Thursday, September 24, 2009

Staff Pick - Susan Hill

Perhaps you have heard of the prolific British author Susan Hill. She is probably most famous for the classic horror story "The Woman in Black" which relates the haunting testimony of a young lawyer who records in detail the nightmarish events of his stay in a house on a marsh in northern England, and the terrible events that alter his life forever. Another well known title is "Mrs. de Winter", a follow-up to Daphne du Maurier's "Rebecca" telling of what occurred after the fire at Manderley.

Susan Hill, the recipient of several prestigious literary awards, is the author of many children's books and she is also a playwright and has edited several anthologies of short stories.

In the past few years she has produced a four book (so far) mystery series set in England's West Country featuring British policeman Simon Serrailler. The novels are written with a sound knowledge of British police procedure and a unique understanding of human motivation and the details of daily life. A first rate detective story with a cunning twist at the end, the first book in this series "The Various Haunts of Men" is one of my favorite mystery novels. The other three novels in the series are: "The Pure in Heart", "The Risk of Darkness" and "The Vows of Silence".

Recently she has published a novella, "The Beacon". A small gem, this story portrays the life of the spinster daughter of a farming family set on a remote English hillside. The novella is so well written that you can almost hear the wind battering the old farmhouse and the reader feels the protagonist's mixed emotions when following the death of her parents a family secret in revealed...

A versatile author who is equally adept writing several different genres, Susan Hill is an author not to be missed.

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