Susan Hill’s novels and short stories have won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham, and John Llewellyn Rhys awards, and the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is the author of fifty-six books. The play adapted from her famous ghost story, The Woman in Black, has been running in the West End since 1989; it is also a major feature film. Her crime novels featuring DCS Simon Serrailler are currently being adapted for TV.
Susan Hillthe Man Booker Prize nominee and winner of the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham, and John Llewellyn Rhys awardsreturns with a gripping new novel, the latest chapter in one of the most acclaimed mystery series of our time.
From the outside, the cathedral town of Lafferton seems idyllic, but in many ways it is just like any other place. It suffers from the same kinds of crime, is subject to the same pressures from a rapidly changing world, and has the same hopes and fears as any number of towns up and down the land.
When Simon Serrailler is called in by Lafferton’s new Chief Constable, Kieran Bright, he is met by two plainclothes officers, who ask him to take the principal role in a difficult, potentially dangerous undercover operation. He must leave town immediately, without telling anyonenot even his girlfriend Rachel, who has only just moved in with him.
Meanwhile, Simon's sister Cat is facing difficult choices at work, as Lafferton’s hospice closes its bedded unitsand at home, as her daughter is presented with a glittering opportunity that they would have to struggle to afford. And all is not well with Simon and Cat's stepmother, Judith, either.
To complete his special operation, Simon must inhabit the mind of the worst kind of criminal. This takes its toll on Simon andas the investigation unfoldsalso on the town and some of its most respected citizens.
“Not all great novelists can write crime fiction, but when one like Susan Hill does it, the result is stunning.” —Ruth Rendell
“As every Trollope reader knows, English cathedral towns can be hotbeds of viciousness and vice. And so it is in Lafferton, where Susan Hill sets her thoughtful mysteries.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Beautifully written . . . Hill is giving us a timeless panorama of life and death in an English town, one in which a murder investigation is only one drama among many.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Hill can take us anywhere, keeping us interested . . . She knows how to keep those pages turning.” —Chicago Sun-Times