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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent mystery
After what I consider to be the brilliant panoramic psychological masterpiece that was A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George here shifts the focus back to a more traditional story of crime and more onto her main characters once more, in a book that is sure to please all her fans immensely, despite their opinion of her last book.
Here, she takes the story to the...
Published on 9 Aug 2003 by RachelWalker

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A competent thriller
BAD THINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK
- At a page count of over 600, the story is rather bloated. It could have been told more effectively in 400 pages.
- I think Elizabeth suffers from thesaurus-mania. She perseveres in her custom of employing very convoluted and curious words where an uncomplicated one would have sufficed.
- This book proves that meticulous research...
Published on 9 July 2004


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A competent thriller, 9 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: A Place of Hiding (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 12) (Paperback)
BAD THINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK
- At a page count of over 600, the story is rather bloated. It could have been told more effectively in 400 pages.
- I think Elizabeth suffers from thesaurus-mania. She perseveres in her custom of employing very convoluted and curious words where an uncomplicated one would have sufficed.
- This book proves that meticulous research doesn't always guarantee authenticity. Elizabeth is a Californian anglophile and her novels are peppered with the quirks and details of British life - but for someone who actually lives in the UK, it just doesn't read true.
- Where is Barbara Havers?
GOOD THINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK
- It's a labour of love. The author seems to write without too much regard for what sells or not, which oddly enough makes for more enjoyable reading.
- It's got a satisfying tangled and twisted plot.
- It's got three-dimensional and intriguing characters.
- It evokes atmosphere and tensions brilliantly.
On the whole, it's a competently crafted detective story - and who really cares if it is really, really realistic? If you're on the lookout for a thumping great read, this should do the trick.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Please go back to Lynley and Havers!, 6 May 2004
By 
Sebastian Fernandez (Tampa, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Place of Hiding (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 12) (Paperback)
Don't get me wrong, this is a very good book. But the main characters (Simon and his wife) are not as interesting as Lynley and Havers. Besides I waited more than a year for this book because I wanted to know what was going to happen with Barbara and her neighbors just to find out that she is not mentioned in this new book in the series.
I hope George goes back to the characters that really characterize this series in her next book!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A great disappointment., 6 July 2004
By 
H. Lacroix (France) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: A Place of Hiding (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 12) (Paperback)
First it is important to write that I like E.George's books and have read them all. This one is so disappointing I could hardly
believe my eyes. I'm afraid that I have to say that bying that book is wasting money and reading it is wasting time.
In my opinion it has nothing to do with its being a St James story rather than a Lynley/Havers one. I have always liked Simon St James as a character and have always found him interesting. No, the problems are elsewhere. The plot is slow-paced, the story hard to credit, the dialogue dire and the neverending quarrels between spouses just boring. We had the 'Deb is in love with Tommy one' then the 'Deb is in love with Simon one' then the 'Deb can't get pregnant one'then the
'Deb doesn't want to adopt one' then the 'Deb had an abortion one' now it is the 'Simon treats me like a child one'. What is it going to be next time? 'Simon doesn't like my cooking' or
' How is he going to cope with my getting wrinkles'?
This book reads too much like soap watching. If you like soaps fine, if you don't you're going to be very annoyed by the banality and cheap psychology of that novel.
A word of advice. If you want a good read, buy some Rendell, PD James, Colin Dexter, Reginald Hill whatever... but not this one!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Place of Hiding - Elizabeth George, 13 May 2004
This review is from: A Place of Hiding (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 12) (Paperback)
I have read several of Elizabeth Georges novels, from the early days when she struggled in my opinion to formulate a good plot to the later ones where her characters are developed to extremis.This is one of the most disappointing. She starts off with the usual over the top detail but seems to rush the end leaving lots of unanswered questions and leaves you in the lurch. She develops a line so far with lots of detail then ???????. Why did Guy have a stone - or that particular stone- in the mouth etc. You get the feeling she had to meet a deadline somewhere or perhaps it was getting too long
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent mystery, 9 Aug 2003
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Place of Hiding (Hardcover)
After what I consider to be the brilliant panoramic psychological masterpiece that was A Traitor To Memory, Elizabeth George here shifts the focus back to a more traditional story of crime and more onto her main characters once more, in a book that is sure to please all her fans immensely, despite their opinion of her last book.
