The Pure in Heart continues the story of Simon Serrailler, the Detective Chief Inspector to whom readers were introduced in The Various Haunts of Men. Simon is on vacation in Venice, trying to come to terms with the brutal murder of a young woman who had been in love with him. But soon a telephone call summons him home.
The Various Haunts of Men met with such a response that Overlook is publishing this second Simon Serralier mystery as quickly as possible to satisfy Susan Hill’s new fans and to attract even more readers to her particular brand of ghastly enterprise.
A little boy is snatched as he stands with his satchel at the gate of his home, waiting for his lift to school. A severely handicapped young woman hovers between life and death. And an ex-con finds it impossible to go straight. The Pure in Heart is a crime novel arising from character and circumstances, about the psychology of crime, something more enthralling than plain thrillers or whodunits.
In Lafferton, Serralier’s town, Susan Hill has brilliantly created a community with detail so sharp and true to life that readers feel that these people are their own neighbors and friends. But there is terror and evil in their very midst.
There are no easy answers in The Pure of Heart, a magnificent novel about the realities of police work and the sometimes desperate humanity of family. Haunting and truthful, gripping and convincing, it is a thrilling achievement.