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Believing the Lie [Paperback]

Elizabeth George
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Jan 2012

Detective Inspector Lynley is approached by business magnate Bernard Fairclough for a confidential review - not a formal investigation - of the circumstances of his nephew's demise. The coroner's verdict is accidental death.

Recovering from the murder of his wife, Lynley has personal reasons for welcoming a spell away from London. He heads to the wild beauty of the Lake District, with Deborah and Simon St James to provide cover for his inquiries. Barbara Havers, back at base, makes her own unique contribution to the case, distracted only by Isabelle's ambitions to improve her Detective Sergeant's appearance.

When he comes to know the various members of the extended Fairclough dynasty, Lynley finds many possible motives for murder, and uncovers layers of deceit and betrayal that expose the lies at the heart of the Cumbrian community.

Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (5 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444705989
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444705980
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 923,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lynley and Havers struggle on ... 9 Jan 2012
By bookelephant TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich, detailed and absorbing 9 Jan 2012
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lynley & Havers : 17th issue 31 Jan 2012
By ieia51
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In my opinion, most of George's readers buy her books to hear about their favourite heroes : Tommy Linley, Barbara Havers, Deborah and St James. Fans have not yet got through Helen's death three books ago.( Actually, I Think Ms George's best book is "What came before he shot her", which isn't strictly one of the series). Like all the others, I waited eagerly for the new book, but I was disappointed. The main story is too long, too many stories and a bit morbid (sex, child sex abuse, homosexuality and transgender all in a book is too much). It's clear that Ms George wants to pass fron the simple murder mystery to The psycological novel. She has already done this in all her other books, but now there isn't even a real murder. I enjoyed Tommy , Barbara etc., their life going on, their personal tragedies, because it was what I was looking for first of all.But everything has become so sad! Everything goes wrong, no one is happy at the end of the book. Barbara is as usual the most interesting character. Deborah has become boring with her only obsession, Tommy ...Tommy? Tommy behaves in a way difficult to understand, even given his personal tragedy. Too many tragedies, Ms George. I wonder what will happen in issue n 18. The end of the world?
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
"He has set me in dark places
Like the dead of long ago." -- Lamentations 3:6 (NKJV)

Nothing pleases me more than to sit down with a long engrossing tale and to be drawn fully into a different world, gaining many insights from the experience . . . and feeling transformed at the end.

Having been a fan of the Thomas Lynley novels for some time, I settled in with this book and waited for the magic to arrive.

It was a long wait. In the last hundred pages, the book began to take on a more interesting character . . . or I would have rated it at one star.

This book needs a strong editor to whack it down to size to fit the story's potential. Without that, you'll spend a lot of time following matters that won't interest you very much and may even make you feel not as good as when you picked up the book.

Unless you feel compelled to read every word that Elizabeth George writes, I suggest you skip this book. The next one has to be better.

So what's it all about? The book's core concerns the death of Ian Cresswell, who had recently left his wife to live with his male lover. Sir David Hillier "loans" Lynley to a casual acquaintance, Bernard Fairclough, to look into the death in an unofficial way. Thomas asks Simon and Deborah St. James to join him in the sleuthing, and he makes occasional calls on Barbara Havers for research help. It's all a bit awkward because Thomas cannot tell his "guv" and lover, Isabelle Ardley, where he is or what he is doing . . . and Barbara Havers is under her authority.

The book has multiple narrators: the deceased; Lynley; Deborah; Barbara; Cresswell's son Tim; a Fairclough daughter; a Fairclough daughter-in-law; and Zed Benjamin, a tabloid reporter.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Poor old Havers Major spoilers
No. not this one, either. How can a cop be so undiscerning? Ah, that explains it: he's an aristocrat. Anyway, I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it.
Published 1 month ago by E. Holmans
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth George at her best
It is hard to imagine a poor story spun by Elizabeth George, but this on is one of her best!
Published 1 month ago by Broadback
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Lynley Mystery!
I found it heavy going. Havers going mad in England about the kidnapped girl and all the interaction in Italy. Not the most riveting Lynley book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pam Barton
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspector Linley books
Read both this one and "Just One Evil Act" together - which was by far the best thing to do - if you can do that, I can't recommend it enough. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Gill Pembury
4.0 out of 5 stars OK
A good story with the usual central characters plus some additions. Lynley's relationship with his boss is not very believable and rather irritating, and Havers is becoming a sad... Read more
Published 2 months ago by anon 337
4.0 out of 5 stars typical Lynley mystery
A typical Inspector Lynley mystery. To be criticasl, not as good as earlier books - writing a little tires but still a good read.
Published 3 months ago by BookwormJF
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner.
Enjoyed this very much. I love these cosy mysteries, they are engrossing but not too demanding. Brilliant. More please Ms George.
Published 3 months ago by E.B.
1.0 out of 5 stars 677 pages with no interest.
I agree entirely with the previous reviewer when she said "And that is pretty much what this book is about - people struggling on .....". Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tr4owner
2.0 out of 5 stars Massive disappointment
Having really enjoyed everything I've previously read by Elizabeth George, I downloaded this with great anticipation but was massively disappointed. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Booklover
3.0 out of 5 stars suspend your disbelief
It's very readable but I feel we're gradually saying farewell to the Lynley/Havers team . . . they just don't seem to be in touch any more. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Hitchup
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