The Betrayal of Trust

Susan Hill is one of my favourite British writers (Kate Atkinson is another). The Betrayal of Trust is her 6th book in the Simon Serrallier crime series. 14 year old Harriet Lowther disappears one day at a bus stop on the way to meet her mother at the hairdresser, and is never seen again. 16 years later, during a flash flood, her remains are discovered and Simon Serrallier is called upon to reopen the case that led nowhere when they first tried to solve her disappearance. Trawling through the old evidence and trying to find new clues to her death seems an impossible task, especially with the staff shortages and economic cutbacks in the Lafferton police force. And hovering in the background are two additional stories… one involving dementia and assisted living and one of assisted suicide. It sounds a depressing read, but it’s not, it’s fascinating and it makes you stop and think. As the book jacket says “it takes a brave, truthful look at old age and the associated problems of terminal illness”. Hill is a great writer and everything gels really well. And for a complete change of direction, while trying desparately to find young Harriet’s killer, Simon almost becomes unhinged by the realization that he’s fallen in love – with a married woman. Will there be more to come in future books about Rachel Wyatt. I think so. Lately I’ve picked up and put down lots of books without finishing them because I lost interest, but not this one. This is a good book. Susan Hill doesn’t disappoint.

 

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