In A Traitor to Memory
, Elizabeth George proves that she belongs firmly in the upper echelons of crime writers. Her 10 previous novels of psychological suspense have carefully consolidated the character of her aristocratic detective Thomas Lynley, and with this book she creates for him a narrative more tangled and (seemingly) impenetrable than ever before.
Gideon Davies is a classical violinist who has lost his ability to play. In the middle of a Beethoven trio, his mind has been wiped clear of everything related to music. But what he can remember is the weeping of a woman and a single name: Sonia. Davies is soon involved with the death of a young woman called Eugenie, who is run down by a car in the streets of London. On the track of her killer, Lynley and his associates Barbara Ramiz and Winston Nkata become aware of a connection with the violinist and a mysterious group of people somehow linked with a crime and its consequences that took place over 20 years ago.
As always, George is faithful to the demands of the classical detective narrative, and the reader is challenged by the slowly unfolding revelations just as much as her struggling protagonists. But, unlike so many of her contemporaries, George never forgets that the sense of place is quite as intrinsic to a mystery story as any whodunit elements, and the panoply of England unfolded before us here is richly and vividly realised. In earlier books, Lynley has seemed almost preternaturally gifted, but here his desperate attempts to penetrate the dark secret have much more of the quality of a struggle - and perhaps this is why A Traitor to Memory is possibly the most satisfying outing for George's detective yet. --Barry Forshaw
Absorbing . . . the pleasure of the book is the slow, surprising and often shocking unravelling of the various links between the main characters (Marcel Berlins, The Times
'She belongs firmly in the upper echelons of crime writers. Richly and vividly realised . . . possibly the most satisfying outing for George's detective yet' Amazon.co.uk
'This can only add to her growing reputation as doyenne of English mystery novelists. . . consistently inventive . . . the most ambitious of the lot' Publishers Weekly (US)
Intricate, wide-ranging and compelling . . . explosive (Private Eye
A long and absorbing read that will please lovers of the traditional crime novel (Scotland on Sunday
'George still stands several runs up the ladder from her rivals.' Kirkus Reviews
Elizabeth George orchestrates the family-secrets theme like a maestro . . . worthy of a standing ovation. (Amazon.com
'Ms George proves that the classiest crime writers are true novelists' The New York Times
keeps the reader on the knife's edge of suspense, thanks to George's skill at weaving together intriguing characters, disturbing action, police procedure, psychological insight, and mordant wit. First-rate suspense with a stunner of an ending. (Booklist
'An emotionally satisfying and intellectually compelling read' New York Daily News
Big, intricate and wide-ranging. (Good Book Guide
'A compassionate and delicately textured story, its plotlines and revelations fitting together with astonishing precision' Seattle Times
Praise for IN PURSUIT OF THE PROPER SINNER:
'Elizabeth George reigns as queen of the mystery genre'
'Sure-fire summer-vacation reading for mystery lovers' Denver Rocky Mountain News
It's tough to resist George's storytelling, once hooked (USA Today
Ms George can do it all, with style to spare (Wall Street Journal
A master of the British mystery (New York Times
George explores her characters' dreams and fears with a penetrating grace that makes reading her books a joy (Washington Post Book World