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The central plot deals with two bodies found in a circle of prehistoric stones. Who were they? How did they get there? Did the victims even know each other? Detectives Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers find themselves caught up in a mystery that grows more perplexing the longer they contemplate it. As usual with George, the mystery itself is well devised and a lot of fun toThe central plot deals with two bodies found in a circle of prehistoric stones. Who were they? How did they get there? Did the victims even know each other? Detectives Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers find themselves caught up in a mystery that grows more perplexing the longer they contemplate it. As usual with George, the mystery itself is well devised and a lot of fun to speculate on as you read.You don't think of the Agatha Christie style of novel as being overhauled, but in fact, a number of very good writers have been pushing the cozy into some brave new areas. Nancy Pickard, Joan Hess, and Carolyn Hart, to name just a few, have demonstrated that the cozy can be serious as well as seriously (or pointedly, if you prefer) funny.Over the past decade, Elizabeth George has also been pushing the Christie-style mystery into richer and more rewarding areas. Her new novel, In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, is so rich in character, incident, and theme that one finally has to take it seriously, not just as a mystery but as a novel as well. I'm not going to say that it "transcends the mystery genre," because that's offensive to mystery writers. And rightly so. But I will say that, in much the same way that Sharyn McCrumb has expanded the range of the serious crime novel, George has also pushed her particular form to the limits....

Title : In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553102352
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 596 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner Reviews

  • Christina Mitchell
    2019-01-21 20:12

    I know who done it! I know who done it! HA!Another favorite author and detective discovered compliments of PBS "Masterpiece Mystery." I have not been reading the Inspector Lynley series in order. This is because I am having difficulties coming across used copies of the author. I know that sounds cheap, but I am cheap. And, it seems a tragedy of tragedies to spend money on shipping for a paperback book. So, I haunt the library cast-off book store where the lovely volunteer keeps her eyes open for any Elizabeth George coming through the stacks of contributions. I truly believe the author is fully worth the $1 I spend per book.George is one of those mystery writers that is good at the details. There is no anger as a result of facts and clues added at the last minute. The clues are there for you to follow the leads. Her writing does take you down some twists that can make you think you know who is guilty only to have the suspect vindicated. But, that is the fun of a mystery, is it not?Inspector Lynley of the books is a much more complicated man than the character depicted in the BBC series. The BBC Lynley seems to have it more together while coming off as a bit of a prig, while George's Lynley is more complicated and introspective. BBC Lynley is always right, even while he treats his wife somewhat badly, while George's Lynley admits when he is wrong and at least tries to treat his wife well. Lynley's BBC wife is not as strong as George's character, and George's DI Havers is a much more intriguing mess of a character than the BBC Havers. George's books are long...but great companions for long plane trips with several transfers. My one criticism: Watermelon Pop-Tarts?? (O_o) Eeeewwwww!