Here, she takes the story to the Channel Island of Gurnsey, an enclosed community very much with its own individual identity, which she evokes very well indeed. One morning, Guy Brouard, millionaire and generous benefactor of many projects on the island, is killed on the beach after his morning swim, and his death will send disastrous ripples through not only his own fractured family, but the fragile community too.
A plethora of evidence is discovered that clearly implicates someone, one China River, an American staying on the island for a few days after couriering a package for Guy over from the USA., and she is swiftly arrested. Desperate to prove his sister’s innocence, and having found no aid at the American embassy, Cherokee River (their mother was a hippie, of course) rushes to England to enlist the help of the only person he can think of: Deborah St James, China’s old friend from youth. Maybe there is something she can do, perhaps? However, when even a word from friend in the Metropolitan Police Thomas Lynley has no influence upon the Gurnsey police, Deborah (with Cherokee and husband Simon in tow) hurries to the island to help save her friend, and to atone for past failings.
Fans of Elizabeth George will love this, If they don’t mind that Deborah and Simon take the lead rather than the usual partnership of Lynley and Havers. Certainly I found it refreshing and rather nice that she’s brought these two characters out of the shadows a little more and given their relationship an almost incredible amount of depth all in a single book. George is adept at creating realistic and engrossing relationships between her main characters.
But, then, character has always been George’s strong point. There are very few writers today who can create so many completely rounded and whole and human characters, make them all equally interesting and give them all equal shrift and importance within a single novel.
And it’s not as if she skimps on plot here, either. It’s developed, multi-stranded, paced very well indeed, has a very good solution and is wholly satisfying. She tells her story with beautiful and incredibly rich prose, and in my mind is probably the finest American exponent of this type of traditional British mystery (even if she doesn’t always get it 100% right, but that doesn’t matter.) Existing fans will love this book and may think it her strongest in a while, and I would also encourage anyone whose never read her before and likes this kind of book to begin with A Place Of Hiding as soon as possible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars DID I MISS THE PLOT??, 7 Nov 2003
This review is from: A Place of Hiding (Paperback)
I picked up this book at the Airport last week and started it as soon as I got on the plane. I found it quite difficult to put down - but when I got to the end I felt I'd been cheated a bit. Having read all of George’s previous novels based around Inspector Lynley I am sure that I like most others were eagerly awaiting our latest fix.
Although I enjoyed the book, I was disappointed at the end as there seemed to me to be lots of unanswered questions as the final plot was revealed. Was it just me - maybe I missed the point slightly in my eagerness to find our ‘whodunnit’.
I was not quite sure, for example if I grasped the full situation of the activities of the murdered ‘Guy’ prior to his untimely death – why did he set these people up – what was his real motivation ?? What was the point of this, other than to underscore peoples individual relationships with him and their connections to his death?? No reason was given for his actions
I am not going to spoil the twist at the end for people who have not read it – but nothing was explained about how the murderer found out about the activities of Guy – the timing at the beginning and end of the book seemed to me to be out of sync. Surely the murderer would not have been in possession of the facts before the murder took place?? Why did Guy request a couple – and who was the Rastafarian courier for goodness sake – how on earth did the murderer set that one up?? George seems to have wrapped up these very loose ends with a statement by St James at the end saying ‘some of these things we will never know!!’ What a cop out. Did George just run out of steam or get to the end and realize she had no offender??
Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed the book overall. It was an enjoyable read and a great plot (until the very end), with interweaving sub plots and interesting characters introduced. I was not quite sure that the relationship between the American siblings and Deborah St James was quite believable, but was willing to overlook this as the plot developed.
I just hope that George brings back our old favourites Lynley and Havers for the next installment – and a little sanity……
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars a disappointing 2 1/2 star read, 22 Jan 2004
By 
Burjiz (Schaffhausen, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Place of Hiding (Hardcover)
I have to confess I was rather disappointed with "A Place of Hiding." Perhaps it was because Barbara Havers (my favourite character in the series that Elizabeth George has created) did not make even one appearance in this installment; or perhaps it was because the novel seem to completely lack any kind of suspense (esp in comparison to Ms George's first Lynely/Havers outing, "A Great Deliverance" -- a truly superb mystery novel, that); or because it took forever for the novel to unwind and move forward. For whatever reason, "A Place of Hiding" just did not live up to my expectations.
