The nature of death, grieving and hope are examined in this, the second Simon Serrailler novel by Susan Hill. To give these books a label – thriller, crime novel, detective novel – is to underplay the complexity of the subject. It is an examination of human nature.
A nine-year boy waits by the garden gate for his lift to school, but is never seen again. A severely handicapped young woman dies. Both families struggle with grief, reacting in different ways, ways which cause tension within the family. And involved in the mix is a local man, an ex-con newly released from prison, struggling to stay straight, struggling with the prejudices of his family. Reading this book will make you examine your own prejudices, your attitude to death and dying, it will make you as ‘what would I do if…’
The small cathedral town of Lafferton is like an extra character in Susan Hill’s Serrailler novels. Surrounded by wooden hills and deep ravines, it is at once brooding and at the same time reassuring.
Read my review of the first Simon Serrailler novel The Various Haunts of Men.
‘The Pure in Heart’ by Susan Hill, Simon Serrailler #2 [UK: Vintage] Buy now
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE PURE IN HEART by @susanhillwriter #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-1oE