The Soul of Discretion: A Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler Mystery

Susan Hill. Overlook, $26.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4683-0145-8
In Hill’s subpar eighth crime novel based in Lafferton, England (after 2012’s A Question of Identity), the authorities hit a dead end investigating a child-porn ring and send Chief Supt. Simon Serrailler undercover to Stitchford Therapeutic Community Prison. At Stitchford, doctors use intense psychotherapy to try to rehabilitate sex offenders, one of whom is Will Fernley—a criminal who could lead the police to his cohorts in the porn ring, if he would only talk. Simon’s job is to gain Fernley’s confidence. Once inside, Simon can only communicate with the outside world via a phone disguised as a watch. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Simon, his father, Richard, rapes an acquaintance of Richard’s. The victim wrestles with whether she should press charges, but this aspect of the story remains underdeveloped. Toward the end, a couple of plot contrivances, one of which involves the watch phone, undermine the realism of the rest of the novel. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman-Schneider Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 01/02/2015
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-7011-8764-4
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-09-957594-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5012-5642-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-7997-3689-9
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