cover image The Vows of Silence: A Simon Serrailler Mystery

The Vows of Silence: A Simon Serrailler Mystery

Susan Hill, . . Overlook, $24.95 (328pp) ISBN 978-1-59020-245-6

In Hill's unremarkable fourth novel to feature Chief Insp. Simon Serrailler (after 2008's The Risk of Darkness ), Serrailler and his team race against time to stop a killer who's gunning down young women, apparently at random. Newlywed Melanie Drew is the first victim, shot at close range inside her flat in Lafferton. The killer shifts method for his second attack, using a rifle to shoot into a crowd outside a nightclub. Next, he uses a handgun to murder a young mother in front of her toddler. The variety of approaches leads the police to consider whether two different killers are at work, even as Serrailler's sergeant finds the visits of Drew's widowed husband to the scenes of the subsequent crimes suspicious. Hill does a decent job of generating suspense with sections from the murderer's point of view, but many readers will lament the lack of fair-play clues to his identity. Hill is also the author of the acclaimed horror novel The Woman in Black . (Nov.)