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What Came Before He Shot Her (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 14) Paperback – 29 Nov 2007

94 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

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Product details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (29 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034093557X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340935576
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 17.8 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 348,184 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 www.elizabethgeorgeonline.com

Product Description

Review

A very powerful novel (Kate Mosse)

Why haven't I read Elizabeth George before? She's brilliant (Sue Arnold Guardian)

Absolutely remarkable (Boyd Hilton BBC Radio FiveLive)

Ms George is the connoisseur's crime writer (Sunday Express)

Elizabeth George takes a brave descent into the world of gangs and teenage murderers . . . the novel shows how even the best of intentions can be defeated by poverty, bad breaks and bad guys. (Daily Express)

Why haven't I read Elizabeth George before? Maybe because someone told me she was a serious crime writer, and I listen to thrillers to escape, not to think. All this will change; she's brilliant (Sue Arnold, Guardian)

George's best since her 1998 debut. Read it and weep. (Kirkus Reviews)

Absolutely remarkable and a great achievement (Boyd Hilton on BBC Radio FiveLive)

A very powerful novel. (Kate Mosse)

It shifts the way you look at things - I was completely drawn into this world I knew nothing about and I'm full of admiration (Sarah Harrison)

Book Description

No. 1 bestselling crime author shocks with the story of a twelve-year-old boy's descent to murder.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Louizalass on 28 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
Elizabeth George is an author who either delights me or dismays me. I will always check out the star rating of her most recent works to at least give me an indication whether it's worth me spending money on one of her books. This particular book was a impulse buy from my local supermarket - I doubt I'd have made a special effort to seek another of Ms George's books out because I couldn't be bothered to finish her last one!

I am so glad I made the choice. I went through most human emotions at the story within its pages. Ms George bought all her characters alive so much I felt I knew each and every one. Normally, strong 'slang' (in this case, street talk) would irritate me but as it was absolutely necessary to the portray how the 'hoods' in the neighbourhood spoke, she could hardly use BBC English and hope we'd use our imaginations.

I hadn't realised that this novel was a sequel and I think that if I'd read 'With No one as Witness', I suspect that the surprise element of the story might have been spoiled for me. Without reading the sequel, this novel was powerful and gripping and one I will remember for a long time.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By M. Seymour on 23 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
I didn't like it. Nice imaginative reconstruction of what led up to a crime being comitted and I hope the tales of life in London are a bit exaggerated but if you're a Lynley fan then avoid. I hope she doesn't get the idea of treating all her novels like this.
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87 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Lucido on 22 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
How could Elizabeth George even think of letting her fans down like this? I've never before been moved to write a review but this book is a literary crime that cannot go unpunished! (Wish it had gone unpublished though.) Ever since I read George's first Lynley mystery, I've bought each subsequent new one as it was released. I've never been disappointed - until now. That's not to say I don't have some gripes with George; I do. For one, she's long-winded and seems to get more so with every passing book. Readers don't need a description of every locale on a given London road to believe that the author, self-consciously and insurmountably American, has been there. More irritatingly though, and no doubt stemming from the same self-consciousness, her overuse of Brit vernacular and colloquialisms is forced and rings false compared with writers who have nothing to prove in terms of nationality. But to her credit, she has created a cast of winning characters and I tune in every time to see what has happened in Lynley's and Havers' worlds. Especially after the last book shockingly killed off a major character, we deserved to be rewarded for waiting and plunking down our money. I want to know how Lynley is coping, and what is happening with already emotionally-scarred Deborah, who was first on the crime scene. What about Barbara Havers, the character with whose creation George struck pure gold? Both Havers' professional and private lives are utterly engaging ongoing sagas (when will she get together with that neighbor of hers?) and I feel completely ROBBED not to have received the next installment. Worse yet is the book itself, which for all intents and purposes I dumped after a tedious first chapter (I skimmed through the rest of it thinking I could find the parts with Lynley et al.Read more ›
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72 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Grethe Tausvik on 29 Sept. 2006
Format: Hardcover
(The book seems to be available earlier outside UK - I picked up a copy two weeks ago, I live in Norway)

The latest novel by one of my favourite crime authors, is nothing like any other she has written. The title explains it all, but it took me quite a few pages to realise that this isn't the standard Inspector Lynley novel. This is something completely different, and it's something I have often thought about when I finish the usual crime novel: The story about the offender, the how, the why, the background, the what if... I found the story deeply moving, shocking, disturbing, but also - sadly - very easy to believe in. I'm not sure what I expected as the story unfolded itself. But I am left with a feeling of unease, of sadness, and of helplessness. This is a novel that will haunt me for some time.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ELI (Italy) on 29 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is, essentially, the anatomy of a murder. It describes the events leading up to the conclusion of E. George's last work "With No One As Witness", however the connection starts taking shape only towards the end of this book. As an E. George's fan and after having enjoyed all the Lynley/Havers mysteries, I was truly looking forward to find out some answers to the unexpected and tragic ending of her previous book, but the more I read, the more my eagerness became deflated. Simply, I had mistakenly expected a sequel, and this is not it.

However, my feelings were not hurt, so to speak, as it is also true that the more I read, the more I appreciated the story line, which I would define, at this point, essential for the understanding -or, at least, for coming to terms- with what had happened previously. This is a well written tale of a dysfunctional and troubled family in North Kensington, London. As usual, I have appreciated and enjoyed the author's ever-present deep psychological insights. Also, the inclusion of slang language dialogues, where needed, represents the main characters vividly and real-life-like. Some descriptions and situations resulting from impossibly hard and complicated circumstances are simply heartbreaking.

I would categorize this book almost as a statement about those people born into less fortunate families and backgrounds. It is a work of fiction and simultaneously a sad reminder of how things can go wrong in real life if proper support lacks in many ways, for reasons that may commonly be considered avoidable but are, more often than not, beyond control, despite the well meaning efforts made by most people (some families themselves, authorities etc.) to avoid degeneration and degradation.
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