Saturday, March 19, 2011

Back to Lafferton

The Pure in Heart, Susan Hill

This is the second in Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler series. As I posted before, I was immediately drawn into the first, The Various Haunts of Men, immersed in the characters and the world of Lafferton.  As I'd also posted, though, I found it odd that the book was labeled "A Simon Serrailler Mystery" when the book seemed to be about so many people other than Simon.

The Pure in Heart, on the other hand, is a Simon book.  It opens in Venice, where he is on one of his regular drawing tours.  The story shifts quickly back to Lafferton, and to Simon's family and colleagues, as a child-snatching case unfolds.  Cat and Chris, Richard and Meriel, Nathan and Emma, Karin, are all there - and one character's absence weighs heavily.  Among the new characters is Andy Gunton, just coming out of prison and trying to find his place again.  I wanted him to find it and to be safe, I hope we see more of him.  Though the story shifts between their POVs, and introduces even more characters, this book seems rooted in Simon.

Though the title may refer to the kidnapped child, David, it also refers to Simon and Cat's sister Martha, profoundly disabled from birth.  At the end of this book, we know a family secret involving Martha -  a secret only two other people know - and not knowing when or even if this secret will be revealed should add an interesting level of tension to the next book.

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Thank you for taking the time to read, and to comment. I always enjoy hearing different points of view about the books I am reading, even if we disagree!