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The Betrayal of Trust (Simon Serrailler #6)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  3,099 Ratings  ·  359 Reviews
Freak weather and flash floods all over southern England. Half of Lafferton is afloat. A landslip on the Moor has closed the bypass and, as the rain slowly drains away, a shallow grave - and a skeleton - are exposed. The remains are identified as those of missing teenager, Harriet Lowther, last seen 16 years ago.
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published October 6th 2011 by Chatto & Windus (first published January 1st 2011)
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Sometimes people say to me that they have never heard of Susan Hill. “Have you seen 'The Woman in Black'?” I ask. Invariably that rings a bell. And anyone who found the stage dramatisation or film of that novel compelling, should be prepared to be riveted and disturbed in equal measure by The Betrayal of Trust. In it you will read of a gruesome discovery, danger and betrayal, suffering and endurance, a cold case — followed by another — plus a detailed analysis of issues to do with terminal illne ...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
'How they change us, change us and age us, how they leave their mark, these terrible things. '

Susan Hill never writes about just one thing. Although The Betrayal of Trust, #6 in the excellent Simon Serrailler series, is primarily the story of Harriet Lowther, a schoolgirl who went missing 16 years before her body is uncovered by a land slip, it also addresses the relentless march of and the devastation caused by dementia and motor neurone disease, and the delicate subject of assisted death.

As a
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
Nov 26, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Diane Barnes
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a good installment of this series. The mystery was in solving a cold case involving a teen-ager gone missing 16 years ago. Simon had to go this one alone due to budget cuts in the department. A side story involving assisted suicide pros and cons for terminally I'll patients gave some fascinating insights into that issue as well. And Simon falls in love.
Mar 31, 2011 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
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Apr 12, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction

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
Feb 18, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
May 11, 2015 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 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jan 27, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Mar 28, 2016 rated it liked it
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
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 26, 2013 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.
Mar 21, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.
Janet Hutchinson
This is a really good series and whenever I see a new one, I always grab it. I'm clearly a bit behind, but it doesn't matter. Good plots, but great characters and development of them feels complete. It's not just the main character, but his sister, his parents and the other people in the stories. Now I need to go and catch up with the ones I have not read.
Terri Lynn
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 30, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Thomas Bruso
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing

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
Shonna Froebel
Dec 17, 2014 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
Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: england, crime
I think this is one of those detective books that you need to read in order. It isn't a series you can dip in and out of for a one off cracking murder mystery. There are characters and plot lines in this book that had precious little to do with the murder investigation in hand, which just left me wondering... what? So, coming in to this series at book six has left me very underwhelmed, and I feel I much prefer Susan Hill as a writer of ghostie stories. There was no sense of anyone's character in ...more
Zeb Kantrowitz
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Holly Robinson
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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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)
  • A Question of Identity (Simon Serrailler, #7)
  • The Soul of Discretion (Simon Serrailler, #8)

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