Title: A Change of Circumstance
Author: Susan Hill
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
DCS Simon Serrailler has long regarded drugs ops in the Lafferton area as a waste of time. Small-time dealers are picked up outside the local secondary school, they’re given a fine or a suspended and away they go. And rinse and repeat. But when the body of a young drug addict is found in neighbouring Starly, the case pulls Simon into a whole new way of running drugs. The foot soldiers? Vulnerable local kids like Brookie and Olivia, who will give Simon a bitter taste of this new landscape…
A Change of Circumstance is the 11th instalment in Susan Hill’s brilliant Simon Serrailer series. In the last book (The Benefit of Hindsight), I didn’t necessarily feel like we got the best of DCI Serrailer, but he’s back on great form in this novel having become more used to having a prosthetic arm and back investigating full time again.
This novel centres around the drugs industry as it starts to get its claws into Lafferton. I enjoyed the storyline as it felt like a bit of a different plot, though there were some parts of the book which felt like they went off on a bit of a tangent and were harder to feel absorbed in.
Still, it was lovely to be back with Simon and his colleagues as they try to stop local thugs using young children to run drugs, and work out if a recent suicide of a teenage girl might have actually been murder. We also get to see more of his sister Cat and her husband, Police Chief Kevin Bright. As always with this series, we get a great mix of police procedural and character development.
Susan Hill does a brilliant job of creating the ‘other’ characters in this novel – Olivia, her mother, Brookie and his father, all becoming embroiled in this horrible criminal world whether they want to or not. I feel like the characters are believable and I could imagine the desperation of these kids’ parents. It felt almost too real at times!
The book ends without as much of a resolution as I expected and kept me hanging on for more – looking forward to the next already. Another great instalment in this series which I’ll always want to read more from!
Many thanks to the publisher for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.