Susan Hill is a prolific and prize winning author, but a new name for me. Her latest release The Betrayal of Trust, is the sixth book in her Simon Serrailler crime novels.
Simon is Detective Chief Superintendent in Lafferton, a city in England. When a severe storm hits Lafferton, a skelton is unearthed. Could it be that of a young girl gone missing sixteen years ago? And then a second skeleton is found nearby.
Cat is Simon's sister - a doctor and supporter of the local hospice. Both Cat and Simon are dealing with budget cuts at their institutions and trying to do much with too little.
Although this is billed as a crime novel, Betrayal of Trust was much more than that. I was immediately drawn into the lives of the two main characters. Their emotions and thoughts rang true and allowed us into their quite believable lives, grappling with grief, loss, love, family relationships and the business of everyday living. This made it a much more 'personal' read.
A parallel plot line dealing with terminal illness, assisted suicide and mental illness brings a lot of food for thought to the table. Viewpoints for and against are discussed through a patient, doctor and family members. Hills tackles a very difficult topic quite thoughtfully.
These seemingly disparate stories converge in the most unlikely way. Death and betrayal in many forms permeates both plot lines.The ending is complete, but left with enough threads to continue with in book seven. And I want to see where Simon and Cat's lives go from here - I really liked these characters.
Those looking for a thoughtful, intelligent mystery will find it here. Definitely a satisfying read - read an excerpt of The Betrayal of Trust.