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The Comforts of Home, by Susan HIll

I have been a huge fan of Susan HIll since I read the seriously spooky The Woman In Black 30 years ago. So I was thrilled to be invited to join the tour to celebrate 20 years of her detective series featuring Simon Serrailler. I have read most of the books in the series but not recently and I was given book 9 which I haven’t read before.
Simon has suffered life changing injuries and goes to a remote island in Scotland to recuperate. The tranquility of the island is shattered by a murder and Simon agrees to help with the investigation…
The Comforts of Home is the 9th book in the Simon Serrailler police procedural series.
Simon needs to adapt to life following a catastrophic incident during his last case. I am assuming that this book follows directly from the previous one. There are no spoilers about the culprit but Simon’s situaton has been significantly impacted by recent events. His father has also been affected by accusations which I presume featured in an earlier book.
Simon is recuperating on a remote Scottish island. He is giving thought to his future with the police when he is asked to assist with a suspicious death investigation. There are personal elements to the book as Simon’s sister marries his boss and is thinking of a big career move. Her son needs to make a decision about the future and Simon’s father also faces a change in circumstances.
The writing style is easy to read and engaging. I really cared about Simon’s recovery and the personal family aspects. These are introduced strongly at the start whilst the murder isn’t disocvered until a third of the way through the book. Simon’s brother in law/boss is investigating a cold case of a missing person and this adds another layer to the plot as well as more connections between the characters.
The Comforts of Home is an enjoyable detective novel with a strong lead and supporting characters.

Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler novels are in a league of their own – well-written and full of drama. At their heart is a very English setting, the idyllic fictional cathedral town of Lafferton, and a very English Detective, Chief Superintendent Serrailler, in the pursuit of classic whodunits. But there’s nothing old-fashioned about the crimes and nothing cosy about the lives of the characters, including Serrailler’s.
‘Hill’s Serrailler novels are as addictive as Rankin’s’ Scotsman
‘Eagerly awaited by all aficionados of crime fiction’ P. D. James
‘Not all great novelists can write crime fiction but when Susan Hill does the result is stunning’ Ruth Rendell
The Comforts of Home book blurb
Recovering on a remote Scottish island, his peace doesn’t last long. He is pulled in to a murder inquiry by the overstretched local police. A newcomer, popular with the islanders, has died in perplexing circumstances. The community’s reactions are complicated and fragile.
It’s good to be back on the job. And when Simon returns to Lafferton, an arsonist is on the rampage and a woman whose daughter disappeared some years before is haunting the police station seeking closure. She will not let it rest, and Simon is called in to do a cold-case review.
At home, Simon is starting to get used to having a new brother-in-law – in the form of his Chief Constable Kieron Bright. His sister Cat has embarked on a new way of practising medicine, and his nephew Sam is trying to work out what to do with his life. And then their tricky father, Richard, turns up again like a bad penny.
In this gripping new Serrailler thriller, Simon’s personal and professional lives intertwine in more complex and demanding ways than ever before.

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