• The Vows of Silence

  • Simon Serrailler 4
  • By: Susan Hill
  • Narrated by: Steven Pacey
  • Series: Simon Serrailler, Book 4
  • Length: 9 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 04-05-09
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 (436 ratings)


Gunmen are terrorising young women in the Cathedral town of Lafferton. What - if anything - links the apparently random murders? Is the marksman with a rifle the same person as the killer with a handgun? Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailler falls back on well tried police methods such as questioning neighbours and house-to-house searches. Simon has been promoted and is now with the Serious Incident Flying Taskforce, but he is still at heart a loner and these chilly murders are on his home territory.
©2008 Long Barn Books Ltd; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kirstine on 07-01-12

More than just a detective story

I've enjoyed several of the books in this series featuring DCI Simon Serrailer and thought this one especially good. Serrailer is a more unusual sort of policeman than that commonly depicted in detection fiction: much more interesting and sensitive and not exhibiting the clichés of being a cynical hard-drinking, smoking, junk-food-eating cop. In other detective series I get bored by the side stories of the detective's sad lives and emotional baggage, whereas, in this book, Serrailer's relationships with his sister and father add to the basic story and make the book a much more satisfying listen. It's a good detective story, too. The reader is excellent, which makes such a difference to an audio book.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Catherine on 19-08-09

Really Excellent

This series just gets better and better. Although I am not usually interested in "family drama" novels, these books are so well written that I have become really involved with the characters and the ongoing story of the interwoven families in the book kept me engrossed.
Although it could be read on its own, I would say that the book is best read after the first three. I hope that there will be more, as I am looking forward to finding out what happens next.
My only criticism is that there is one important loose end not tied up (I can't say what it is without revealing the end) but perhaps it will be dealt with in the next story.
Steven Pacey is excellent as the reader - not only fluent and good at accents, but a superb reminder of my favourite childhood television series!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Ruth on 21-11-10

taut writing, narrator perfect - read in order!!!

Susan Hill is a new (to me :) )British author I've been listening to/reading. It's always a pleasure to find an author you really like who has been writing for awhile, so there is a treasure trove of sorts to plunder. (Phil Rickman, Deborah Crombie (albeit an american who writes British mysteries,) and Christopher Fowler are other audible mystery recommendations (to me) with a collection of brilliant novels to revel in days, weeks or however much time you have to devote to listening to books.) I am constantly listening again and again to the Rickman and Crombie novels as well as Fowler's. I expect to do so with Ms. Hill's Serrailler books.

I normally do not write recommendations but feel motivated to do so because the Simon Serrailler books need to be read in order. (Note Ms. Hill states otherwise on her web site, however, . . ,) The reason? The stories, plot and characters lives, are built upon in each new book. Where one plot starts in an earlier novel, it continues on and into the the following books. By reading Vows of Silence first, I was flung into a world of which its foundations were set forth in the earlier novels. I hope audible picks up the first novel and the most recent one.

As I read the books available on audible backwards in time I realized how much more I would have enjoyed them if read in order. But for me, it just means I will get to read them again, now in order, and appreciate the characters as there were truly intended to be.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 07-11-14

I think I'm done

No criticism of the writing, only content. Too melodramatic, she has gone too far. Yes people die, life happens, but in the normal course of life there is usually small bright moments that sustain us. Everyone in this story is or should be contemplating death in a very very, yes, BLEAK way.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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