Susan Hill is one of my favorite authors. The Shadows in the Street is her fifth novel in her series featuring detective Simon Serrailler.

Here’s what P. D. James has to say about Susan Hill: “A new crime novel by Susan Hill is an event eagerly awaited by all aficionados of fiction who enjoy a mystery best when excitement, suspense and superb storytelling are allied to psychological truth and fine writing.”

Both the criminal mind and the very human psyche are explored in these novels, and in the newest installment, Serrailler is enjoying a few weeks off in Scotland after a particularly grueling case when he’s called back to Lafferton by the Chief Constable. Two prostitutes have been found strangled in the small cathedral town. The public is up in arms over a potential serial killer, and Serrailler is thrust into the thick of things, even while he tries to iron out matters within his own family.

Hill has made Serrailler’s family main characters in the series, and this one shows the devastation grief causes, and how patterns of behavior are forced to change. Living with mental illness is also a subplot. The women who frequent the streets are examined, with their reasons for their work shown to be as varied as their personalities. Hill never takes the reader on the expected course, and that keeps her novels refreshing and unexpected. Just when you think you have it figured out, you are proven wrong.

In the hands of this talented author, this leads to a brilliant read. Coupled with her compelling prose and intelligent moves, you will be searching for the next installment. Consistent high marks all around.

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