The Betrayal Of Trust

Paperback | July 3, 2012

bySusan Hill

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"Not all great novelists can write crime fiction but when one like Susan Hill does the result is stunning."
—Ruth Rendell

A cold case comes back to life in this sixth book in the highly successful Simon Serrailler detective series "eagerly awaited by all aficionados" (P.D. James). Freak weather and flash floods all over southern England. Lafferton is under water and a landslide on the Moor has closed the bypass. As the rain slowly drains away, a shallow grave--and a skeleton--are exposed; 20 years on, the remains of missing teenager Joanne Lowther have finally been uncovered. The case is re-opened and Simon Serrailler is called in as senior investigating officer. Joanne, an only child, had been on her way home from a friend's house that night. She was the daughter of a prominent local businessman, Sir John Lowther. Joanne's mother, unable to cope, killed herself 2 years after Joanne disappeared. Cold cases are always tough, and in this latest in the acclaimed series from Susan Hill, Serrailler is forced to confront a frustrating, distressing and complex situation.


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From the Publisher

"Not all great novelists can write crime fiction but when one like Susan Hill does the result is stunning." —Ruth Rendell A cold case comes back to life in this sixth book in the highly successful Simon Serrailler detective series "eagerly awaited by all aficionados" (P.D. James). Freak weather and flash floods all over southern Englan...

SUSAN HILL's novels and short stories have won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham and John Llewellyn Rhys awards and been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She is the author of over 40 books, including the 5 previous Serrailler crime novels, The Various Haunts of Men, The Pure in Heart, The Risk of Darkness, The Vows of Silence and The Sh...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 8 × 5.19 × 0.76 inPublished:July 3, 2012Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307399168

ISBN - 13:9780307399168

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Customer Reviews of The Betrayal Of Trust

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A page-turning, thought-provoking, addictive read Reason for Reading: Next in the series. I love this series! And eagerly await each new installment which, unfortunately only come out every other year, but boy! is it worth the wait! Simon is working on the cold case of skeletal remains which were easily identified by a genetic abnormality but soon after the finding of this body more remains are found close by; this time in a shallow grave. Simon must decide if they are related and how. This time the victim is an unknown and proves difficult to identify. A most intriguing and stimulating case with many twists, turns and avenues. As usual with Hill's books, while the case is the main focus of the book it does not take up the whole spotlight. Simon's character and personal life, along with that of his family continues on in an established story arc throughout the books. The other topic that permeates this book is that of the elderly/terminally ill and death. Susan Hill explores this theme from many angles giving us characters who are doctors, nurses, caregivers and patients who are simply elderly, suffering from dementia or dying from terrible terminal illnesses. She explores hospice care, private clinics, those who are content with their life and now death and those who are angry at the world for their illness and impending death. She explores the controversial issue of self-assisted suicide from both sides , while making a sympathetic character who deals with the issue and at the same time dealing with the crime that it is in England and most of the civilized world. A page-turning, thought-provoking, addictive read. And a highly recommended series. For some reason I started this one in the middle, so I have to keep reminding myself I have the first three books awaiting my reading pleasure.
Date published: 2012-02-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Character driven series 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.
Date published: 2012-01-23

