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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Susan Hill - THE VARIOUS HAUNTS OF MEN



 reviewed live on bookshow by Corinna Christopher 25th July 2013 
This is a departure from the usual books of Susan Hill being a thriller.  It has a plethora of different characters but all are relevant and necessary for the build-up of the storyline.

The tale is set in the fictional English town of Lafferton where a few people seem to have disappeared. There is Angela Randall a shy and ordinary lady who vanishes whilst out on a 3 mile run at the local scenic hill, also Debbie a young single girl a bit depressed who also disappears on the same hill.  In addition a young boy cyclist has gone missing in the past and recently even a beloved dog has vanished into thin air .

Into the town comes Freya a young detective who has the task of unravelling the mysterious disappearances.   Her superior officer is Simon Serrailer a rather dishy enigmatic single man.  His sister Cat Deerbon is the local G.P. and very much involved with the community.  She befriends Freya and introduces her into the local social life where her parents live and where Freya is welcomed into the choral society.

As part of the story some of the characters consult alternative therapists in a neighbouring village.  Some of the persons are rather dodgy and are naturally a bit suspect.

Interspersed in the book are the thoughts and tapes of the  voice of the killer.  These are tantalising but it is not until 84% of the book is read that the reader is given the first real clue and the ending is a  shocking surprise.  The murderer kills only to satisfy his pathological interests.

I thought this was a chilling good read and a clever plot.  I specially liked the two main characters of Freya and Cat who were thoughtfully depicted.  In spite of some negative reviews I would like to very much  read some more of Simon Serrailer stories although he does not appear a great deal in this  particular novel .

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