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The Vows Of Silence (2015)

The Vows of Silence (2015)

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3.95 of 5 Votes: 3
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0701179996 (ISBN13: 9780701179991)
chatto & windus

About book The Vows Of Silence (2015)

Where I got the book: audiobook on Audible.Ah, Lafferton, Lafferton. A small cathedral town must be a terrible place to live if serial killers pop up as regularly as they do in this series—I wouldn’t dare leave the house. Add in the high incidence of Sudden Death from natural causes, suicide and bizarre accidents, and you get the impression that the Grim Reaper once visited the town for a short vacation and liked it so much that he stayed.The Serrailler family and friends soap opera really lets rip in this novel, with Simon suffering much angst over his sister’s personal tragedy, having a fit of the sulks over his father’s love life (I wouldn’t say he’s cold, our Simon, as much as immature) and SUFFERING from, yet again, thwarted love. Because letting your detective have a normal love life would be—what? Too cheerful? Hill’s actually not all that good at the love bits and certainly not great with sex, which sort of happens offstage and is referred to in a very offhand British way without anyone ever getting worked up. I always find myself thinking of that scene in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life where John Cleese and his wife make mundane small talk while performing the act for a classroom full of bored schoolboys.There’s an extensive subplot about a widow who finds love, creating conflict with her born-again son, which I have decided was put in there partly as a red herring and partly to express Hill’s obvious dislike of evangelical Christianity, which she seems to conflate with the charismatic speaking-in-tongues end of the denominational pool. Faith is definitely something that Hill’s interested in, but she seems to prefer a more traditionalist Anglican flavor. I always start laughing when narrator Steven Pacey does his Anglican priest voice…Oh yeah, and somewhere in there there’s that serial killer who shoots at brides. Much as I howl at yet ANOTHER serial killer, I would have liked this murder mystery to have contained a little more murder mystery, and this plot really wasn’t bad and should have been made more of. But there was all that subplot and soap opera, and when the crime resolution came it was kind of pushed into a corner and rushed over. Just another day in the life of an English detective, eh chaps?

OK, I understand that when a sort of formula is working you may not want to mess with it, but four books, four serial killers, only one little English cathedral town? Beloved characters: you ought to move. Hill is obviously much more than a competent writer, so I'm confused by the repeat plot. Also, the personal events that befall the main Serailler family are SO SAD, and not in a useful way. I honestly don't understand why some of the hard things that happen to them do in this book--it just seemed overly cruel. What's the message--that life really is this hard? Okay. But still, reading this sequel is a tearful lesson about The Random and Cruel Acts of the World, without much of the nuanced and interesting reflections on faith or belief that infused the other books. I hope the next one (which I will certainly read) brings a little relief.

Do You like book The Vows Of Silence (2015)?

Loved it! I am enjoying the Simon Serrailler mysteries though I don't find him appealing. In the last book in the series, Simon's physician sister Cat, her doctor husband Chris, and their 3 kids Sam, Hannah, and Felix went off to Australia where Cat and Simon's triplet brother Ivo lives and works as a flying doctor. Ivo is as icy cold as their dad, retired doctor Richard, and they only went because Chris wanted to so badly despite Cat hating Australia and not wanting to go. Simon and Cat's long
—Terri Lynn

I love Susan' Hill's books, though there is a sameness about them (serial killer terrorizes Lafferton). She's an excellent writer, reminding me of Elizabeth George only less wordy. She employs multiple points of view - including the victims and the killer - but it works very well; you always know who is speaking/thinking/experiencing the story. Her characters are appealing, especially the sleuth (Simon Serrailler) and his sister Cat. She weaves in and out of their family problems, his struggles as a policeman, his romantic entanglements (or avoidance of them). Susan Hill is one author I can depend on - I will always get her latest.
—Karen Pullen

Simon Serailler is not a dynamic enough character to be the centre of these crime/ mystery novels. He is no Andy Dalziel, Inspector Morse or Adam Dalgleish. I suspect he is meant to come across as a brooding loner type but to me he just seems to be a bit of a grump - unable to take pleasure in anything much at all, and resentful of some of his own family, in this novel he is disgruntled at his widowed father for having a relationship with Judith. The plot itself is a bit bleak, there seemed to be a constant stream of characters diagnosed or dying of cancer, including Simon's sisterCat's husband Chris who underwent a very rapid demise from a brain tumour. This is before you even consider the serial killer, who was busy popping off recent or soon to be brides. Despite this, it was still a reasonable read, and a quick one too, but it was lacking in the customary charm and cosiness usually to be found in English village murder mysteries.

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