  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    2019-01-05 20:15

    Number ten is superb and proves the series is worthy of readingI absolutely believe this novel proves George to be a literary writer. Without question she also writes with a feminine 'taint'. As long as men make the rules of what quality writing must consist of, the author probably will never completely receive what she is due in respect or awards. But as for my opinion, there are few writers, literary or genre, who can fulfill both the requirements of providing reading entertainment, informing the reader about elements of class and society, while illuminating the truths of the human heart. She truly sees men and women with a profound clarity. The writing of this series has not always attained the same heights as the author's understanding of people - until this book in the series. I think nothing reveals humanity as much as the novels of the mystery genre when written by good writers.This is the book where Elizabeth George definitively crossed over into the higher realm of literary writer. However, because of the continuing and ongoing threads between Thomas Lynley, Detective Inspector at New Scotland Yard, Earl of Asherton, and DI Constable Barbara Havers, working class maven, I recommend reading the previous nine books in the series first, in order. The revealed depths of their relationship is only understood in the context of the evolving knowledge of the reader about them.Class defines both characters. It affects their perceptions and their educated skill set. Both being citizens of England, Class could not be of more importance in how they do their jobs. Between the two of them, they make one hell of a detective. Separately, they are somewhat hampered by the social circles they inhabit and their access to information and authority. While both appear to be highly qualified people who wish to solve crimes as well as being very ambitious to do well, I think Havers is the better detective. However, she finds herself wronged because of her sex and her Class. She also sometimes is misunderstood by those who have not 'walked in her shoes'. Lynley is frequently blinded completely by the upperclass education and social chains of his Class, and he has been misled by his preconceptions far more often than Barbara Havers has been by her perceptions. Both make errors in judgement, but I believe Havers has improved far more as a detective than has Lynley. I don't mean to demean Lynley as I think his heart is in the right place. It's seems obvious to me he is trying to help more than harm. But his unawareness of unconscious beliefs in the automatic hierarchical superiority of his Class and sex keeps coming between him and Havers. Because he cannot see the invisible underpinnings of his thinking, he often denies Havers the benefit of the doubt and often increases the punishment of her faults while diminishing the degree of her accomplishments. The interplay of Class and sex discrimination in the relationship between Lynley and Havers is spectacularly background with deceptive subtlety, and it's partially why I love this ongoing mystery series. To any reader who is thrilled by good writing along with a fun mystery, Elizabeth George is a crackerjack writer of literary talent. Do not judge her by the earlier books alone. It has taken her a bit of evolving to fine tune her ability to write and swing around her weight with her publisher while meeting the requirements of the general reader picking up a novel convenient to hand shopping in the grocery store. Men may never find her as much fun to read because George emphasizes relationship and family drama over gory violence. However, while the men-dominated literary award circles might sniff a bit over the soap opera elements, I ADORE this series for it.Oh, and the plot? Convoluted with red herrings and monster emotions and high stakes and psychological misery and underworld depravity and class delusions and bizarre personalities and mysterious murder. Very satisfying to read and extremely difficult to put down when real life intrudes. LOVED IT!!!

  • Jeni
    2018-12-27 17:15

    This was a long book. Too often, I find myself disappointed when I get to the end of a story; having grown to know the characters, becoming interested in the created community beyond the immediate concerns of the plot and just enjoying the ride. Ms. George's Inspector Lynley books are becoming longer, it seems, with each new installment. Yet I am reading them as fast as I can. The characters are believable and presented warts and all (sometimes exploring their faults more than their strengths). This one was a bit surprising since the relationship between Lynley and Havers is strained, and neither one reacts as I would expect. I would say the mystery aspect of the plot almost takes a backseat to the exploration of motives, prejudices, and the tendency to fail to see the big picture when we hone in on what we think is the truth.I am very impressed with the author's use of language - I usually have to look up at least one word in the dictionary while reading her books. Also, the British verbiage is remarkable, seeing as the author is an American. The slang, dialects and phrases really keep you rooted in the UK. It does not have the feel of a mystery set in a generic location, with British place names inserted.

  • Diana Donnelly
    2019-01-06 21:28

    Well this is the 10th book I have read by this author. It was 594 pages long and a heavy hardback. I'm always impressed with the author's vocabulary and after reading 10 books with the same characters my fondness grows for them. There was some friction between Detective Inspector Lynley and Barbara Havers in this episode which was unsetting and bothered me. Up to this point they worked well together with mutual admiration, however now I feared I was about to lose a favorite character. I'm happy to say it concluded to my satisfaction.

  • Pilvi
    2019-01-21 20:12

    This is the Finnish version of Elizabeth George : In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner.The book was quite lengthy and got a bit boring at times. The story just didn't seem to go anywhere though it grew roots to every direction. I guess crime investigations are like that in real life too. I didn't like Thomas Lynley at all, he acted too "I'm so much more sophisticated than others". Not that I liked Barbara much more, she was as odd as Lynley.The thing that wondered me most is how come they really thought the murderer was after Nicola? Nicola had been killed neatly, but instead the boy had multiple stab wounds and blood all over the place. Any police should know that if the murder is messy, it's usually done by a person who knows the victim. If the victim is killed "cleanly", like Nicola was, the murderer didn't know the victim and just had to kill her. This little thing ruined the basic plot so badly, that I had no respect for polices that slobby in their jobs.At least the story had lots of twists and turns, so I did finish it.

