an issue with all h ...more
Oct 11, 2012 Carrie rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 01, 2015 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terri Lynn
Dec 19, 2012 Terri Lynn rated it it was amazing
This was suggested to me by my local public librarian and now I have a writer to play catch-up with. I love nothing better than a brooding , intelligent mystery and being set in the UK is a big bonus.This book has all of that.

As the story begins, it is 10 years ago and the creepy Alan Keyes is on trial in Yorkshire for murdering three elderly ladies who lived alone by strangulation with electrical cord in front of a mirror after cutting their toenails. Because the witness was a very elderly lad
Luanne Ollivier
Jan 09, 2013 Luanne Ollivier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first 'discovered' Susan Hill about this time last year when I read The Betrayal of Trust - the sixth in her Simon Serrailler Crime novels. (my review). I was really looking forward to her latest - A Question of Identity - and I wasn't disappointed!

A Question of Identity opens with an italicized paragraph that hints at a dark mind and darker things to come....deliciously creepy.

"It's like your brain's bursting. It doesn't happen all at once, it builds up. And then your brain's going to burst
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Oct 07, 2012 Mary Gilligan-Nolan rated it really liked it
I could not wait for this book to come out, and it was almost like revisiting old friends. I love the way Susan Hill incorporates the Serrailler family and their lives into the crime/mystery series. Simon is a Chief Superintendent with the Lafferton Police Force, his sister, Cat, is a doctor at the local hospice, his father, Richard is also a doctor but now retired and then there is his step-mother Judith. Cat is widowed and her children, Sam (14), Hannah (12) and Felix (5) are growing up throug ...more
Dale Harcombe
Three and a half stars.
I don’t read much crime fiction and haven’t read the rest of this series about DCS Simon Serrailler, but that didn’t present a problem.
The novel starts in Yorkshire with a jury trial where a man, Alan Keyes, is acquitted of three murders. It then moves to ten years later in Lafferton where several elderly women are looking forward to a new life in the newly built houses and flats in Cornwall Close. The first murder in Cornwall Close and one that replicates those murders fr
Jan 18, 2014 Sheena rated it it was ok
Having read Hill's ghost stories, I expected this to be atmospheric and chilling. It wasn't. Nor is it a very satisfying detective story: the murderer's identity was obvious from an early stage and the plot was weak. Several incidents had no bearing on the story at all (the ram-raid; the barrister whose mother is in the hospice) and these felt like lost opportunities because had Hill woven them into the plot, it could have hung together better.

A lot of the book deals with the day-to-day lives of
Dec 07, 2013 Deanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: crimethriller
Another installment of the Simon Serrailler series of books set in the cathedral town of Lafferton.
Three old ladies are killed, the man who seems responsible however seems to have vanished into thin air.
There are themes which run through the books, Simon's relationships with thosee around him, his family and friends and those not in his immeadiate circle.
Nov 11, 2013 Lynne rated it liked it
More middle-class crime in the tradition of PD James, Ruth Rendell et al. Forget the violence and underbelly found in more hard-hitting novelists such as Rankin and Billingham, this is firmly established in Aga-land. Hill's heroic detective, Serrailler is very much in the mould of James' Adam Dalgleish, although Hill doesn't really attempt the faux social realism of Kate Miskin (she of the high-rise flat background) but sticks firmly to what she knows. Thus, we have a world of doctors, book grou ...more
Thomas Bruso
May 31, 2014 Thomas Bruso rated it it was amazing

The first chapter of Hill's seventh Simon Serrailler mystery, A QUESTION OF IDENTITY, begins with a bang. In 2002, inside the four walls of a courtroom, a man--Alan Frederick Keyes--is accused of murder. Three counts of murder against elderly women.

In the dead of dark, he supposedly stalked all three women in their living spaces. But months later, he is acquitted of those ghastly crimes on the grounds of insufficient evidence. The people of Lafferton are in an uproar. And soon Alan Fre
Dec 28, 2012 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A man is acquitted of three murders and is given a new identity. Ten years later an elderly woman is murdered in Lafferton after she has just moved into a newly-built sheltered housing complex. Simon Serrailler is trying to deal with his increasingly important relationship with Rachel, who is married to a man with serious health problems. His sister Cat has her own problems to deal with but is gradually building a new life for herself following the death of her husband.

At first there seem to be
Sandra Danby
Oct 22, 2015 Sandra Danby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
This starts with a flashback to a trial: a man is found not guilty of three murders. Elderly, vulnerable women. Such is the public outcry that he is given a new identity.
Lafferton, ten years later. A woman is killed. Elderly, vulnerable, murdered the same way as those three women in 2002. But how can Simon Serrailler track down a villain who doesn’t exist: the man was given a new name, a new face, a new identity and was relocated. But we’re talking about murder, so surely one police department w
Ann Woodbury Moore
Mar 14, 2013 Ann Woodbury Moore rated it it was ok
Warning--possible spoilers.
This is the latest in a detective series by British author Susan Hill, featuring Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler. Perhaps I'd have a more positive view if I'd read some of her other titles, but this is the first I picked up and it was a disappointment. Rather than a typical British mystery story, it's a family saga with occasional detective work thrown in. Serrailler's extended family plays a prominent role, and trying to figure out who's who at the beginning is
Oct 11, 2012 Lisa rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
Waited so long to get my hands on this latest installment -- and it was well worth the wait.

