Title: A Question of Identity
Author: Susan Hill
First published January 1, 2012
In the newly built Duchess of Cambridge Close, elderly residents are moving in to the sheltered accommodation despite the bitter cold. However, one snowy night, an old lady is brutally murdered.
DCS Simon Serrailler and his team are called in to investigate the bizarre circumstances surrounding her death. With little evidence to go on, they keep some details secret while they desperately search for a match.
But as they soon discover, the killer will strike again, leaving behind the same tell-tale signature. Can Serrailler and his team catch the murderer before it’s too late?
A Question of Identity is a gripping mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
About the Author
Susan Hill was born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, in 1942. Her love for theatre and literature began when she attended Scarborough Convent School.
In 1958, her family moved to Coventry, where her father found work in car and aircraft factories. Hill attended Barr’s Hill, a girls’ grammar school, with Jennifer Page, who later became the first Chief Executive of the Millennium Dome.
Hill took A levels in English, French, History, and Latin before continuing on to King’s College London where she studied English. During her first year, she published her first novel, The Enclosure, which was criticized by The Daily Mail for its sexual content.
Within the next six years, Hill published nine more novels, including I’m the King of the Castle and Strange Meeting. In 1975, she married Shakespeare scholar Stanley Wells, and they settled in Stratford upon Avon.
Hill became a mother to two daughters, Jessica and Clemency. Recently, she founded Long Barn Books, a publishing company that releases one work of fiction each year.
A Question of Identity by Susan Hill is a crime novel with a captivating narrative structure, filled with twists and turns that keep the readers engaged throughout the story. Hill is an established British author, known for her critically acclaimed works like The Woman in Black and The Small Hand.
This book is the seventh installment in her Simon Serrailler series. The novel tells the story of Simon Serrailler, a detective inspector in his thirties who is returning to work after recovering from a near-fatal injury.
The plot revolves around the investigation of a series of murders in a small community that seem to be motivated by extreme religious beliefs. As the case unfolds, Simon struggles with his personal life and his relationship with his sister, who is battling cancer.
The author explores various themes such as faith, mental illness, family dynamics, and social structure through the different characters in the story. The character development in the book is subtle yet impactful, and the psychological depth that Hill portrays is impressive.
The novels setting in a small town and its portrayal of the tensions between different classes and religious sects give it a unique historical and cultural significance. Hill has a keen sense of pacing and builds suspense masterfully throughout the novel.
The writing style is descriptive yet concise, and the author employs a third-person omniscient narrative mode, which allows her to switch between different character perspectives seamlessly. However, the book’s climax feels rushed, and it would have been more satisfying if Hill had taken more time to resolve some of the plot’s loose ends.
Despite this minor flaw, A Question of Identity is a well-crafted novel that provides a fresh perspective on crime fiction. Hill’s ability to weave together the various thematic threads in the book earns her high praise.
The novel’s haunting imagery and memorable characters linger long after the reader has finished the last page. For fans of the genre, this book is a must-read.
Its also an excellent recommendation for readers who enjoy exploring deeper themes through fiction. It’s an interesting book that can benefit readers who need to be emotionally involved with their reading selections.
Overall, a Question of Identity earns a 4/5 rating for its outstanding character development, descriptive writing style, and gripping narrative.