Monday, March 09, 2009

Susan Hill's THE RISK OF DARKNESS is "Original, Wrenching and Unforgettable"

Eleanor Bukowsky offers glowing praise of Susan Hill's new mysery The Risk of Darkness on the terrific Mostly Fiction website: "Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series is one of the most original, wrenching, and unforgettable of all the police procedurals to come out of England. In The Risk of Darkness, the writing and dialogue are as sharp as ever, and the fast-paced narrative is absolutely mesmerizing. All of the characters are superbly delineated, from the main character to those who make only brief appearances. Simon has many admirable qualities: He is devoted to his sister and mother; he is a dedicated office of the law; and he is an extremely gifted artist. Unfortunately, he is also self-centered, reclusive, and cold towards those women unlucky enough to fall in love with him. . . .In The Risk of Darkness, Susan Hill explores many thought-provoking themes that she introduced in her earlier works: What is the nature of evil? How can the loss of a loved one bring a person to the brink of despair? What price do homicide detectives pay for their exposure, day after day, to the worst offenses that human beings can commit? Is there any way that true justice can be meted out to child murderers? How do members of families and communities support and, in some cases, undermine one another? The author challenges us to shake off our complacency and take a hard look at the harsh realities of our contemporary world. One may quibble that The Risk of Darkness has too much heartbreak and too little joy. That may be true, but the book's strengths compensate for the sadness that the story generates. Fans of Simon Serrailler will eagerly await the release of the next installment, The Vows of Silence."

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