Many developments amongst our faithful cast: Cat struggles with budget cuts at work and her kids struggle with growing up issues. Simon confronts a murderer of old women and pines on for Rachel. Something is amiss between Simon & Cat's dad Richard and his newish wife Judith.

Made it to page 300 without really having a firm suspect -- exceptional suspense. I enjoyed the trip down the primrose path wit
Michele Weiner
Dec 07, 2012 Michele Weiner rated it liked it
I am a tad picky about my police detectives. This month, I tried to like Chief Superintendent Simon Serailler, whose name I have no idea how to pronounce. It's a given that detectives are lonely people with woman issues, and Hill ticks that box, as they say. But for me, he is bland, bland, bland. He falls to the background in favor of his widowed sister and her kids. When the action starts, as he's organizing the manhunt and taking part in the capture, he's still nearly invisible, and none of th ...more
Dec 24, 2013 Jane rated it liked it
I read the previous book in this series (Betrayal of Trust) and enjoyed it enough to read this one when it came into my library as an advance reading copy. This review is based on having only read the last two books in the seven book series.

I found the book very hard to follow. There are a lot of characters and plot points I was expected to know from previous entries, I assume, and I had a hard time keeping them straight. Much of the plot had to do with the personal life of Chief Superintendent
Jan 03, 2015 Eunice rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-2015
I have been working my way through Susan Hill's Simon Serailler series for the last two months. Sometimes there is a bit of detection going on but more often there is more about death and dying and the hospice which Serailler's sister Cat supports as a GP. And of course as well as the murderers (one of which turned out to be a woman) there are the dysfunctional men of whom Serailler and his father are examples.

This book had an interesting plot line on what it is like to be live with a completel
Mar 14, 2015 Lynda rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, woman-writer
Once more we return to beleagured Lafferton and the tortuousclove life of DCI Simon Serralier. As always things are as volatile on the homefront as they are at the crime scene. Simons sister Cat, she of the farmhouse and hearty stews has her workinng hours slased, his neice runs away from home following bullying by his nephew and domestic violence is brewing in his fathers household. Meanwhile another serial killer, whose identity I rumbled very early in the book roams the snowy streets of Laffe ...more
Jan 21, 2015 Ann rated it it was amazing
This, the seventh in the series, is I think one of the best. It begins in Yorkshire with the trial of Alan Keyes for the murder of several elderly women strangled with a piece of electrical cord. Keyes is acquitted on a technicality and given a new identity. Ten years later in Lafferton three elderly women are killed in similar fashion. A high level of tension is generated as we are introduced to the victims before they are murdered. The murderer is obviously Keyes but who is he now. I did event ...more
Jan 28, 2013 Lynn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Susan Hill's A Question of Identity is a well paced mystery which begins with the trial of an individual who has been charged with the murder of three elderly women. Fast forward 10 years and DCS Simon Serrailler is faced with an unusual murder case without any clues. The plot is deftly handled with a good balance between the crime story and Simon's family's lives.

I love British mysteries and am delighted to find a new author (to me). I look forward to starting this series from the beginning an
Natashya KitchenPuppies
I first discovered Susan Hill when I saw she had a hearty endorsement from one of my heroes, P.D. James. Like James, Hill crafts an intricate British crime novel that starts at the edges and peels away layer by layer until you get to the climax.

See my full review here - http://livinginthekitchenwithpuppies....
Jan 02, 2016 Tammy rated it really liked it
Been reading the series for a few months now

Took 3 days

I would consider buying the series

I really enjoy her style of writing and each book is better. I have read a few of her ghost stories but I like this series better. Don't know how I'm gonna feel when I'm all caught up.
Sophie Godley
Jul 29, 2015 Sophie Godley rated it really liked it
it doesn't seem to matter at all that I am reading these 100% out of order. T hey are fun, pretty light, and most important compelling reading with little violence. yay!
Feb 09, 2015 Sally rated it really liked it
This is such an intelligent series, with an intelligent protagonist. And yet, some of the other characters are just as interesting, which makes this an unusual find.
Rob Williams
Apr 12, 2015 Rob Williams rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murder
Enjoyable but for me not as good as the earlier ones.
Tory Wagner
Oct 23, 2016 Tory Wagner rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, british, police
I continue to enjoy this series which features Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler. It has not lost any of it's mystery and intrigue and the character development allows the characters to continue to grow and change just as your own friends and family would. While the mystery, in this case a series of murders that span several decades, is gripping, the true value of this series lies within its characters and the genuine appeal they have for readers. Can't wait for the next one!
Jim B
Dec 22, 2016 Jim B rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Lovers of detective series, as I am, enjoy the development of the characters, the back story to the recurring characters. Susan Hill does not disappoint in this regard.

And she manages to surprise her fans -- or at least me! I can't say more without giving a spoiler.
Dec 18, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it
Susan Hill does very good characters. That is what has kept me reading this series. But I must say, one more serial killer and I think I'm going to have to jump off this train. Come up with a new plot device, please!
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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 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)
  • The Betrayal of Trust (Simon Serrailler, #6)
  • The Soul of Discretion (Simon Serrailler, #8)

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