Duchess of Cornwall Close: sheltered accommodation, a mix of bungalows and flats, newly built and not quite finished. Despite the bitterly cold weather, elderly residents are moving in. They don’t notice the figure in the shadows. Someone who doesn't mind the cold.
Then, one snowy night, an old lady is murdered – dragged from her bed and strangled with a length of flex.
DCS Simon Serrailler and his team are aware of bizarre circumstances surrounding her death – but they keep some of these details secret, while they desperately search for a match. All they know is that the killer will strike again, and will once more leave the same tell-tale signature.
The break comes when Simon’s former sergeant, the ever cheerful Nathan Coates, tracks down a name: Alan Keyes. But Alan Keyes has no birth certificate, no address, no job,no family, no passport, no dental records. Nothing. Alan Keyes does not exist.
A Question of Identity introduces a new and chilling element into the Simon Serrailler series: it takes the reader inside the mind of a deranged killer. This is Susan Hill’s most thrillingly imagined crime novel to date.
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Not all great novelists can write crime fiction but when one like Susan Hill does the result is stunning -
Eagerly awaited by all aficionados of crime fiction -
This is a crime series that specialises in side-stepping conventions, always to exhilarating effect.. The books succeed in harnessing all the genre's addictive power while maintaining a complexity and fascination all their own - Independent
The real joy of the Serrailler series is Serrailler himself…rich in incident and intrigue - Express
The crime part of the novel…is very good. But as in all these books, we are also engaged in the continuing story of the Serrailler family… All this gives the novel a much richer texture than is usual in crime fiction…(Susan Hill) writes as an honest and disturbing witness to our times - Scotsman
Hill is, as ever, a true writer and a true storyteller… Her writing, never fancy or over-elaborate, is sweet and and clear and true, lifting the story above mass-market mass-killer lit - Spectator
Arguably one of the UK’s best crime fiction writers - Pride Magazine
Hill has a keen eye for description, an accurate ear for conversation and an innate understanding of relationships - Washington Post
Susan Hill’s Serrailler novels are as addictive as Rankin’s and this year’s offering A Question of Identity is very good indeed. Hill never allows us to forget that horrible crimes happen in the midst of ordinary life - Scotsman
Susan Hill’s novels and short stories have won the Whitbread, Somerset Maugham and John Llewellyn Rhys awards, and the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She is the author of 56 books. The play adapted from her famous ghost story, The Woman in Black, has been running in the West End since 1989; it is also a major feature film. Her crime novels featuring DCS Simon Serrailler are currently being adapted for TV.
Susan Hill was born in Scarborough and educated at King’s College London. She is married to the Shakespeare scholar Stanley Wells, and they have two daughters. Susan Hill was appointed a CBE in the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Honours.