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The Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill

The Betrayal of Trust (edition 2012)

by Susan Hill

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208None55,897 (3.84)42
Title:The Betrayal of Trust
Authors:Susan Hill
Info:Vintage (27 Sep 2012) (2012), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Crime, read12

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The Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill




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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Quite a good read about the sudden appearance of the skeleton of a missing 15yo girl. Various threads are gradually developed, some more compelling than others. ( )
  annejacinta | Feb 9, 2014 |
It's almost as if the title is a joke on the reader: The Betrayal of the Reader's Trust, is more like it. I just now finished the book, and I'm checking to see if my copy of the book is missing some pages. I'm really stunned by the ending. It's as if Hill needed to finish the book for some reason, and did--THE END. There are several plot lines that she just left dangling. Yes, I know this is a series, but I think it's unfair to the reader to leave so many threads unresolved. For example, there's a woman with motor neurone disease (what we in the U.S. call ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease); we follow her for awhile, and then simply never hear about her again. What happened to her? We don't know. This book is a big disappointment. I've seldom known of another writer who let down her loyal following the way Hill did in this book. Well--I can certainly think of others, namely Patricia Cornwell in the Kay Scarpetta series. But that case was extreme; many people think Cornwell stopped writing that series at some point and allowed some hack to write continue writing them for her. That isn't the case here. Hill writes very well, and this book is no exception to the others, in terms of how it is written. She just left off about the last quarter of the book. Terrible.

While I'm at it, I might as well add my other complaints about the book. Hill is absolutely obsessed with illness and death. The fifth book in the series was much the same, although she takes her obsession to an extreme in this one. Absolutely nothing uplifting or positive or remotely humorous happens in any of these characters lives. For example, a book or two ago she introduced a wonderful new character named Julia, new wife of Simon and Cat's cold, emotionally unavailable, and obnoxious father. She was a real breath of fresh air, but in this book she's anxious and unhappy throughout the book because her relationship with her new husband seems to be unraveling. For reasons that seem inexplicable, Hill seems to have deliberately torn apart every positive thing she had going in this series. Rated 2 stars, for big disappointment.

As of 2012, there's one book more in the series: A Question of Identity. I'd love to hear Hill's discussion about why anyone should buy the book. ( )
1 vote labwriter | Apr 18, 2013 |
I would like to add a slight dissenting note to these reviews. I found this book extremely depressing which given the subject matter is not surprising, but the relentlessly glum tone and the incessant heaping of distressing relationships and illnesses on the characters and their loved ones throughout this series has gone too far in my opinion. Many crime novels are depressing, but those that I enjoy tend to have a more vivid style of writing or are lightened by humour even if it is rather dark. ( )
  vestafan | Nov 15, 2012 |
Brilliant! ( )
  Gilmore53 | Nov 3, 2012 |
What I liked about this book was Simon Serrailler. He is a character that I like a great deal. As well, I enjoy his family - his widowed sister and her kids, his father and stepmother and now a possible love interest. He carries the book. I have felt all the other Serrailler books rated a 4, this one is a 3. And if Simon hadn't been in the book it would have been a 2.5.

There were too many things I didn't like. The smallest of these is that fact that there are typos that should have been caught, information on the book jacket is wrong (not unusual since writers of the inside of book jackets have seldom read the book but someone should catch these things).

A larger issue is that fact that this has been a police procedural series and in this book there is little of that. Cutbacks and sick leaves have cut the staff and he is therefore mostly on his own.

The biggest issue is the fact that the 'mystery' (the murder of two women, one a teen and one a young woman) seems almost immaterial to Hill. The majority of the book is concerned with Jocelyn, suffering from a terrible terminal illness and searching for an assisted suicide alternative to a prolonged process of death, the revelation that Simon's mother assisted his sister to die, the inadequate availability of hospice care and care for patients with dementia.

My problem is not with a mystery examining these issues. Anne Perry, in her William Monk series, looks at very difficult issues. But they are tied strongly to the case he is investigating. In this case, in the end, we learn that the issues are tied so thinly to the solution of the crime as to be almost irrelevant.

