Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Best of 2011

One of the many items [old and new] enjoyed and recommended by Burbank Public Library staff during 2011 for your consideration:

The Betrayal of Trust, by Susan Hill

The quiet Cathedral town of Lafferton is struck by a flash flood that unearths a 16-year-old cold case. A shallow grave holding the remains of missing teenager Harriet Lowther is revealed as the flood waters recede, and Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler has been assigned to reopen the case.

One of Cat Deerbon's patients, a middle-aged woman named Jocelyn, has been diagnosed with a debilitating disease. Rather than face a slow, painful death, she begins to consider assisted suicide before becoming totally incapacitated. Meanwhile, the Chief Constable is on sick leave and sends Simon Serrailler to the Lord Lieutenant's banquet in her place, with life-changing results.

Hill ties all these threads into a captivating narrative that is part thriller, part police procedural, and part morality play. Her characters are truly engaging and nicely balanced. I thoroughly enjoyed The Betrayal of Trust, and would highly recommend it to fans of Deborah Crombie and Elizabeth George. This is the sixth entry in the Simon Serrailler series and while it certainly stands alone, it's always most rewarding to start the series at the beginning.

Reviewed by Aunt Agatha

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