  • M
    2019-01-13 22:26

    Yea! YaY!! Tommy finally sees why Barb had to shoot at the DCI to save her little neighbor. Of course his illumination comes about because of Helen, who is far more intelligent than she or her friends give her credit. I love Helen, she is by far my favorite character, she is bubbly, happy and yet conflicted about her importance in the world. She is the kind of friend I would love to cultivate, someone who is loyal to a fault and fun to be with. The mystery was so involved--as all EG's books are--It made me think about the murdered girl's choices. Her parents were baffled by her choice to lead a low lifestyle when she had been brought up with love and advantages. It all comes down to free will. You can teach a child to follow a path but there comes a time when they must decide if they will stay on it. Sad ending for the murdered girls parents all around. Good read.

  • Lucy
    2018-12-25 22:22

    The mystery portion was intriguingly convoluted, but, man, is Elizabeth George long-winded! 6 pages devoted to the back story and daily details of the person who found the body, another 6 pages for the back story and daily details of the kid who found the murder weapon, and we also get a continuing, unnecessary side plot about the murder victim's boyfriend, his alcoholic father, and their failing family estate.I was also occasionally distracted by the odd vocabulary choices. It sometimes felt as if Ms. George was using the thesaurus tool and choosing the most arcane or unusual synonym, regardless of flow or appropriateness. I love words and the specificities allowed by a wide vocabulary, but sometimes the best word is the obvious, everyday word. Ex: "His instructions could not have been more pellucid." There is NO reason not to simply use the word "clear" in this sentence. "Pellucid" adds nothing but unintentional humor.One final thought: Inspector Lynley is insufferable to Barbara Havers in this book. He holds his approval and forgiveness over her head for an affront that (a) was not perpetrated against him and (b) she was already punished for severely by his superiors. By the end of the book, he has decided to oh-so-magnanimously bestow his good opinion, but he never apologizes AND it takes an unnecessary and illogical tragedy to make him come around. That was annoying to me, especially since Barbara is only too grateful to have him merely stop being awful to her.

  • Hannie
    2019-01-17 17:19

    Een interessant boek. Je wordt steeds op het verkeerde been gezet wie de dader is van de moorden. In dit boek wordt grondig speurwerk verricht. Dat is wat mij wel aanspreekt bij de boeken van Elizabeth George. Verschillende verdachten komen aan bod en elk spoor wordt onderzocht. Soms heb je bij thrillers dat vanaf het begin haast wel duidelijk is wie het gedaan heeft. Dat is bij dit boek niet het geval. Wat wel grappig is, is dat in dit boek verwezen wordt naar het boek Rebecca van Daphne du Maurier. Dat boek heb ik laatst gelezen. Zo tegen het einde mocht de ontknoping van mij wel komen. Toen zat ik er echt op te wachten. Helaas moest ik toen nog een kleine 100 blz. Normaal ben ik ook niet zo'n liefhebber van hele dikke boeken. (Deze is 646 blz.) Ik vind dit echter wel een leuke serie, dus daarom begin ik er dan toch aan. Al met al toch wel een interessant boek.

  • Stephanie
    2018-12-27 21:28

    As usual, Elizabeth George keeps me glued to the pages, and sporadically reaching for the dictionary (reredos?).I find it interesting that some people gave this one fewer stars because they hated the way Lynley behaved toward Havers etc. HELLO? THEY AREN'T REAL PEOPLE, PEOPLE! The fact that we are disappointed in him sort of indicates EG's skill at characterization, wouldn't you say?Anyhow, complex plot, and I didn't recall all the details from the first time I read it (I get her stuff ASAP and devour it, then re-read in a few years)so the plot twists were surprising...probably one good thing about getting older, I can re-read mysteries and still be surprised. Although this one came after, it made me want to re-read Deception on His Mind, so . . .

