The Risk of Darkness (Simon Serrailler, #3)
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The Risk of Darkness (Simon Serrailler #3)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  1,626 ratings  ·  184 reviews
We met Simon Serrailler first in "The Various Haunts of Men" and got to know him better in "The Pure in Heart." Susan Hill's third crime novel, "The Risk of Darkness"?perhaps even more compulsive and convincing than its predecessors?explores the crazy grief of a widowed husband, whose derangement turns into obsession and threats, violence and terror. Meanwhile, handsome, i...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Overlook TP (first published 2006)
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Sue
Apr 01, 2013 Sue rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy crime/mystery/police procedurals with empasis on character
This is becoming one of my favorite series and this has been the best episode so far. the characters continue to be vividly drawn, their actions often woefully human and unexpected. Easy endings and plot resolutions are not part of Hill's metier. She is much wiser than that. And we readers are blessed with the result. I'm very much looking forward to the next book in the Serrailler series. They are like little gifts to myself.
Jane
I must be feeling nostalgic for England this week; two posts in a row on British books! This one caught my eye because I used to read Susan Hill when I was in my twenties, when she was writing rather good, creepy ghost stories. I had lost touch with her career for some time, and was quite surprised to see a library recommendation for a Susan Hill... crime novel? Well, I had to read on and find out.


On the face of it, The Risk of Darkness is just another British police procedural, a genre which ha...more
Kay Rollison
When I came across Susan Hill as a judge for the 2011 Man Booker Prize, I remembered that she is best known for her ghost stories and her much hyped Mrs De Winter, a sequel to Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. More recently she has turned to writing crime stories featuring DCI Simon Serrailler. The Risk of Darkness (2006) is the third in a series of five.

Hill is clear that the Serrailler books are crime novels – but not detective stories. She sees the crime novel as ‘a serious literary genre’, which...more
Holly Robinson
I have just read Susan Hill's second and third mysteries, The Pure in Heart and The Risk of Darkness, back-to-back, and I'm so glad I did, because the stories continue almost seamlessly. A warning to readers looking for cozy mysteries: these are darker than most, and they don't have the tidy Hollywood endings we've come to expect. Many of your favorite characters will meet bad ends, you'll find yourself feeling a bit sorry for the well-rounded (but no less creepy) villains, and all of the second...more
Suzanne
I was a bit disappointed with this one. The first book in the Simon Serrailler series was fantastic. It has a gripping plot, interesting protagonist, excellent character development, and a lovely English village for it all to percolate in. The second book in the series was also very good. This one; not so much. The synopsis of this book states that it's "filled with action and adventure". I would restate that as "filled with random craziness and and chock full of characters that I don't give a f...more
Estibaliz79
Esta novela se lleva las cuatro estrellas por la originalidad de su planteamiento, aunque mi puntuación final es un 3 1/2; porque aunque el viaje es placentero, pues Hill sabe cómo construir personajes y captar la atención del lector, el final resulta un tanto decepcionante, tanto en el aspecto de lo personal para su protagonista, como en el hecho de que algunos aspectos queden sin resolver, si se trata de buscar porqués.

Una novela negra en la que muy pronto no sólo se sabe quién es el culpable,...more
Deanne
The third installment carries on from the second book with Serrailler still hunting for a child killer. The series also introduces characters whose part in the story is at first unclear.
The books don't come from the pov of Serrailler, there is his sister Cat, his father and mother. There's also the sense that no one is safe with Hill not afraid to kill off a well liked character.
Enjoying this series a great deal, just wish Lafferton existed.
Linda
This author and this series was recommended to me with the caveat that I should begin with the first in the series of the Simon Serrailler mysteries, The Various Haunts of Men. I think that would have been a good idea in this case. I find Susan Hill to be a good writer, in that I enjoyed this book for the most part, it kept my interest up and she has good language skills. Even so, there is something a little off with her style. The book cover compares her to P. D. James and Elizabeth George, but...more
Lori
The Risk of Darkness is the 3rd in a series of atypical crime novels featuring the detective Simon Serrailler. I have very much enjoyed the series so far and I will be putting book no. 4 on my reserve list soon. However, I would offer some cautions to a fan of straightforward who-dunnits and police procedurals about Susan Hill's style.

