A Question of Identity: A Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler Mystery

Susan Hill. Overlook, $25.95 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4683-0050-5
At the outset of Hill’s solid seventh procedural featuring police detective Simon Serrailler (after 2011’s The Betrayal of Trust), the authorities provide builder Alan Keyes with a new identity to shield him from vigilantes after Keyes is acquitted in 2002 of the savage murders of three elderly women in Yorkshire. Ten years later, similar killings occur on Serrailler’s patch. The first victim, 80-year-old widow Elinor Sanders, is found tied to a chair in her home and strangled. In an additional macabre touch, her murderer has also clipped her toenails. Since a scene featuring the thoughts of the now 42-year-old Keyes precedes the discovery of Sanders’s corpse, most readers will soon suspect that he’s resumed his murderous ways. Not everyone will be engaged by the vicissitudes of Serrailler’s personal life (he’s dating a married woman with a severely ill husband) that fill the long bloodless sections between Keyes’s acquittal and the Sanders murder. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman-Schneider Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 11/01/2012
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