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Title: The Risk of Darkness
Author: Susan Hill
Number of Pages: 480 pages
My Rating: 2/5

Review: The Risk of Darkness is the third book in Susan Hill's Simon Serailler series. When I picked the book up in the library, I wasn't aware that this would not make much sense if one hasn't read the previous books. I've read other books in series (e. g. Kathy Reichs, Arnaldur Indridason) and those were all standalones (or at least could be read as standalones).

Anyway, the story here follows directly from the second book (Pure in Heart) where a kidnapper abducted little children in an English village. In The Risk of Darkness, the abductor gets arrested pretty quickly and for the rest of the book, Simon Serailler and his team try to find out about his/her motif. Unfortunately, when then book ends, the readers (and the police) aren't any wiser. There's another storyline taking place during all of this which sadly doesn't make much sense in connection with the main story and while reading I was wondering what purpose all these characters served which were introduced seemingly at random.

I have to admit that hardly ever has a main character in a book left me so cold. I really don't care about Simon Serailler and what happens to him. I'm not sure if this has to do with not having read the previous books or if he's just an undeveloped character in general. Arnaldur Indridason's Inspector Erlendur, for example, isn't really likeable in my opinion but he's never boring. Reading the Erlendur books, I wanted to know more about him (and his colleagues). About Simon Serailler? I really don't care. At all.

I'm not really sure if I'm going to bother reading the first two books in this series although I'm kind of wondering why so many people wrote glowing reviews about Susan Hill's books. Maybe The Risk of Darkness was the exception in an otherwise great series?


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