Crimes are not neatly solved in this series. The police are not Sherlock Holmsian in their perceptions and abilities. Loose ends are left hanging. Questions are le...more
Caitlin
The main character in The Risk of Darkness is Simon Serrailler, a British police detective who is also an artist. He has a quirky family & interpersonal troubles & is likely to remind you of PD James' Adam Dalgleish. This is the third book in the series. I thought I hadn't read any of these, but realized as I was reading that I recognized Simon & found that I had read the first one, The Various Haunts of Men.

This is a slow, almost meditative book that I hesitate to call a mystery bec...more
Barbara Mitchell
Uh-oh, I'm involved in another series! The Risk of Darkness is a Simon Serrailler mystery and I do believe I'm in love. Not really, but Serrailler is a wonderfully conflicted British detective with a good heart. He is a triplet whose sister lives nearby in Lafferton, and brother lives in Australia and has little to do with the family. Simon is close to his mother but his father is rather too aloof for the triplets to feel much for him. Sister Cat is a doctor with a generous soul which often caus...more
Victoria
This third book in the Simon Serralier series picks up right where the second, The Pure in Heart, ended. It would definitely be best to read this series in order, because a lot of the loose ends from the previous book are sorted out here. However, the kidnapping story started in the second book still leaves a few loose ends even by the end of this one, so I hope that more of the story continues in the fourth book.

This is definitely an enjoyable series, but one that requires a bit of patience fro...more
Jane Seaford
Susan Hill is one of my favourite authors from way back but I'd not read her 'crime novels'. So when a friend recommended them I went straight to the library to find them and came across 'The Risk of Darkness.'

I love the way Susan Hill writes, so spare, careful, lucid and clean. Her characters are great and the story gripping. BUT for me it wasn't a 'crime novel'. It was a novel about people, how they were in the world, how they related to each other and how they coped with the various things t...more
Kay
I'm a big fan of Susan Hill and this series in general but not this installment. I simply found it overwrought, especially the bereaved widower so deranged by grief that he becomes a dangerous stalker and the elderly psychiatrist assaulted by a former patient. Everyone in this novel is out of sorts, including DCI Simon Serailler, who is in danger of becoming so hardened that he no longer empathizes with anyone's troubles but his own. Even Cat Deerbon and her husband are at odds in this outing, t...more
Patricia
May 06, 2009 Patricia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ISG friends who love mysteries too
Shelves: mystery
This is the third in a wonderful new British series. The detective, Simon Serrailler, is a wonderful character and his family are too - he's a triplet; his sister and her husband are doctors, as were his parents so he is the family rebel. The other triplet, Ivo, lives in Australia and looks to figure in the next book. The plots and crimes are interesting and well done but the characters are what drive this series for me. Serrailler is also an artist; he draws and exhibits and sells his work unde...more
LB
Death, death, death, and more deaths; departure, departure, departure. Deranged murderers. Not much else to this one by Susan Hill. It' s too much death happening to different people in a short span of time in a village environment to be remotely realistic. I would like to read more mystery and less death scenes. Though Hill's characters are interesting, and there are many, they are bounced in and out of the story until death overcomes them, or they are left for a follow-up in the next book in t...more
Michele
Mar 25, 2009 Michele rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Susan Marcy
Shelves: 2009
This is the third book in this series and I have enjoyed them all though I wish that Susan Hill did not so closely echo PD James( who I have enjoyed for years).
Dalglish= Poet=Commander of Serious Crime- New Scotland Yard=Difficulties forming long standing relationships with women.
Seraillier=Artist= Soon to be appointed to Exceptional Crime=Again problems with relationships.
The poor tortured souls.
I suspect that the reality is somewhat less exciting but then that is what fiction is all about.