When an old friend (Cherokee Rivers) from Deborah St. James's past turns up at the St. James' doorstep begging for help, Deborah (and Simon, her husband and a forensic scientist) can hardly turn the poor man away. It turns out that Cherokee's sister, China, has been accused of murdering Guy Brouard on an isolated beach at Guersey (an island in the English Channel). Deborah is sure that her old friend is incapable of murder and is all for rushing off to prove her friend's innocence. But Simon is not so sure about the Rivers siblings, or about just what he and Deborah can really accomplish. And when it turns out that there are actually witnesses who saw China following Guy that fateful morning, both Simon and Deborah realize that its not going to be all that easy a task proving China's innocence. Finding a motive for this seemingly motiveless murder would be the first obvious step. And when the St. Jameses discover that Guy was not that well liked and that he had his fair share of enemies (two ex-wives, three estranged children, and a host of people he seems to have let down in one way or another), it looks as if the first steps have been taken to establishing that there may have been other suspects besides China. But Simon cannot let go of the notion that either one or both the Rivers siblings were involved in the murder, and his suspicions are beginning to take a toll on his relationship with Deborah. Will Simon be able to deal with his suspicions about the Rivers siblings (as well as his jealousy about Deborah's bond with them)? Or will his feelings get in the way of the investigation?
The main problem with "A Place of Hiding" (for me anyway) was that it took too long to unwind. The actual motive for the murder was not revealed until a little less than three quarters way through the novel (true there were a few other probable motives strewn about, but the authour, in my opinion, failed to focus on them concretely enough that it was hard to take these 'motives' seriously). And then there was the fact that the book seemed to be absolutely full of characters, whose every action was observed, dissected, picked through and presented for the readers pleasure. And some of these characters weren't even all that essential to the plot! After a while I just started skimming in order to get to the 'meat' of the mystery!!
So, if you like your mystery novels dense, where every shift in shadow and where every shade of a particular character's motivation is described, then "A Place of Hiding" should indeed satisfy. But is you're looking for a clever and suspenseful mystery novel, then you might want to give this latest Elizabeth George offering a miss.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning about tape: not read by Derek Jacobi, 6 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: A Place of Hiding (Audio Cassette)
I bougth the book as an audiobook and unfortunately I had to find that while on the back it states "read by Derek Jacobi", the information on the front "Read by Simon Jones" is the correct one.
I have no problem with Simon Jones reading in general ... just that is not as goods as Derek Jacobis, who, admittedly, is exceptional and there are not that many who match him.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars complete waste of time, 20 Oct 2003
By 
vickie graham (Houston, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Place of Hiding (Hardcover)
The book was a gift from a dear friend who took the trouble to bring it back to me from London - even obtaining an autographed copy. And that is the most endearing and interesting fact associated with this book. While Ms George usually excels in hooking the reader, even this was missing. I endured the painful experience of completing the book only out of a sense of loyalty to my friend. Even assuming it was as readable as past novels, it is about 200 pages too long. At best, Ms George appears to have been on a mission to introduce the reader to a few of her favorite words - in particular "machination" - the characters were absolutely and totally unbelievable - particularly the ridiculous names - China and Cherokee - I closed the book with a sense of sadness that the privacy of St James' had been so violated. It will be difficult to read any future novel and think of them quite the same.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No place to hide, 8 Jan 2010
By 
This review is from: A Place of Hiding (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 12) (Paperback)
I wondered if it was me, but no, other reviewers didn't like this book either. When so much work goes into writing a novel it seems rude to be disparaging but as far as this book is concerned, I've overcome my qualms. My initial fear was that I might be missing something but no matter how I tried, I found I couldn't have cared less about the American siblings or the good people of Guernsey and their sad WWII experiences or even the murder victim and his sister and their dreadful relatives. And as for Simon and Deborah St James, oh pleeease! With heads so far up backsides it was no wonder they needed 600 pages to discover the truth. But even that wasn't the end. The long drawn-out breast-beating and internalising still wasn't over - another 30 more pages of that still to go.

Along with being far too long and tangled, there's too much telling instead of showing and the many prolonged descriptive passages holds up what action there is. And the author does the Guernsey police service no favours at all.

So why did I persevere with this book? It was a gift so I felt obliged to read it and anyway, I don't like being beaten. But this one of the few books I have truly struggled with. When the best and most interesting character is a scruffy mongrel there's little room for compliments.
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A Place of Hiding (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 12)
A Place of Hiding (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 12) by Elizabeth George (Paperback - 12 April 2004)
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