The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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November 26, 2011

The Betrayal of Trust

      She had a silver Passat.
      'Thank you,' she said, the keys ready in her hand.
      'Must you go?' he asked then.
      She hesitated, not looking at him.
      'Rachel?' Say no, he thought urgently,  say no. Say that your going now isn't absolutely essential.
      'I'm afraid I must, yes.'
      'Wait.' He felt in his pockets for a pen. But he had not brought a pen. Nor his CID cards, but in any case, he would not have given her one of those.
      'I know where to find you,' she said, not looking at him.
      He wanted to stop her and could not.
      Other cars were backing out, her progress to the exit gate was slow, he could still have gone after her, even walking.  Stopped her. But he did not. She had said that she knew where to find him. He supposed she meant at the station. But he did not know where to find her.
      He walked slowly across to his own car. The area was half empty now.
      Of course he could find her. He was in the one job which made that easy enough.
      She could find him. He could find her.
      He remembered nothing about the drive home.
I haven't had -- or made? -- enough time for reading lately, definitely not enough, but it's been getting better, and it's been especially satisfying to alternate between a biography and a  mystery (or two).  The Betrayal of Trust is the sixth book in Susan Hill's series about Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler, and I think this one (or maybe this one, tied with the first one) will be my favorite. 

The resolution of the crimes that Simon is investigating -- the skeletons of two young girls are found after a gale-force storm floods the streets and causes a landslide -- is well done, even though you know all along that the two or three separate and seemingly unconnected storylines will be tied together, somehow, at the end. 

But it seems to me that this is a series that puts even more emphasis on the recurring characters' personal lives than most mysteries do, and I kind of like that.  Simon's sister, Cat, is still adjusting after the death of her husband, and worrying that financial pressures will close the hospice where she works;  their stepmother, Judith, begins to feel differently about her husband after he reveals a family secret; and Simon... Because his boss is recovering from an illness, she asks him to attend a dinner in her place, and Simon is seated next to Rachel Wyatt.  What happens as a result is only one of the betrayals of trust in this book, but it's hard to see that clearly while your heart is melting.


lyn said...

Thanks for the review. I love this series & I'm looking forward to reading this. Often it's the catch-up with the characters that I enjoy in crime series almost more than the mysteries!

Lisa May said...

Oh, I am waiting anxiously for this one! I discovered her books this year, and Cat has become one of my favorite characters. So glad to hear it's so good - but so frustrating to wait :)

Bellezza said...

This book sounds great! I'm so in the mood for mysteries lately. I'm not sure what's gotten into me. ;)

Anonymous said...

I have to say that, though I love the series, I was disappointed in this book. The themes seemed to be pushed rather too hard, the ending felt rushed, and so much was unresolved.

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