  • Jennifer
    2019-01-11 22:11

    I think like most Elizabeth George fans, I got frustrated with the way Lynley behaved in this book. Normally I get through her books in a flash, but with this one I got so bogged down in the Havers/Lynley mess. One of the things I like so much about this series is their relationship and it was on the skids. I wanted to hit him.But, it was George, so it was still a good read.

  • Kathy Davie
    2019-01-04 00:30

    Tenth in the Inspector Lynley mystery series set at Scotland Yard in London.My TakeThis was such a sad story on so many levels. The end of a family line. The end of hopes. The useless death of an amazing person.In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner revolves around Nicola Maiden and her lifelong pursuit of what she wants…now — she never has learned the value of spiritual self-fulfillment. Nik has always gone for immediate gratification and stopped at nothing to ensure it with never a thought for how it might impact anyone around her.Thomas is angry that Barbara could ignore the chain-of-command and is determined that she will learn her place while Lady Helen comes to a realization as to just why Thomas is really angry with Barbara.A fascinating look at how three different, strong people approach the evidence and the judgments they make based on it, the different directions it takes them. Each party has strong reasons for their choices and any one of them could be correct.In the end, it simply proves that one should never allow one's own perceptions to smear the evidence.Lots of red herrings in this story. And each little fish is interesting in its own right.The StoryThe daughter of an old friend of Thomas' is missing. Well, missing until she's found brutally murdered out on the moors in a henge. Nor is she alone in her death, and it's this second victim that provides the clues and the public destruction of a number of people.The clues lead all over and both tidy up and destroy a variety of people as Lynley, Nkata, Havers, and Hanken push their way through the evidence leading to a high-end escort service, a brilliantly successful musical in the West End, a couple of artists who will crack you up, a happily retired couple building their retirement with a successful yet intimate hotel, and a beleaguered young man doing what he can to revive the family fortunes.The CharactersLady Helen Lynley makes me rather nuts. She's never able to come right out and say anything. Instead she dances around a topic until I want to strangle her. She simply keeps pushing and pushing at a person just like a therapist does when they want you to come to the realization on your own. And it does work in this instance…making me crazy!!What I like about Thomas Lynley is he can be such a stubborn ass, but he does mull things over and is willing to admit when he's wrong. A bit of a Neanderthal, but there's hope for this old dog to learn new tricks!Barbara Havers has been on suspension for three months since the incident in Essex over the summer in Deception on His Mind, 9, and the final results are in. She also learns where Thomas stood on the issue. Barbara is even more of a bulldog on this case. I understand where she's coming from but, lord, she does need to learn.DC Winston Nkata has a much greater role this time around — I do like him. He's intelligent with a great sense of humor and a desire to improve himself. I do like that we learn a bit more about his youthful history! He's also quite loyal and supportive.Brief glimpses of Simon and Deborah with a bit more with Lady Helen. Hadiyyah is as sweet as ever although a bit annoying with the constant repetition while her father, Azhar, is still the most amazing man. The nasty Assistant Commissioner David Hillier makes a very brief, vituperative appearance.Nicola Maiden is a spoiled brat. Her parents, Thomas' friends, Andrew and Nan, have always protected her from the negative aspect of her father's careerDetective Inspector Peter Hanken of the Buxton police force is less than happy that the victim's father has requested Scotland Yard intrude on his case. He does provide George with the opportunity to examine the motives of a parent in protecting their child…for all the good that does.The Cover and TitleThe cover is a bare interpretation of the murder scene with its sparse trees and not-enough stones for the Nine Sisters Henge. The title, however, is spot on as everyone from Havers to Lynley, Hanken to Maiden are all In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner.

