Cover Image: A Change of Circumstance

A Change of Circumstance

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Simon Serallier is a great character and this series flows. I love his family and his sister Cat. The present day issues the books feature are relatable as current problems.  This one highlights care for the elderly and grooming kids as drug runners.  The good guys are good and the bad guys are bad and Simon is a good guy.  Complex in other ways, his character seeks love and connection that relates back to his heartbreak from the very first book in the series that wowed the reader. Best read as a series.

Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
Mystery series authors must balance on the knife's edge of keeping the plot ticking while spending time elucidating the depth and intentions of the characters involved.  I find Susan Hill to be one of the best in the business at managing this balance.  You will get your intriguing plot, that's always guaranteed.  You'll also get further insight into the Serrailer family's personal battles.  Invested in the characters and interest in the plot kindled, you'll race to finish the book while being slightly sad that you have to step out of the Serrailer world as it ends.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced reader's copy given in exchange for a fair review.
Was this review helpful?
A Change of Circumstance reminds me of the repositioning sails cruise ships do, to move, free of passengers, to another location to begin ferrying people in a different area.

This is listed as a mystery, but it's more of a domestic slice of life book about Simon and his family, and Brookie and his family, and Cat and all the DCs, and poor Mr Lionel, and the Chinese herbalist, and the junkie found dead of an OD/contaminated batch of heroin and a couple of animals and Olivia and whether Simon is going to get with Rachel and ugh.

The crime is laid out, so there's no spoilers in place by saying if you've read Oliver Twist, you've read this story before, only better in that book, because this crime is an homage to that. There's even an Olivia to help get any non-literary heathens up to speed on where they could track down the OG version.

Seriously, though, I really didn't care about Simon at all. This is the first book in the series I've read,but if the writing is like this in all of them - sometimes ending a chapter very abruptly, almost as if there's something that's been left out, or hopping between two or three heads without any break to help us figure out whose head we're in now - I won't be going back to book one, as I do with many other series, and I definitely won't be picking up/requesting the next one. The latter I really, really do not like: head-hopping only works if it's done well. This was not. The story was fractured and quite unenjoyable for that reason alone. Put all the rest in between all the domestic stuff, and it's a sandwich not worth eating.

Two out of five stars.

Thanks to Abrams/Overlook Press and NetGalley for the reading copy.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you Netgalley and ABRAMS, The Overlook Press for the eARC.
It was so good to be back in Laffington with DCS Simon Serrailler, his sister Cat and the rest of the gang! This time Simon is called to the body of a young man who overdosed.  He probably died by accident, but Simon decides to look deeper into the case.  He's very worried about the steep increase of drugs and the use of young children for pickups and deliveries in their area. Cat is extremely busy as well, visiting more patients than she can handle.  She's also worried when Wookie, her little dog, goes missing as well as about her eldest son Sam's obvious problems.  Her husband, who is also Simon's boss, is being a big baby about a torn ligament, Simon is, as usual, a commitment phobe, but all this adds to my enjoyment of the series.  Susan Hill is a wonderful author, she reminds me of P.D. James and Ruth Rendell...she's that good.  If only we didn't have to wait so long for no. 12 in the series!
Was this review helpful?
Organized drug distribution has come to Lafferton and children are being recruited as messengers. Serrailer recognizes the severity of the problem when a tragedy occurs. At the same time he's dealing with personal issues. The case is interesting but way too much of the book is taken up with Serrailler's and his family member's issues that at times one wonders what the central focus is.
Was this review helpful?
Susan Hill has written another excellent thriller in the series.Her style of writing brings the characters alive the mystery keeps me guessing.I enjoyed this book from beginning to end will be recommending.#netgalley #abramsbooks,
Was this review helpful?
As usual, an excellently written novel of suspense, family dynamics and love.  Hills' characters are well and deeply drawn.  There is not actually a lot of mystery in this book, but the writing is wonderful and seeing the growth and progress of the characters is worth the read alone.
Was this review helpful?
I love this series. As many have mentioned, it is like catching up with old friends to hear how the Serrailler family is doing.   The writing is wonderful and carries you along effortlessly. Susan Hill is extremely talented. 

Although the crime story is sometimes secondary to the story, it is interesting.  Drug crimes involving children were so upsetting I could hardly read those parts. As a parent, I was furious. And although you know it will not be a clean wrap to that part of the story, I wished for a twist or surprise at the end that never did actually come. It actually felt very truncated at the end. This was my one disappointment with the book. 

