Jane's Reviews > The Betrayal of Trust

The Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill
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's review
Dec 05, 11

bookshelves: borrowed
Read in November, 2011

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 another, unidentified body, are found. The lives of the Serailler family continue to evolve. A woman considers ending her life when she is diagnosed with a progressive, debilitating disease. And another woman struggles to cope with her partner’s slide into dementia. The plot links them all.

But the plot is unbalanced. The crime story felt secondary to the consideration of ageing, illness and how a life should end. Important issues but, for me, having to consider motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease all in one piece of crime fiction was too much.

The ending of the crime story was much too neat, and much too rushed, ongoing storylines were advanced too little, and far too many threads were left hanging.

I can but hope that there will be another book to answer my questions, and that book will get the balance right.
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