  • Anna Ligtenberg
    2019-01-06 21:25

    ISBN 0553575104 - I'm of the opinion that you won't need to have watched a movie or television show, or have read another book to enjoy this one. The plot takes a good long while to make perfect sense - this is not one of those books where you have any hope of being a step ahead of the storyteller. Once you begin to gather the threads together, it will all seem so obvious that you might need to read it again, just to try to figure out how you missed it the first time.Well worth the investment of your time, even if it does get to seeming a bit too long near the end. For me, all the loose ends were neatly tied up and the whole story made sense - except for a few sentences, such as "...he'll be bloody cheesed off when he twigs what you're doing." Some of them sound like a different language entirely - but that's part of the charm for American readers!- AnnaLovesBooks

  • Em
    2019-01-16 22:14

    My only reason for not giving this book 5 stars is that it wasn't as tight a story or as compelling a tale as the one that preceded it. The title is quite apt in that there are two murdered bodies found on the moor, a girl and a guy, but because the girl was the daughter of a former undercover rozzer, that is the reason Lynley is called to assist with the investigation and the angle they pursue from the start. After Havers last case she had expected she might be in trouble, but she had thought Lynley would be the one to take her part and go to bat for her. But when he instead tries to show her the error of her ways, show her who's boss, demonstrate the discipline of the chain of command and set her down a peg (enough cliche`s?), she chafes at his heavy hand. And Barbara being Havers, she does what he asks of her (only just) and then in her 'free time' investigates other aspects of the case and develops a different lead suspect. And what Lynley fails to understand is that his friends, and his wife, and even the second constable he added to the case in place of Havers, Winston Nkata, all see that perhaps his characterization of Barbara and his set down of her is more to do with her gender than what she actually did in Essex on the case in which she involved herself while on leave. But in the end, after Lynley's judgement in the case leads to tragedy and with his wife Helen's gentle hand, Lynley of his own volition realizes his relationship with his mother has colored his judgement about Havers actions in Essex and with this last case and they reconcile. **********************************************As I added the notes above to my personal book journal I found I had read this before but had absolutely zero recollection of it at all. And seeing the date I had finished it in the past I know why I had no recall of it. It was read in the summer of 2008 just six weeks before my father died of cancer. I had been reading like a fiend as distraction ever since his diagnosis some 15 months previous some 83 books, easily one a week. And what I wrote then shows I wasn't really reading.**********************************************I've started the bad habit of not finishing books I've started and by my count I have six going (some started nearly a year ago), but not this one. I started this up north last weekend visiting for the folks 50th Anniversary and what we know will be the last. This is the second E. George novel I've read with Inspector Lynley and Barbara Havers. George writes a very dense and complicated tale. Very dark in tone, not only because it deals with murder, but it explores the sick and twisted side of humanity, the part more animalistic than human. Lynley is called to the Peak district to assist in the murder of a young couple, the dead girl the daughter of a retired colleague. Nicola Maiden was pampered by her parents and grew up to be materialistic, and a bit of a wild child. She became a dominatrix whore meting out punishment for money and Lynley is convinced she was the intended target not the guy she was with, that one of her lovers wanted her exclusively and struck them down in a jealous rage. Lynley & Havers are on the outs. She's been demoted over a previous case and he thinks she needs to learn a lesson and gives her grunt work to do and ignores her when she puts forth ideas that point to the guy as the target. This time Havers was right. George also continues to explore relationships between men and women. There were two passages in the middle of the book I marked, one - the thoughts of a spinster thinking fondly of the days of marriage of convenience, the other is Lynley waxing poetic on the 'transcendent joy' that sex in marriage should be.**************************************2017 - noting what I had marked nine years ago, versus the passage I marked during this read: I was drawn to a passage on page 536 when the dead girl's father reflects on her materialism and the 'career' she chose entirely because of the money it would provide for her to buy anything she desired. That out of guilt over his time spent away from his only child in his career he'd been an easy touch when she wanted something special. He saw that she was caught in a pattern of endless dissatisfaction - samsara. This dharma lesson was the passage I marked: "And when she acquired what she had begged to possess, she wasn't able to see that it satisfied her only briefly. Her vision was occluded from this knowledge because what stood in her way was always the desire for the next object that she believed would soothe her soul".