The ending was abrupt. Almost as if Hill had reached her word count and ended the book. During the first 300 pages Jocelyn searches for help to end her life in the way she would chose. She has good cause to want to do this. She knows the disease she has, she knows how it will progress. 50 pages later she has apparently changed her mind and we are told this in approximately four lines. Not only that, we have become emotionally involved with Jocelyn and then, at the end, we realize that she has no relationship to the crime other than the fact that a doctor she deals with also has a remote involvement with the person who committed the murders and her primary doctor is Simon's sister.

The actions of the hospice doctor, and Molly are left unresolved. I found it hard to believe that Harriet's father would be leaving the country just when the case is almost resolved. The fact that this book is part of a series does not justify leaving so many loose ends. Whether or not these characters reappear in later novels, the resolution of these current issues should be made. Even in a series, a book needs to be complete. The loose ends between Simon and his sister, Cat, and the other family issues can well move on into the next book. But the issues with other characters who have been given primacy in the book should be tied up. It felt like the solving of the mystery didn't have enough meat for Hill to make a book, so she used these other issues, and the beginning of a love affair for Simon, to fill the pages.

It was a good book, until the end (which wasn't an ending). Even the last line is a remote stretch. ( )
  mysterymax | Sep 10, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Part of the appeal of Hill’s novels starring the south of England Detective Chief Superintendant Simon Serrailler is to keep track of how little police work Serrailler actually gets done. It isn’t that he’s lazy; it’s more that he needs time for leisurely dinners, for his award-winning art projects, and, in the recent book, for his wooing of a new girlfriend. In his spare time, he investigates a cold case involving a teenager who was murdered under baffling circumstances 20 years earlier. Hill gets enjoyable mileage out of both the puzzle and Serrailler’s privileged life.
added by VivienneR | editThe Toronto Star, Jack Batten (Feb 25, 2012)
It was the ambition of Dorothy L Sayers to write a crime novel with all the virtues of the mainstream literary novel....Susan Hill belongs in this category. Her crime novels, featuring Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler in the small cathedral city of Lafferton are as much concerned with ethical questions and personal relations as with the solving of crimes. Certainly she gives due attention to these, while never letting the reader forget that there is a mystery to be unravelled. Nor does she downplay the seriousness of murder, though, like Simon, she is aware that murder may be explained and treated sympathetically even though it cannot be excused....What one is aware of throughout is Hill’s keen intelligence, the range of her sympathy and her depth of her moral concern. Her novels are always entertaining but are not only entertainments.

While she never forgets that people read novels for pleasure, and is adept at providing that pleasure, she uses fiction to examine difficult ethical questions about the choices people make and the constraints within which such choices are made. That is why reading these novels, which combine good plots with well-drawn characters and intelligent probing of the way we live now, is so enriching.
Before the English novelist Susan Hill turned to crime fiction, she had established her reputation as a literary writer...Then, a decade or so ago, Hill began to move in a new direction...The result has been her series about Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler, the top cop in the fictional cathedral town of Lafferton, not far from London. “The Betrayal of Trust” is the sixth novel in the series, and it showcases the virtues, particularly characterization, that a literary writer can bring to the police procedural. It’s a sad novel, filled with illness, death and dying, but beautifully written.
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The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for much of south-west England from noon today.
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from Amazon ca :Product Description
"Not all great novelists can write crime fiction but when one like Susan Hill does the result is stunning."
—Ruth Rendell

A cold case comes back to life in this sixth book in the highly successful Simon Serrailler detective series "eagerly awaited by all aficionados" (P.D. James). Freak weather and flash floods all over southern England. Lafferton is under water and a landslide on the Moor has closed the bypass. As the rain slowly drains away, a shallow grave--and a skeleton--are exposed; 20 years on, the remains of missing teenager Joanne Lowther have finally been uncovered. The case is re-opened and Simon Serrailler is called in as senior investigating officer. Joanne, an only child, had been on her way home from a friend's house that night. She was the daughter of a prominent local businessman, Sir John Lowther. Joanne's mother, unable to cope, dies 2 years after Joanne disappeared. Cold cases are always tough, and in this latest in the acclaimed series from Susan Hill, Serrailler is forced to confront a frustrating, distressing and complex situation.
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When a series of flash floods throughout Lafferton exposes the skeleton of a teenager who went missing 20 years earlier, Simon Serrailler investigates the girl's tragic family story and uncovers bizarre complexities and dangers.

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