The Risk of Darkness

Publisher: Seal Books
Simon Serrailler’s story began in The Various Haunts of Men (about a serial killer) and continued with The Pure in Heart (about a kidnapped schoolboy). Susan Hill is not afraid to tackle difficult issues, nor to face up to the realities of stress in an ordinary English police station. Her third crime novel, The Risk of Darkness, even more compulsive and convincing, follows up the child abduction and explores the crazy grief of a widowed husband, a derangement which turns to obsession and threats, violence and terror.

Meanwhile, handsome, introverted Simon Serrailler, whose cool reserve has broken the hearts of several women, finds his own heart troubled by the newest recruit to the Cathedral staff: a feisty female Anglican priest with red hair…

The Risk of Darkness is packed with action and adventure. Like Various Haunts, it hinges on a terrific twist which comes as a complete surprise to the reader; and like The Pure in Heart, it deals in depth with complex daily problems.

From the Hardcover edition.



There was no fly and there should have been a fly. It was that sort of room. Grey linoleum. Putty walls. Chairs and tables with tubular metal legs. But in these places there was always a fly too, zizzing slowly up and down a window pane. Up and down. Up and down. Up.

The wall at the far end was...
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“These books succeed in harnessing all the genre’s addictive power while maintaining a complexity and fascination entirely their own. The Risk of Darkness reminds us that risk-taking, in fiction, as in life, sometimes pays off brilliantly.”

“Not all great novelists can write crime fiction, but when one like Susan Hill does, the result is stunning.” Ruth Rendell
“Hill has a genius for tackling controversial issues while paying tribute to the detail of ordinary people’s lives…The Risk of Darkness is an almost flawless novel.”

“For the first time in years P.D. James has serious competition”
–Literary Review

Praise for Susan Hill:
“I loved this book. Masterly and satisfying. The result is stunning.”
–Ruth Rendell

“This book must be judged as a potential successor to the great sequence of detective
writing by P.D. James and Ruth Rendell…excellent.”
Daily Telegraph (UK)

“Gripping…and subtle.”
Daily Mail (UK)

From the Hardcover edition.