  • Mary Gilligan-Nolan
    2019-01-17 21:09

    A marathon read of 752 pages, but worth the time invested as ever with Ms. George. This story is about the murder of a young woman at Nine Sisters in Derbyshire, but there is also a youth of 19 years old, also found dead at the same site and this causes confusion at the scene, as they have been murdered in two entirely different ways and there seems to be initially, no link between them. The girls father, is an ex-policeman, who was once Linleys superior and he asks for Scotland Yard to send Tommy down to investigate alongside the local police. Meanwhile, Barbara Havers has been demoted as a result of the previous case she was involved in in Essex (Deception on his Mind). Someone has supported her to prevent her being sacked and she believes it was Linley, but finds out it was not and Linley is in fact in total disagreement with how she dealt with Essex and distances himself from her. So, Winston Nkata is brought in to assist Linley in the case and Barbara is not happy at being sidelined and demoted to D.C. However, when Nkata is sent back to follow a trail to London, he brings Barbara on board to help him. There are a lot of twists and turns and a good crop of suspects in this book, which make for a very interesting read and I really felt poor Barbara got a raw deal from Linley along the way here and was rooting for her to prove herself right in her suspicions. Her character has some really witty lines and has developed into a likable person since book one, where it was initially a little difficult to get to know and love her. A really good read, that never dipped at any point, so another one I would recommend, but be prepared to set aside a few days to get through it.

  • Annette
    2019-01-13 18:07

    Another great book from Elizabeth George! Lots of plot twists and many candidates as suspects in the double murder! George writes with a lot of British slang and local jargon, so it takes a while to "get into" her style of writing. But doing that adds so much depth to the characters and it also endears them to the reader.One bit that lacked for me was I wanted to see a conclusion to the Broughton Manor story, i.e., the relationship between Julian and his cousin Samantha. Also, did Jeremy give up drinking? We don't know.Thomas Lynley was a prig in this one, but as he is the main character in the series, we're seeing his rather human side. I guess he can't be perfect all the time. I love his wife Helen.I enjoyed reading about Barbara Havers. There was much of her in this episode. I love that she is the opposite of Lynley. Where Lynley is polished and good looking, Havers is homely and dumpy. She is definitely rough around the edges and I like that contrast.Thanks, Liz!

  • whichwaydidshego?
    2018-12-25 23:12

    Coming in at number ten in the series, this one took a whole different tack. While I was completely annoyed with the fact that Lynley and Havers were on the outs, I can't deny it was an interesting story as a result. Having three people involved in the case doggedly pursuing different suspects was a truly interesting twist. So many little twists within the twists, too. I have to say that I read this one faster than the others... if only to get to the reconciliation between the two detectives. Though, I have to say that Lynley's pigheadedness has rather put me off him a bit... I'd better get to that next one soon so that he can hopefully redeem himself in my eyes!George is an expert and weaving intricate, detailed tales that often lead in every direction as indeed police investigations often do. In this case, I have to wonder about her research regarding the world of domination and S&M, as well as escorts!

  • Neill Smith
    2019-01-17 22:34

    When DS Barbara Havers is reduced to Detective Constable after her perceived insubordination in her last case Detective Inspector Lynley is reluctant to use her on a case involving the murder of the daughter of a retired undercover operative for New Scotland Yard. However, Winston Nkata, his new subordinate, assigns her part of the investigation. Her pursuit of her own leads arising from her notable intuition, rather than giving absolute priority to the jobs assigned by Lynley, leads to some disagreements between Lynley and his new wife who takes Barbara's side. New leads complicate the case with multiple possibilities as the investigation expands to include musical theatre, escort services, and bow hunting. This is an excellent read and highly recommended.

