My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler series is a well-known police procedural that has been on my radar for a very long time. But unfortunately other than the extremely chilling The Woman In the Black, I haven’t had a chance to read any other book by this author.
A Change of Circumstance is book #11 in the renowned series. I was sure going in that I am at disadvantage for getting to this series so late. It is never about the crime or the drama that forms the story but always the personal history of the lead character that may feel out of focus if you begin a series midway. This can be easily read as a stand-alone except that the reader is left to figure out the various relationship threads that revolve around Simon. His sister Cat and her family, a past relationship of Simon, all are central to the plot behind the drug trafficking crime thriller.
A Change Of Circumstance feels like an ‘interim’ story in Simon Serrailler’s life where he begins to acknowledge the changes in his life, both personal and professional. He is brooding his lonely status and his past mistakes while professionally he realizes the extent of the drug trouble that haunts his sleepy county. The investigation into the death of an addict opens his eyes to the menace that dogs the streets and the feeble and the worthless effort of catching the criminals in the lower rung of the ladder.
The way the author makes one feel for 11 yr old Brooklyn and the 14 yr old Olivia is exemplary. The helpless situation that they are lured into without knowing the consequences was chilling. The aspects of the story that shows Cat and her medical concerns, honestly speaking, I was left with a feeling to never get old. Susan Hill brings out the vulnerability of the young and the old thru the drug trade and the always packed to the hilt hospitals.
A Change of Circumstance will be a comfortable read for fans of the series as it is akin to revisiting one’s old family and knowing more about the status of Simon, Cat, Keiron, Sam, etc but for others, as the story does not offer any ‘thrills’ with the investigation, there is no unveiling or reveal that happens, it may feel lacklustre.
3.5 engaging stars.☂️☂️☂️
Many thanks to NetGalley, Random House UK, Vintage, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
‘Serrailler, Hill’s brilliant detective, is the central character in the great writer’s crime fiction novels’ CAMILLA, DUCHESS OF CORNWALL
Simon Serrailler finds himself in devastating new territory as a sophisticated drugs network sets its sights on Lafferton and the surrounding villages
DCS Simon Serrailler has long regarded drugs ops in the Lafferton area as a waste of time. Small-time dealers are picked up outside the local secondary school, they’re given a fine or a suspended and away they go. And rinse and repeat. But when the body of a young drug addict is found in neighbouring Starly, the case pulls Simon into a whole new way of running drugs. The foot soldiers? Vulnerable local kids like Brookie and Olivia, who will give Simon a bitter taste of this new landscape…
‘Hill’s Serailler novels are as addictive as Rankin’s’ SCOTSMAN
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