PS...more
Peacejanz
This is the third of the Simon Serrailler mysteries. It is not a stand-alone book. Hill builds on her previous Simon books. As usual, there is a crime -- small children go missing and are never heard from again. No one has ever found the remains. How can smart little children get into a car with a killer? They are trained not to do so! Yet, the children keep disappearing. And, as usual, there are multiple family problems, Simon's casual girlfriend does not want to be casual anymore,
a new woman...more
Barb
just shoot yourself in the foot instead of reading it. not much mystery, not much character developemnt, little to no resolution, too many english policemen - not my "cup of tea"
Leslie Angel
ok, now it's finished. I'll probably read the next one to see what happens to the main characters. But I wish she'd let in some light.
Marsha
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Heidi
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Pam
I love reading a series because i really start to like/dislike may of the main characters. I also don't like reading a series because I often forget what happened in the previous book if I have read several other books in between. I listened to the first two books in Hill's Serrailler series a while ago so when I started on this, the third book it took me a while to remember who Simon Serrailler was, nothing against the author of course. Now he is fresh in my mind and I listened to back to back...more
Terri Lynn
This is the best Simon Serrailler mystery I have read so far. Bodies of the missing kids from the last novel have been found, a very odd woman named Ed has been arrested for the killings after she is stopped on the highway with one of the kids in her trunk, Simon treats Diana cruelly yet again then talks himself into thinking he is in love with a red-haired priest (female) whose mother is killed by an intruder she once sent away (she was a psychiatrist who dealt with disturbed kids) and who was...more
Mike Gabor
This book is more or less a continuation of The Pure In Heart. We find out who is responsible for the kidnapping of young children in the Lafferton area. We also meet some new characters. A recently widowed man whom we watch decend into madness and the havoc he causes. A young female priest new to Lafferton who becomes a victim twice over. We also see into the mind of the person responsible for the kidnappings along with the mother of the perpertrator. Again the author provides us with not so mu...more
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
I don't give out too many 5 stars these days and I almost gave them here. Just deducted one for a couple of small niggles, in that there was a couple of "scenes" I felt were pointless and did not enhance the story or have any real relevance. However, this was a great book other than that. Susan Hill is a fantastic writer, she could write a shopping list and make it exciting. This Simon Serrallier book is different from the usual crime/mystery/thriller, in that you learn early on who the killer i...more
Jennifer
The Risk of Darkness is the third book of the “Simon Serrailler mystery series” (though, honestly, I think it could just as easily be the “Lafferton mystery series” as Simon often seems like a minor player in his own books). This is, to be honest, one of the oddest mystery series I’ve ever read, which is part of the attraction for me. In the first book, Simon barely made an appearance, and the ending was so shocking that I had to reread it to make sure I read it right. The second book dealt prim...more
Abigail Padgett


This is the third in the British Simon Serrailler mystery series, which I like because it’s different. The mystery genre is thick with conventions Hill deftly evades, choosing instead to go, at times, a little deeper.

In this one there’s a surprisingly atypical serial killer whose motivations, despite chapters in the killer’s p.o.v., are as inscrutable at the end of the book as they are at the beginning. Particularly impressive is Hill’s refusal to equate incomprehensible evil with mental illness...more
Irene
It is very unusual to read a mystery and know who the villian is in 65 pages. What a psychoneurotic creature this villian appears to be. This is Susan Hill's third Simon Serrailler mystery, and it was a labyrinth from start to finish. As children continue to disappear, Simon and his colleagues are yet to find substantial leads. By a startling coincidence, they do.

Moving in another direction, Max Jameson appears, a totally distraught husband whose young wife succombs to Mad Cow Disease. In this...more
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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
More about Susan Hill...
The Woman in Black The Various Haunts of Men (Simon Serrailler, #1) The Pure in Heart (Simon Serrailler, #2) The Small Hand: A Ghost Story The Man in the Picture

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