Thursday, April 22, 2010
Worth the Wait
My husband didn't believe me last night when I told him to "Be quiet! I want to finish this book! It's a mystery! And I've been waiting for it for nearly a year!"
But it is true. I finished the fourth book in Susan Hill's Simon Serrailler crime series last May and have been waiting expectantly for book five, The Shadows in the Street ever since. I'd had it pre-ordered since October for crying out loud, and it finally arrived in the past couple of weeks. I actually tried to hold off reading it, but it didn't work.
I've written about his series before, here, here, here and here. This is not your typical mystery series. A lot of the story focuses on the people we've come to know over time and about the town they live in. Simon sometimes seems to be a secondary character in his own story! What stands out to me about these books is that the reader usually gets to know the victim before they become a victim. They are never just a nameless, faceless, victim, but a person, sometimes struggling, with a family and job and home and suddenly everything changes.
In this, the fifth installment in the series, someone is murdering prostitutes, but then the pattern changes and other women begin to disappear as well. There are a lot of other things going on, Simon's sister and father have had big changes in their lives, and a new clergyman has arrived at the cathedral who wants to make big changes not appreciated by all.
I cannot put my finger on why I enjoy this series so much. While I enjoy mysteries, it's never just about the mystery for me. I'm much more interested in the people and the setting. Being an anglophile this setting appeals to me particularly. Sadly, I have another wait ahead of me - who knows when or if another book will be forthcoming? I'll be there, ready to read it.