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The various haunts of men : a Simon Serrailler crime novel (original 2004; edition 2007)

by Susan Hill

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972728,867 (3.68)255
Member:Meredy
Title:The various haunts of men : a Simon Serrailler crime novel
Authors:Susan Hill
Info:Woodstock, N.Y. : Overlook Press, 2007.
Collections:SJPL, Series
Rating:***1/2
Tags:fiction, mystery

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The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill (2004)

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English (71)  Dutch (1)  English (72)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
I don't believe I have read any other books by this author but if this one is any indication I will probably be reading more. This is the first book in a series so at least I didn't start halfway through.

Detective Sargent Freya Graffham is new to the cathedral town of Lafferton and the Criminal Investigation Division of the police which is headed by Detective Chief Inspector Simon Serrailler. One of the first cases to land on her desk is the case of a missing woman. Angela Randall is single, middle aged and works nights at a local care home. The person who reported her missing is her employer. She had been away so it was a week or so before Angela's absence was noted. Investigation of Angela's house does not reveal much. It looks like the woman stepped out only for a short while. With no leads and no indication of foul play Freya is told to concentrate on other matters. But then a young woman is reported missing by her flat mate. Debbie and Angela have nothing in common except that both were known to walk on The Hill. A search of The Hill reveals nothing. However, Freya, with the help of DC Nathan Coates, continues to investigate. In her off hours Freya has been getting involved in local activities which leads her to assisting Simon Serrailler's mother with a party. When Freya delivers desserts (which she calls puddings) to the Serrailler home and Simon unexpectedly drops in at the same time, Freya realizes she is in love with him. Various acquaintances try to warn her off because Simon has a history of dropping women as soon as they become too involved with him. Freya tries, without success, to quash her attraction to him and it seems that perhaps DCI Serrailler is also attracted to her. The case of the missing women heats up when a third woman disappears and Freya notices something about a local man that ties him to the case.

This is a gripping read with a surprising ending that leaves you wanting more about the participants. I will be keeping my eye out for The Pure in Heart which is the next in this series. ( )
  gypsysmom | Nov 30, 2016 |
This book proved to be quite a *page turner* for me (or its audio equivalent), even though I've been making lots of noises in resent past about not liking to read about female victims and serial killers, be it fiction or otherwise. And then of course, I get excited about a book that is all about... mostly female victims (a dog too!) and... a serial killer. I went as far as sacrificing my bedtime reading session last night, which I always devote to an eye-eading book usually, but there was just one hour to go on the audiobook and I just HAD to finish it then and there. Describing the storyline without spoilers doesn't yield anything terribly original, and you can read the summary anywhere, but I'll say what made this one click for me was the main characters; the fact they all evolve in a small tight-knit community (some of the protagonists are family members of Simon Serailler, the hero of the series); also what I'd have to characterize as a woman's point of view, with lots of little details that only a woman would think to put in, which somehow made the whole mess bypass the inner critic who is always ready to ban disturbing reading from my life. I'll be continuing with the next book in the Simon Serrailler series for sure. ★★★★⅓ (the only reason I didn't give it a 4.5 is because that rating means I want to reread the book and it ranks among my all-time favourites, which I rarely if ever want to do with murder mystery novels, unless they're by Godlen Age writers). ( )
  Smiler69 | Jul 22, 2016 |
While most of the Lafferton CID is focused on a drugs case, recent transfer Detective Sergeant Freya Graffham almost single-handedly pursues the disappearances of women who have gone missing near “The Hill” in recent months. In her limited free time, Freya participates in a community choir, which unexpectedly brings her into social contact with the mother of her DCI, Simon Serrailler. Seeing Simon outside their professional surroundings sparks Freya's interest in developing more than a professional relationship with her chief. However, Simon has a reputation for keeping women at arm's length. Meanwhile, Simon's physician sister, Cat, is becoming concerned about some of the alternative health practitioners who seem to be preying on her most vulnerable patients. Then one of Cat's patients becomes one of the missing women and part of the police investigation.

Simon Serrailler was mostly absent in the first book in the series that bears his name. I thought that was odd. I didn't see enough of him to form an opinion about his personality. Although much is made of his rapid advancement within the ranks of the CID, I wasn't impressed with his job performance. His total absorption in the high profile drugs case resulted in his neglect of the missing persons cases, with tragic consequences. I wonder if this book was originally conceived as a standalone novel that the author later decided to continue as a series. Fans of the series say that it improves as the series progresses, so I'll give Simon at least one more chance before giving up on it. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Jan 31, 2016 |
Excellent plot and characters, and a stunner of an ending. Fans of Elizabeth George and Peter Robinson would enjoy this. ( )
  Gingermama | Jan 24, 2016 |
I don't know what to think about the ending of this book which is very controversial. It kind of left me a little angry but at the same time it made me want to read the 2nd book of the series. There is no way to describe what happened without any spoilers, so all I have to say is that you must read this book for yourself. Susan Hill is a excellent writer and the book is filled with characters that you will want to follow through the series but it definitely took courage to write this ending. ( )
  EadieB | Jan 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Susan Hillprimary authorall editionscalculated
Pacey, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The Various Haunts of men
Require the pencil, they defy the pen.

~ George Crabbe, The Borough

Dedication
For
My dearly loved Ghost
First words
"The Tape" Last week I found a letter from you. I didn't think I had kept any of them. I thought I had destroyed everything from you. But this one had somehow been overlooked.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099534983, Paperback)

A lonely woman of fifty-three vanishes in fog; a fat twenty-two-year-old never returns from an early morning walk . . .

Experienced policemen know that most missing persons either turn up or go missing on purpose. But fresh young D.S. Freya Graffham won’t drop it — until she discovers what links the people who disappear on “The Hill,” young and old, men and women, even a little dog. Susan Hill writes with compassion, humour and a unique understanding of the details of daily life.


From the Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:04 -0400)

"A lonely woman of vanishes while out on her morning run. The police aren't alarmed. But when a 22-year-old girl never returns from a walk, an old man disappears too, no one can denied that something is happening in the quiet cathedral town of Lafferton. When fresh-faced policewoman Freya Graffham is assigned to the case, she must unravel the mystery before events turn too gruesome"--Back cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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