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Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley) Paperback – 5 Jan 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (5 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444705989
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444705980
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.1 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (116 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,193,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth George was born Susan Elizabeth George in Warren, Ohio.

She is a graduate of University of California in Riverside. She also attended California State University at Fullerton, where she was awarded a master's degree in Counseling/Psychology and an honorary doctorate of humane letters

Professionally, she started out as a teacher. She was employed at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana initially, but there she gave in to her bent for organized labor and was summarily fired along with ten other teachers for union activity. She moved on to El Toro High School in El Toro, California (now called Lake Forest, California), where she remained for the rest of her career as high school English teacher. While employed there, she was selected Orange County Teacher of the Year, a tribute in part to the work she'd done with remedial students for nearly a decade. She left education after thirteen and a half years when she sold her first novel, A Great Deliverance, to her longtime publisher Bantam Books.

She has won the Anthony Award, the Agatha Award, and France's Le Grand Prix de Literature Policiere for her novel A Great Deliverance, for which she was also nominated for the Edgar and the Macavity Awards. She has also been awarded Germany's MIMI for her novel Well-Schooled in Murder.

Most of her novels have been filmed by for television by the BBC and have been broadcast in the US on PBS's MYSTERY. Visit her website at

Product Description


A fascinating read. (Woman)

Presses all the buttons to make us hoover her stuff up (Daily Telegraph)

She's a designer of fastidious mosaics that never fail to intrigue. (Guardian)

A confession: I'm addicted to Elizabeth George; her crime novels combine Victorian craftsmanship, psychological observation and ingenious plotting. George's celebrated attention to detail keeps the reader totally immersed. Bliss. (Kate Saunders, Saga)

An intelligent book, clipped and precise, every word chosen with care . . . a cool, clever book that needs concentration and a sharp brain to unravel . . . Along the way to solving the crime we meet some finely drawn characters who emerge as real people with faults and frailties. Ms George is the connoisseur's crime writer. Like fine wine, her words need to be savoured . . . Lynley is a policeman with a gentle touch and it is good to have him back on such brilliant form. (Sunday Express)

The author writes brilliantly and has an incredible ability to set a scene and create characters you want to know more about. (Sun)

Book Description

Elizabeth George's masterly novel sees Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley back centre stage in an intricate crime drama

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By b a on 21 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There are so many things wrong with this book, I could rabbit on forever. But I will try to be concise:
1. Police officers, these days, are under intense scrutiny, especially in the Metropolitan Police. The idea that one senior officer would order another senior officer off up to Cumbria on such a flimsy pretext, and think it would go unremarked upon, is ludicrous.
2. Similarly, a senior Pathologist and his aspirational photographer wife, would simply not go off on such a trip either. And the whole baby thing is getting a bit boring.
3. The characters are unbelievable, except perhaps for Havers, who does real things, and seems rooted in some sort of reality. Lynley is okay when we are not being forced to suffer all his personal angst in book after book. I particularly dislike the infantile Deborah Cotter/ St James person.
4. The geography is superficial and sometimes downright wrong. Saying that the Bardsea/ Great Urswick area is similar to the Broads is preposterous (I live in the South Lakes). Also, from an American standpoint the distances travlled are not far, but in reality the narrowness of the roads and their twistiness, makes journeys round this area quite time consuming and trying on the nerves. A few weeks sojourn in an area is no substitute for writing what you know about.
5. It's time M/s George re-focussed on real police work. The Lynley/ Havers motif works well - the side issues though they are meant to add interest, just turn the book into an overlong bore.
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79 of 85 people found the following review helpful By bookelephant on 9 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
And that is pretty much what this book is about - people struggling on in the face of many and different forms of sadness.
Lynley is still mired in his grief for Helen, and mired, too in what seems not to be a very life affirming relationship with his nominal boss Isabelle Ardery. Havers is poleaxed by the return of the delectable Angelina, mother to her neighbour Azhar's lovely daughter Haddiyah (who has been operating as a light in the darkness to Barbara for some time). The rather odd case to which Hillier dispatches Lynley in defiance of all protocol and without notice to his line manager (I bet any police who read this will just explode at the utter impossibility of the situation in real life!) is also awash with grief. A beloved nephew dead in mysterious circumstances, that beloved nephew having devastated his entire family shortly before by having come out of the closet with little thought for how it would affect his nearest and dearest - including his teenaged son and pre-teen daughter - forms the core of the mystery. But fanning out from it are the daughter grieving for her unlovableness, another for her lost marriage, and a prodigal son for the damage his past has caused and looking to make amends by persuading his epically beautiful wife to provide an heir. And to add further layers of sadness and loss, Lynley brings along St James and Deborah whose ongoing struggle for a child is driving the happiness out of their marriage.
What results is a very long way away from George's last book which was a true murder mystery wallowing in gore. There is what the coroner has already called an accidental death and there is a sense of gathering menace over at least one of the characters but the investigation is far more on the emotional level than on the police procedural.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 9 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lynley is back at Scotland Yard, but when Hillier asks him to do an off-the-books review of an accidental death in the Lake District, he heads out of London with the St James' as cover.

I really enjoyed this book which is classic, vintage Elizabeth George. If you like your crime tight and linear then this might well frustrate: it takes a detailed look at the Fairclough family, all of whom (of course) have motives that might mean an accident could be murder.

At the same time, the narrative explores the lives of long-time characters: Lynley, starting to recover from the grief of his wife's death; the St James', still having fertility problems; Barbara Havers, having a makeover to please her new boss.

George excels at creating real personalities and getting inside their lives. Some of the saccharine sweetness of the St James' marriage wears off in this book, making them both far more real than they have been in some of the earlier books. There's also a dark edge to Barbara's story, and a kind of melancholic air to the book overall.

So this is, in lots of ways, far more than a crime novel: while there are a number of crimes in the story, this is also a multi-plotted, character novel that is rich, detailed and absorbing.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Madame Cholet on 13 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have been a loyal reader of Elizabeth George for donkey's years but have to admit that I did not really enjoy this nor the previous book. For me she has now crossed a similar line to Patricia Cornwell where the franchise has gone on too long and in an effort to maintain storylines the characters have changed to a point where they are no longer believable.

I don't want to give any plot away as I am sure there are many that enjoy EG's books as I once did, but for my own part, the characters and some of the things they now do are beyond belief and lack credibility and this for me ruins the novels.

I am also sceptical about her research / researchers as I have found things to take issue with in several of her books and I find this an annoyance as they are things easily checked. In this novel - (not a spoiler) she describes the white shirt of a WH Smiths employee. Go into any branch Elizabeth - they are blue check.

The later books have also descended into gratuitous invective and sensational language / scenarios - this was never a part of the earlier works.

I'm left feeling angry - I've lost a favourite author.
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