REVIEW: THE COMFORTS OF HOME, BY SUSAN HILL

 

Susan Hill—the Man Booker Prize nominee and winner of the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham, and John Llewellyn Rhys awards—returns with a hair-raising new novel, the ninth book in one of the most acclaimed mystery series of our time. Featuring the enigmatic and brooding chief police inspector Simon Serrailler, this intricate and pulse-pounding series follows a collection of grisly crimes plaguing the city of Lafferton—and The Comforts of Home is the most chilling and unputdownable installment yet.In this gripping new thriller, Simon, eager to be back at work after recovering from a near-fatal injury, takes on a cold-case review for the Lafferton police about a girl who disappeared some years before. Meanwhile his family adjusts to changes of its own; namely his sister’s marriage to Chief Constable Kieron Bright. But when events take an unfavorable turn for the Chief Constable and an arsonist goes on a deadly rampage in Lafferton, Simon’s personal and professional lives intertwine in more complex and devastating ways than ever before in the tradition of the fabulous mysteries of Ruth Rendell and P.D. James.

My Thoughts: The Comforts of Home is my first read in the series, and while the relationships between recurring characters were filled in nicely by the author, I often had the feeling that I had missed out on some important details.

Simon was an interesting character, and I liked following along with his internal monologues and reminiscences of cold cases in the past. I also enjoyed feeling for him as he struggled to deal with his prosthetic device after a serious accident. The storyline alternated between several characters and how they all fit together in the various cases. The settings veered from West London to a Scottish island, and in each one I could feel myself walking along with the characters.

The story rambled a bit, but I was intrigued throughout. 4 stars.

***
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