  • Merry
    2019-01-17 23:12

    This was definitely my favorite Inspector Lynley book to date. Full of twists and turns, as well as the discontent between Lynley and Barbara Havers, it was hard to not read it straight through. In the previous book, Barbara had made a split second decision in order to save a little girl's life. That decision, which involved shooting at (without the intent to hit) a superior officer cost her several months of unpaid leave and a demotion. So that played throughout this entire book. Then there were multiple suspects (of course!) and two murders -- which one was the murderer really after and which one was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time? I'm trying to space the books in this series out so I don't run out anytime soon. I hope the author can keep ahead of me!

  • Deb
    2019-01-05 23:37

    One of Lynley's former colleagues Andy Maiden has asked for his help in finding the person who murdered his daughter. It's a gruesome double murder and suspicion falls on Maiden. Barbara Havers has been demoted to Detective Constable after her performance in Essex and Lynley cannot forgive her behavior. He relegates her to general dogsbody and instead takes Winson Nkata as his partner. Aside from the gripping murder investigation, the real star of the book is the struggle both Havers and Lynley endure as neither can understand the other's actions. George depicts the tension between them superbly.

  • Kathy
    2018-12-31 19:36

    I've been renting the BBC productions of Elizabeth George's Lynley books from NetFlix, and for some reason the season that includes this book is unavailable. Since it falls in the middle of the series and at a critical plot juncture for one of the main characters (and because I'm OC about doing series in order) I picked up the book to fill in. Although the characters are a bit different in print vs TV (especially Havers) I enjoyed it - it's well plotted, with intelligent writing and classic English countryside settings mixed with London scenes for variety. If you like PD James, you'll probably like Elizabeth George.

  • Jamie Collins
    2018-12-22 20:13

    Another very good Lynley/Havers novel. A complex murder mystery, great characterizations, and plenty of soap opera. I love the dramatic titles which suit these novels so well!In the early books, Havers is a rather unlikeable character. She's bitter and resentful of Lynley's aristocratic background. In contrast, Lynley was very understanding of her attitude and sympathetic to her many troubles.In this book, though, Lynley is being a real bastard. Havers is in disgrace with the Yard following an incident where she violated the chain of command. Havers feels that her actions were justified, and she counted on Lynley's support. She's shocked and hurt when she doesn't get it.

  • Lois Wood
    2019-01-06 18:17

    A re-read for me -- couldn't find anything that appealed, and Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers have never let me down. Elizabeth George is a stunning writer -- every sentence is a joy to read. I never tire of reading her books ...

  • Violetteanne
    2018-12-25 16:37

    The comedian Aziz Ansari has a stand up routine where he talks about parents and children. It centers around the idea that parents can mean the best, try their best and do their best for their child/ren but you never know what child you're going to get. There is also a belief that you don't have to be a parent to understand what it is to be a parent. In this arc George seems to be saying there is no one answer. Every parent starts out with the best of intentions but we all know what the road to hell is paved with don't we?George also explores a theme not often seen in mystery novels: how women are perceived and how the same act performed by a man and a woman has such different results. She also shows how, as I mentioned in review of the book preceding this one in the series, hero worship is not a good thing for anyone.I see a lot of reviewers hate how Lynley treats Havers in this book but they shouldn't be surprised. We've seen this side of Lynley before. It's just never been put on display as brutally as it is here or directed against the one woman in the series everyone likes and understands. It's often when the shoe is on the other foot that people learn the error of their ways.This is a marvelous book. George continues with her multi faceted plots and at times it does feel as if you need a score card to keep up with everyone but when it all comes together - wow! Even when it becomes obvious who the killer is you're left with a why that amounts to a tantrum. And in the end isn't Nicola's life a tantrum? She didn't have to live the way she did but she chose her own path as quixotically as she made every choice in her life. Her parents, who indulged her, are left to wonder where they went wrong. And I'll leave it at that.I'm still not a fan of Helen. Yes she walks a fine line with her husband but I always feel as if she's playing a role. She does take time to reflect on what she's doing and the fact that it is a role she's playing but that doesn't make me like her as a character.I'm anxious to see how Barbara's relationship with her neighbors develops. Little Hadiyyah is a joy and her father is doing all he can to give her a childhood worth remembering as she gets older and the reality of her situation becomes clear to her.I'm also interested to see how Winston Nkata develops as a character. Nkata is an African derived name but he is portrayed as Caribbean. I'm going to wait patiently for his backstory (as long as he doesn't supplant Havers!) Demon of Death indeed!The books are written to be read independently but it helps, in my opinion, to read them in order.

