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Mørkets fare (2006)

af Susan Hill

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Serier: Simon Serrailler (3)

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6474635,485 (3.66)126
Fiction. Mystery. HTML:

We met Simon Serrailler first in The Various Haunts of Men and got to know him better in The Pure in Heart. Susan Hill's third crime novel, The Risk of Darkness-perhaps even more compulsive and convincing than its predecessors-explores the crazy grief of a widowed husband, whose derangement turns into obsession and threats, violence and terror. Meanwhile, handsome, introverted Simon Serrailler, whose cool reserve has broken the hearts of several women, finds his own heart troubled by the newest recruit to the Cathedral staff: a feisty female Anglican priest with red hair. The Risk of Darkness is truly the work of a writer at the top of her form.

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Engelsk (47)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (48)
Viser 1-5 af 48 (næste | vis alle)
Having bought three of this series, not realising I had disliked book 1 under a different cover when read in 2019, I thought I'd better try the next - I don't have volume 2 but from a perusal of Goodreads reviews, it seems not a lot happens in it anyway. The missing child story pursued in the present volume begins in that book but is not resolved until this one.

Serrailler is drafted in by North Yorkshire CID to advise, as they also have had a boy go missing in their area. Then a girl is kidnapped, but this time there is a witness and more to go on. Meanwhile, various events occur to other characters who have links with Simon's sister Cat who is a local doctor, or are neighbours of the murderer.

Although this story wasn't so annoying as the first, it had several weaknesses. Without giving too much away, I found the identity of the murderer totally unconvincing. The author was forced to admit, in discussions between police characters, that this kind of crime is almost never committed by such a person and in the handful of real-life cases (which are name-checked), it was always as a co-criminal with the far more likely perpetrator. Secondly, there is nothing to explain why the character not only travelled to Yorkshire to continue the killing spree, but took all the bodies there to hide them. That is a glaring plot hole.

Other threads of the story remain unresolved. It's never made clear what happens to the murderer ultimately, or to the person's mother after she develops an unreasoning mania that her child couldn't possibly be guilty, and her luckless second husband who has great grounds for divorce in my opinion. Nor is the thread involving the neighbour and neighbour's child given any kind of closure. I'm not sure if the writer was trying to hint that the child would turn out like the murderer who she admired.

I didn't like the plethora of violence against women. Three different women are assaulted in the first few chapters, and in two cases the culprit is either never identified or else not until late in the book when it is accompanied by yet more extreme violence. The third woman misguidedly refuses to press charges despite the seriousness of the case, which leaves a seriously disturbed individual at large, free to murder a young mother. Oddly, despite her soul searching in a scene with Serrailler, the third woman shows no remorse at the fact that if she had only gone through with charging the culprit, he wouldn't have been at large to attack yet another woman. I believe UK police can proceed with charges without the victim's consent, although it makes prosecution more problematic especially if the victim is a hostile witness. But the fact that the individual concerned was a danger to the public and mentally unbalanced should surely have been grounds to either charge him or section him under mental health legislation.

Serrailler mopes around in this book, brooding on the death of the protagonist of book one, whom he took little notice of at the time apart from inappropriately inviting her to dinner (given that she was his subordinate two ranks below him). It seems that in book 2, Diana, a businesswoman with whom he had an 'arrangement' for years, suddenly fell for him obsessively to the point of stalking him. Yet when he meets her again in London, he is sure she will be happy to resume their former relationship of convenience, and ends up in bed with her, demonstrating yet again his total immaturity, cluelessness about how other people feel, and lack of ethics. He then spends the rest of the book avoiding her.

He later latches onto another female character for no good reason and, after getting a good talking to by Cat about his awful behaviour towards women, is rebuffed by the object of his desire. This should make him realise his behaviour is unacceptable, but having started the third of the books I acquired, I can see that the lesson is only superficial and temporary. Apart from his drawing side-line and unredeemedly bad treatment of women, he is introverted and a bland character. His subordinate Nathan, now a sergeant, is the only light relief in the book, as in volume one. By the end of the book, all sorts of relationships are breaking up, including family ones, leaving things more open perhaps for growth. Altogether I would rate this as an OK 2 stars. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
I really enjoy Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler novels. The Risk of Darkness is the third in the series of crime novels, and it's a lot different to the first two. There is much more violence in this installment, it's a lot darker and less hopeful, and Simon isn't his usual suave, loveable self. In fact, he's a bit of a dick, especially in the way that he treats women. We've seen this before, but this book magnifies this trait.

The story picks up where The Pure in Heart leaves off - with children disappearing from northern towns. In the last book there are no clues to the kidnapper, but there is a trail to follow here. It's a bleak storyline, as in any book where the young and innocent are being targeted.

It's still one of Hill's immensely readable books. The bleakness and the violence are hard to take, which is why I rated it with less stars than her first two. I'm still looking forward to the fourth installment in the series, and that book is winging its way across the Atlantic as I write. ( )
  ahef1963 | Oct 17, 2022 |
My third Serrailler mystery. Hill likes to interlace a real police procedural with deeply delineated characters, and with a common thread. In this case, the thread is death itself, in the various ways it occurs and how it affects those left behind. Simon is seeing himself in a more critical light, which promises more development in the subsequent books (I hope). And Hill leaves loose threads, as she has done before. I'm looking forward to book #4. ( )
  ffortsa | Aug 26, 2021 |
The third Serrailler mystery, and just as good as the first two. Suspenseful and dark, and Hill continues to more thoroughly develop her characters in this really excellent series. ( )
  JBD1 | Jul 2, 2018 |
Good, not the Best in the series... but she's different, not rote at all... similar to E. George in some ways, with touch of Tara French. ( )
  kmajort | Feb 9, 2018 |
Viser 1-5 af 48 (næste | vis alle)
Blighted souls and the bleak lives they lead overwhelm the plot of Hill's diffuse and meandering third thriller to feature Chief Insp. Simon Serrailler.
 

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Pacey, StevenFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet

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Fiction. Mystery. HTML:

We met Simon Serrailler first in The Various Haunts of Men and got to know him better in The Pure in Heart. Susan Hill's third crime novel, The Risk of Darkness-perhaps even more compulsive and convincing than its predecessors-explores the crazy grief of a widowed husband, whose derangement turns into obsession and threats, violence and terror. Meanwhile, handsome, introverted Simon Serrailler, whose cool reserve has broken the hearts of several women, finds his own heart troubled by the newest recruit to the Cathedral staff: a feisty female Anglican priest with red hair. The Risk of Darkness is truly the work of a writer at the top of her form.

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