Susan Hill is an award-winning author of many novels, stories, and nonfiction books. From the United Kingdom, she lives in Gloucestershire and runs her own publishing company, Long Barn Books. In The Various Haunts of Men, she introduces us to Simon Serrailler - a detective chief inspector living in Lafferton, England.
A series of disappearances in and around Lafferton have new Detective Sergeant Freya Graffham finding herself leading a frustrating search for the missing. The story centers on D.S. Graffham, her struggle to find the victims, and her personal recovery from a terrible relationship. Woven within the storytelling is a personal soliloquy from the actual guilty party. These small snippets tease the reader with the mental and emotional disintegration of the person committing the crimes without giving away even the gender of the suspect.
For those readers unfamiliar with British mysteries, sit back and enjoy the ride. Susan Hill upholds the reputation established by P.D. James and others. Here is a story that introduces us to each character, one by one, and slowly circles in on the suspects. Do not be deceived - the story itself is not slow. In fact, I found myself waffling between trying to consume it leisurely and rushing to the end to find out “whodunnit”.
Hill is a masterful storyteller, creating full-fledged characters that live and breathe. She holds nothing back in this story. Be prepared for surprises and unexpected twists. Not a book for young readers, this can easily fulfill one’s desire for interesting summer reading at the side of the pool.
As an added bonus for those of you who (like me) enjoyed the Midsommer Murders series on BBC, this story series has been purchased by the company that produced Midsommer Murders, and they hope to have it in production soon. I am waiting very impatiently for that to happen. I am also searching for more Susan Hill.