Cover image for The Benefit of Hindsight
The Benefit of Hindsight
Physical Description:
336 p. ;

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Serrailler must confront his demons as Lafferton experiences a series of shocking crimes in this 10th book in Susan Hill's shattering crime series

Susan Hill stuns readers once again in The Benefit of Hindsight , the 10th book in her celebrated mystery series. Now recuperated after the violent incident that cost him his arm--and nearly his life--DCS Serrailler has returned to work, though he prefers to spend his spare time sketching the medieval angels being restored on the cathedral roof. With crime rates down, Lafferton has been quiet, until one night when two men open their front door to a distressing scene. Serrailler makes a serious error of judgment when handling the incident, and the stress of this, combined with the ongoing trauma of losing his arm, takes its toll. In the tradition of the fabulous mysteries of Ruth Rendell and P. D. James, The Benefit of Hindsight is Susan Hill's best work yet--a chilling new addition to a highly acclaimed series.

Author Notes

Susan Hill 's novels and short stories have won the Whitbread Book, Somerset Maugham, and John Llewellyn Rhys awards and the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year and have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The play adapted from her famous ghost novel, The Woman in Black , has been running in the West End since 1989.

Reviews 2

Kirkus Review

Serial robbers turn to murder when a cop just returned from leave keeps their early strikes under wraps in the English town of Lafferton.Recovered as much as he can from the loss of his arm, Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler has achieved enough proficiency with his prosthetic arm to feel ready for his next case. A robbery seems so carefully planned that Simon is sure the burglars will strike again as long as they think no one's on to them, so he orders his officers to keep the case quiet. Besides, getting his team to alert the neighbors of potential danger might take up valuable resources, and Simon's supervisor and brother-in-law, Kieron Bright, has emphasized the need to economize whenever possible. An especially timely infusion to the department's budget comes in the form of a new van donated by Declan McDermid and his wife, Cindy. At the reception to celebrate the gift and honor the donors, Simon watches as his sister, Cat Deerbon, who's a doctor, chats up Cindy as a possible friend and new patient of the private medical practice Cat's working for. But when Cat goes to visit Cindy the next day, she finds the house robbed, Declan hurt, and Cindy killed. Simon struggles to balance his professional insights with his newfound health concerns. He keeps having dizziness and heart events that medical professionals persist in diagnosing as anxiety, though he's certain that a cup of coffee will cure all his ills. Cat is meanwhile absorbed by pregnant Carrie Pegwell, a new patient convinced there's something wrong with her unborn baby despite medical evidence that prompts Cat to guarantee a healthy birth and child. As Simon and Cat each wrap up their stories, they compare notes about how hindsight would have been helpful, then shrug it off in a way that might have readers wondering what it's all been for.Death, death, death, and more death. Kind of a bummer, really. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Man Booker--shortlisted Hill's slow-burning, character-driven novel, the tenth in her Simon Serrailler series, combines two mysteries with a tale of personal strife. Lafferton, England, DCI Serrailler is back at work after losing his arm to violence. He's barely holding up, with panic attacks threatening to derail his career, when a decision goes badly wrong, and he's blamed for the death of a local woman. At the same time, his sister, Dr. Cat Deerbon, is pulled into the twilight world of prenatal depression when one of her patients can't shake the feeling that her baby is doomed and later can't show the child any love, a situation that's meticulously and sensitively portrayed by Hill (The Comforts of Home, 2018). The question of what will become of the unfortunate mother and baby lies beneath an intimate look at wrenching choices and their aftermath. This is one to hand to Tana French fans and all who enjoy a mix of the personal and the mysterious.