However, catching up with Cat and her family was wonderful. I did not mind the time devoted to this part of the story. I often feel that with Susan Hill, you very much have to be able to read between the lines. Such as the story about the father. Many things are alluded to, but yet not spelled out completely. You must just sort of guess at it. 

Another great addition to the series and I will be waiting for the next installment. I was very excited to receive and ARC of this book from Netgalley, Random House UK, and Susan Hill. Thank you!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to Netgalley, The Overlook Press, and the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review of the book.

I need to start off by making a disclaimer: I love this series and I love Susan Hill. I was thrilled to get this as an ARC. 

In this entry, Simon and his team are forced to confront the opioid epidemic that has made its way to their sleepy corner of England. While the mystery, at first, seems rather cut and dry (a young man is found, overdosed, in the neighboring, new-agey village of Starly), it catches you off-guard when it turns quickly much darker. We discover that it's not just the drug dealing that's a threat but rather HOW the dealing is taking place; the dealers are manipulating young kids into being their drug mules. Once these kids are in, they can't find a way to get out. And dark circumstances follow. 

Like many of the entries in this series, the mystery often seems to be the subplot. The main focus is always on the Serrailler family. I think what makes this series unique is that it is a true combination of family drama and mystery/thriller. This novel spends a lot of time with Cat and her family--especially Sam and the decision he has made about his future--and, of course, with Simon who continues to question his career and his love-life. Hill's novels in this series tend to not end the way you expect them to--and that's refreshing. While this isn't one of the best in the series, it was great to catch up with Simon and Co.   I'll be looking forward to entry #12!
Was this review helpful?
I want to thank NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for allowing me to read and review an advanced copy of Susan Hill’s book ‘A Change of Circumstance’.

DCS Simon Serrailler of the Lafferton police is called out to the site where there is a suspected overdose victim. It happens to be an apartment above a shop where Chinese herbal medicines are sold. While investigating, the police force finds out there are illegal drugs being spread among amongst school kids. With seemingly no clues, they must try to find out who is behind the drugs. When there are additional deaths, possibly related, the pressure is on to solve the cases.

Meanwhile, Simon faces the usual personal issues that all fictional British detectives seem to face. In this story, Simon’s sister, Dr. Cat, also faces family and issues in her medical practice. As the storyline weaves back and forth, we also meet some young children (and their families) caught up in tragedy and the illegal drug trade.

Hill keeps the storyline moving, but it is ‘wrapped up’ a little too quickly for my taste .
Was this review helpful?
In Susan Hill's newest novel featuring DCS  Simon Serrailler the tentacles of the London drug trade have reached the village of Lafferton. The scariest aspect of this is that children are being recruited to transfer drugs and money and the repercussions are terrifying. This was a well written, engaging read both in the current plot and the ongoing story line of the recurring characters. We are again drawn into the lives of Detective Serrailler and his extended family as they maneuver situations familiar to many of us. Even though this is the 11th book in this series it continues to go strong, I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
Although this was an interesting mystery, I felt that the story never really ended. Like her last Serrailler mystery, much of the book was spent bridging the story without a resolution. I think the Serrailler character is fascinating and earlier books really explored all his talents. But the last two have gotten bogged down in his depression and dissatisfaction with job and life.
Was this review helpful?
This was the first title that I read in the series although I felt that it stood well as a stand alone title. It was a bit dry for me and the characters never did come alive.  It wasn’t quite “cozy” rather more comfortable.  While I understood the desire to highlight the scourge of drugs I felt that the tone was moralistic.  It is not a book I would recommend.
Was this review helpful?
In A Change of Circumstance, the eleventh in Susan Hills’ outstanding Simon Serrailler mystery series, Simon faces changes of circumstance in both his work and private life. 

The opioid epidemic has come to peaceful Lafferton in an especially cruel way. Low level dealers, paid by their faceless, anonymous bosses, are recruiting children to deliver drugs to their customers. Enticed by bribes, they are then controlled by fear leading to tragic developments. Although Simon and his team try desperately to put together the pieces, they are frustrated by the lack of police budgeting in cases where it is almost impossible to arrest those in charge. 

Meanwhile, a chance meeting with Rachel, a woman from his past, rekindles a romantic interest. Simon questions his past behavior and thinks about moving to a new location to change his life.

Susan Hill is a masterful writer. I have read all of the Serrailler crime novels and they only get better. A Change of Circumstance asks for a sequel. The drug problem will only escalate and I’d like to see Simon go back to London to investigate further. And after the last chapter, I want to see what happens next with Rachel. This is, of course, a 5 star review.

Thank you to NetGalley,
Was this review helpful?