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Severe Weather Warning The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning for much of south-west England from noon today. Storms will affect the whole region. There will be torrential rain and high winds, reaching gale force at times, with gusts reaching 80 miles per hour in exposed places. There is a risk of flash flooding in many areas and drivers are warned to take extra care. Flood alerts are now in place for the following rivers in the south and south-western region . . . The rain had been steady all afternoon as Simon Serrailler drovehome from Wales and the wedding of an old friend. Now, as hepoured himself a whisky, it was lashing against the tall windowsof his flat and the gale was roaring up between the houses ofthe Cathedral Close. The frames rattled. He had spread out some of his recent drawings on the long table, to begin the careful business of selection for his next exhibition. The living room was a serene, secure refuge, the lamps casting soft shadows onto the walls and elm floor. Simon was no lover of weddings but he had known Harry Blades since university, after which their paths had diverged, Harry to go into the army, Simon to Hendon, but they had kept in touch, tried to meet every year, and he had been happy to play best man on the previous day. He was even happier to be home in his own calm space, sketchbooks open, drink in hand. For his last birthday his stepmother had bought him the Everyman hardback of Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour trilogy and later, after making an omelette, he was going to settle down on the sofa with it, plus a second whisky. The storm blew louder and a couple of times made him jump as a burst of hail spattered against the glass and a razor blade of lightning sliced down the sky at the same time as thunder crashed directly overhead. ‘Spare a thought for those who have to be out in it,’ his mother would have said. He spared one, for police on patrol, the fire and rescue services, the rough sleepers. It was not a night to let a cat out. In the Deerbon farmhouse, the cat Mephisto slept on the kitchen sofa, head to tail-tip and deep in the cushion, with no intention of venturing out of his flap into the howling night. Cat pulled back the curtain but it was impossible to see anything beyond the water coursing down the window. Sam was in bed reading, Hannah was writing her secret diary, Felix asleep. It was not her children but her lodger Cat was worried about. Molly Lucas, final-year medical student at Bevham General, had come to live with them five months ago and slotted straight into their lives so easily that it was hard to imagine the place without her. She was out during the day but always glad to look after the children any evening, was tidy, quiet, cheerful and anxious to learn as much from Cat as she could in the run-up to her exams. She relaxed by baking bread and cakes so that there was usually a warm loaf on the table and the tins were full. The children had taken to Molly from the start. She played chess with Sam and shared a mystifying taste in pop music with Hannah. Felix was in love with her. It had taken Cat a while to feel happy about inviting someone into the house. Even just having a lodger felt like too big a change. She knew she was afraid that somehow it would move her on yet another step from the old life with Chris. But once Molly had arrived she realised, not for the first time, that when something new came about, the old was not therefore obliterated. Less importantly, she no longer had to rely on her father and Judith to look after the children if she was on call or at choir practice. Once or twice recently, she had also accepted invitations to supper with old friends. Going out was not only good for her spirits but a different kind of freedom for the children – she had clung to them and it had been a long time after Chris’s death before she had stopped waking in terror that one of them was going to die too. It was after nine and she was worried. Molly had been working in the med. school library. She biked to and from the hospital, a well-equipped, fast and efficient cyclist, but this was no storm to be out in on two wheels and the severe weather warning had gone up a grade since the last time Cat had tuned in to Radio Bevham. She had rung Molly’s mobile but it was switched off, tried the hospital but the library closed at six on Sundays. She went upstairs. Hannah was asleep, her diary with its little gilt lock put away in the top drawer of her chest, its key on a chain round her neck. Cat remembered the need of an eleven-yearold to keep a diary private, and the fury she had felt when her father had mocked her about her own. How much it had mattered. The wind sent something crashing. Rain was coming in through the cracks around two of the bedroom window frames and the ledges were full of water. The storm seemed to be trapped in the roof space and roaring to be let out. Thunder cracked, startling Felix, who shouted out but barely woke and was easily settled again. ‘This is how the world will end,’ Sam said casually, looking up from Journey to the Centre of the Earth as she went past. ‘Possibly, but not tonight.’ Cat did not wait for him to ask how she knew that, nor did she tell him to put his light out. He would debate until dawn if she let him and she had no need to worry about the reading – when he was tired, he simply fell asleep, lamp on, book in hand, and either she or Molly sorted him out when they went upstairs. Molly. Cat picked up the phone again. Just after midnight the river burst its banks. The car park of the supermarket on the Bevham Road was underwater within minutes, the streets and the lanes around the cathedral filled up, and in the grid of roads known as the Apostles water roared up through back gardens and pushed its way under doors into the terraced houses. The fire services were out but could do little in the dark, and it was too dangerous to try installing floodlights in the high wind. The storm washed a ton of debris down from the Moor onto the road below, causing a lorry to overturn. The road that skirted the Hill was impassable and the houses nearby now at risk. ‘Si, were you asleep?’ ‘You’re joking. Are you OK?’ ‘We are, but Molly isn’t back and she’s not answering her phone.’ ‘Which way does she usually come?’ ‘Depends . . . at this time of night probably the bypass – it’s quiet and it’s quicker. What should I do? I rang the hospital but they don’t think she’s there.’ ‘Could she have gone home with a friend rather than risk it on her bike?’ ‘She’d have rung me.’ ‘Right, I’ll put in a call . . . there’s a red alert now and there’ll be plenty of people around. If she’s had an accident they’ll find her.’ ‘Thanks, I’d be grateful. Molly’s so reliable, she’d always let me know. How was the wedding?’ ‘Fine.’ ‘How did she look?’ ‘Who?’ ‘The bride, duh.’ ‘Oh God, I don’t know . . . fine, I guess, beautiful, all that sort of thing.’ ‘Not going to ask what she was wearing.’ ‘No, no, I can tell you that. It was white. Now go to bed – I’ll ring if I hear anything.’ But she would lie awake until she had news. She made tea and settled down next to Mephisto, who had not stirred for several hours. The rain was still drumming on the roof. She had been reading a book about the lives of women in oppressive regimes, but after a couple of pages set it aside and got a battered paperback of a favourite Nancy Mitford novel from the shelf. Reading that was like eating porridge and cream, and slipped down in a similarly comforting way. Ten minutes later, Molly fell through the door, soaked and exhausted, having waded through flooded roads and then been blown off her bike. She had a badly cut hand and was shaken, but Cat gathered from her usual grin that it would take more even than this to crush her spirit.

Editorial Reviews

“Passionate and thematically provocative, it’s much more than a traditional police procedural.” —Winnipeg Free Press “The sixth book in the superb Simon Serrailler series is the best so far and that makes it a standout. If we’re looking for writers to join P. D. James and Ruth Rendell in the pantheon of Britain’s best, Hill is definitely on the list. She has plot, character, setting and mood in perfect position: The Betrayal of Trust shows just what she can do with all of them.” —Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail “Beautifully written.... It has the ring of truth on every page.... Touching, entirely believable.” —The Washington Post “A satisfying crime story as well as a fearless examination of controversial issues surrounding terminal illness.” —Daily Mail“The Betrayal of Trust isn’t only a page-turner—though it certainly fulfils that expectation—it’s also a thought-provoking novel about those who suffer and those who care for them.” —The Guardian “Compelling.... Fans and newcomers to Hill’s series will appreciate the characters’ deep humanity.” —Kirkus Reviews