Monday, September 24, 2007

Review: The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill

The Various Haunts of Men by Susan Hill is my favorite type of British mystery. It is much like a P.D. James or Ruth Rendell novel. Set in a cathedral town it centers on the disappearance of two local women, who disappear while walking on The Hill, which looms over the city. There is no evidence that they've been harmed, but DS Freya Graffham has a feeling that they are dead and convinces her boss, DCI Simon Serailler to let her investigate. Simon is a mysterious loner who Freya immediately falls in love with. Meanwhile, Simon's sister Dr. Cat Deerbon is trying to stop quack new age doctors from "treating" people in the town. These various plot lines seem to be traveling down different roads and, indeed, in the end they don't really converge. But they all overlap in some way and make for an interesting and engaging thriller that has a knack for making the characters come alive. I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of the second novel in the series.

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