In the Various Haunts of Men, Susan Hill has created a town where several people have disappeared and the officer assigned to the case, Freya Graffham, is in charge of finding out what happened to them. The story of these people is told through either friends or relatives of the victims in the story.
I thought the book was dynamic since it was told through the point of view of several people throughout the story. While the story was character driven, I thought that the characters in the story weren’t memorable. The story seemed to focus more on the person who was involved in the disappearance of the characters. As a result, I thought that it took away from the story and made the plot weaker.
One example would be that the story wasn’t much of a mystery. It wasn’t a surprise when the perpetrator was revealed in the story. I thought more could have been done with this. At the very least, we could have had more than one suspect and the reader would have a hard time figuring out who caused the disappearance of the characters involved.
In addition, the story lacked suspense since you knew what happened to the characters that disappeared. While I was happy that much of it was left to the imagination of the reader, I thought that the story would have had more suspense if we knew at the end what happened to the people that disappeared.
As far as Freya was concerned, the only think you really knew about her was that she was interested in Simon Serrailer but again, not much is made of that in the story. Much of Freya’s feelings are short lived and again, more could have been made of this in the story.
In one way, I liked how the author was dynamic in writing the story through several points of view. The important part was what these people had in common and why they disappeared. While that was understood at the end, I thought that if fell flat because again, I thought more could have been done in connecting the people together. Freya, the key investigator, could have had some clues to work with that would have made this more of a mystery and pointed to different suspects in the story.
All in all, I would continue to read more books by Susan Hill but I could only give this book three stars.