28 May 2007

Just finished reading....

The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill.

This is the first "Simon Serrailler mystery", which I think is slightly misleading for a subtitle, as we don't really see much of him in this book. He appears in very little of it, and even less of it is from his point of view.

The only first-person sections are from the p.o.v. of the killer, in the form of a recorded message to his late mother. To me, the protagonist of the book is Freya Graffham, a young Detective Sergeant who has recently moved from London to the small town of Lafferton where Serrailler is the DCI.

A woman disappears while out running in the woods. She is unmarried, with no close relatives, so it's not until she doesn't show up at work a few days later that she is missed. Her employer brings the case to the attention of DS Graffham, who notes that this is not the first such disappearance in the area.

Hill has done a marvelous job of bringing the community to life. The characters she creates are very real people, with jobs and hobbies and eccentricities, and flaws, even the series' title character.

There are supposed to be three books in this series, according to the dust jacket. This first book was actually released in England in 2004, and it looks like the second has been published there as well. Not sure if I can wait for the library to acquire it....

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