  • Georgia Roybal
    2019-01-19 22:12

    As always, this book is a page-turner. There are so many suspects with so many motives that you just do not want to stop. There are a jilted boyfriend, parents disgusted with their daughter, numerous lovers into S & M, a cousin jealous of attention going to the murdered young lady, etc. One twist to this book is that Barbara Havers has been demoted because of her refusal to obey orders (in order to save a child) on her previous case and her partner, Thomas Lynley is disappointed with her not following orders. Three of the four police working on this case each are going after a different suspect. In one chapter near the end, each is going after their preferred suspect at the same time. The book ends with two very tender scenes which I have reread about three times.

  • Lucy Takeda
    2018-12-27 21:23

    I am used to George’s convoluted, divergent plot lines and character commentary. I usually enjoy the time she spends on character development and descriptions. This novel left me feeling she threw everything, including the kitchen sink, into the mix. Murder, blackmail, class warfare, artists, plays, S&M, mommy issues , daddy issues, alcoholism, suggestions of incest— really? I found it slightly over-the-top. A young woman and young man are found murdered out on the moor. The woman’s father was a top notch undercover officer that knows Lynley and requests him to come investigate. Meantime, Havers is in major trouble with the Force and Lynley due to her behavior on a previous case. Interesting. Intense. Involved.

  • CarolynAnn
    2019-01-09 17:09

    This is the first by Elizabeth that I've read... was travelling and picked it up in a thrift shop. I had watched all shows on BBC and loved the series so thought I'd give it a go. I really enjoyed this. both for the mystery and the back story going on with Havers and also with Lynley.. of course, this wouldn't have meant much to me had I not seen the show. That said, I was captivated with the characters and thought it was different enough from the TV series to not let me know exactly 'who done it' so I started reading all in the series.

  • Susan
    2018-12-30 21:11

    This is a lengthy book that has multiple plot lines and involves a pretty seamy side of life. It was easy to keep track of everything, but I began to wonder how Elizabeth George was going to tie it all together. I thought we would see Havers grow more, but she continues to keep herself stuck in behavior that causes self-loathing (unhealthy eating, poor fashion choices, wanting Lynley's attention). Lynley wasn't much better in this book as he came off as quite unforgiving.

  • Joe
    2019-01-13 00:13

    Another outstanding book in George's Lynley series. As always, it has great plotting, good suspense, a long list of credible suspects and a very good ending. The book also presents the conflict between Lynley and Havers as a major subplot. The continuing characters continue to grow and become real people. I love them all but all have their faults. I strongly recommend the book and all in the series. I look forward to reading the next in the series.

  • Christina
    2019-01-13 00:11

    This is one of my favorite in the Lynley/Havers series. Although she continues using shifting POV, which I find annoying (I would dislike it less if it were only POV of the inspectors), the plot is rich, the dialogue snappy, and the drama is high.

  • Seema
    2019-01-21 18:17

    #10 in the series. This was one of the best ones so far. It has so many twists and turns and a very complicated plot. It also shows the weaker side of Lynley and to some extent the redemption of Havers after the last book. I enjoyed it a lot.