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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for Lynley and Havers Fans
"Who knows what darkness lies in the hearts of men? Only the Shadow knows." That opening from the old radio show came to mind as I reread this book about the almost unspeakable evils that people do to one another.
First published in 1988, A Great Deliverance is the first book in the distinguished series featuring Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara...
Published on 3 May 2005 by Donald Mitchell

versus
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reissue
This is a re-issue of Elizabeth George's first book about Inspector Lindley and Barbara. Publishers should make it absolutely clear when they re-issue a title. Fans of Elizabeth George will love the book, but may be extrememly disappointed if they read it years ago!
Published on 5 April 2012 by Amazon Customer


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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for Lynley and Havers Fans, 3 May 2005
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley Mystery Series) (Paperback)
"Who knows what darkness lies in the hearts of men? Only the Shadow knows." That opening from the old radio show came to mind as I reread this book about the almost unspeakable evils that people do to one another.
First published in 1988, A Great Deliverance is the first book in the distinguished series featuring Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, the English detective duo who have delighted so many readers since then. I first read this book many years ago and was impressed at the time by the careful character development. Little did I know that that character development would make the subsequent series such a remarkable delight. Rereading the book now, I must say that I don't remember a first book in a detective series that did nearly so much to establish the backgrounds, thought processes, influences and loves of the lead characters. I'm much more impressed than the first time.
As the story opens, Father Hart is on a pilgrimage to Scotland Yard to help heal a rift among those who have been investigating the beheading of a local farmer. While most detectives would feel that finding the farmer's daughter, Roberta Teys, next to the body as she confesses that she's guilty would be enough evidence, Father Hart believes that Roberta is innocent. Thus, Scotland Yard enters the case. Havers is dispatched to haul Lynley back from a wedding he's attending, and the reader is soon enmeshed in "what might have been" thoughts concerning the lives of both Lynley and Havers.
Lynley is the golden boy, the eighth earl of Asherton, who doesn't even need to work . . . but who sees work as his obligation. Havers is a loose cannon of emotions, instincts and prejudice . . . but who's brilliantly and doggedly determined to find the answers to any crime. How they develop comfort with one another is quite intriguing in the book.
The mystery itself is pretty straightforward, so don't look for that aspect of the book to delight you with its charm. If you judge mysteries by how hard the mystery is to solve, this one will be a 2 or 3 star effort to you.
But if you love rich, complex characters with nuanced reactions in tricky situations, this book will delight you.
Literature fans will appreciate the references that are included in sorting out the mystery.
Those who require absolute accuracy in all aspects of what's English will detect false notes here and there. Still, the overall result is quite impressive coming from an American. And most American readers won't be able to tell the difference anyway.
If the mystery had been better designed, this could have been one of the great mystery stories of all time. Do read on. There are many other fine books in this series. The rich character development in this book will add much delight to your reading in the subsequent ones.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first novel in the Lynley/Havers canon - Start here!, 24 Jun 2000
By 
Mr. D. J. Carr "David Carr" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Let's get the bad news out of the way first: Elizabeth George's writing is generally below par when detailing the thoughts and deeds of the upper classes. She also has the tendency when setting out the prose of Scottish characters to reduce the speech to a phonetic travesty of real dialect.
However, and here is the good news, her plotting of the details of the mystery is both detailed and believable, while her character Havers is a brilliant success. The reader is treated to a realistic analysis of the difference between people's real thoughts, emotions and intentions and the perceptions of these same elements when seen through either unsympathetic - or simply unknowing - eyes.
The personal problems faced by Havers will sound familiar to many readers, and this adds a further realism to the action. Havers is human, flawed, bloody-minded, but ultimately brings her own unique insight to the case.
Unlike some series, the personal lives of the main characters develop book by book, and the best way to appreciate the characters is to live their lives from the beginning.
So, start here, and although the journey through her novels will be sometimes not always as smooth or as clear as one would wish, the standard not always staying at the very top, I am convinced that you will agree that Elizabeth George rarely short-changes you, and you will feel sad when you've reached the end of her most recent release and actually have to wait for her to write the next one.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reissue, 5 April 2012
This is a re-issue of Elizabeth George's first book about Inspector Lindley and Barbara. Publishers should make it absolutely clear when they re-issue a title. Fans of Elizabeth George will love the book, but may be extrememly disappointed if they read it years ago!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outrageous!, 5 April 2012
I just found out about this very obvious matter of a re-issue by an advertising e-mail titled, of all things: "Elizabeth George's NEW BOOK"! How dare you!!! Certainly all of us fans of Elizabeth George are waiting impatiently, hoping there will be a follow-up to "This Body of Death", now Inspector Lynley is back. But this is not a new book, and you may NOT call it a "new book".
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for Lynley and Havers Fans, 3 May 2005
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
"Who knows what darkness lies in the hearts of men? Only the Shadow knows." That opening from the old radio show came to mind as I reread this book about the almost unspeakable evils that people do to one another.
First published in 1988, A Great Deliverance is the first book in the distinguished series featuring Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, the English detective duo who have delighted so many readers since then. I first read this book many years ago and was impressed at the time by the careful character development. Little did I know that that character development would make the subsequent series such a remarkable delight. Rereading the book now, I must say that I don't remember a first book in a detective series that did nearly so much to establish the backgrounds, thought processes, influences and loves of the lead characters. I'm much more impressed than the first time.
As the story opens, Father Hart is on a pilgrimage to Scotland Yard to help heal a rift among those who have been investigating the beheading of a local farmer. While most detectives would feel that finding the farmer's daughter, Roberta Teys, next to the body as she confesses that she's guilty would be enough evidence, Father Hart believes that Roberta is innocent. Thus, Scotland Yard enters the case. Havers is dispatched to haul Lynley back from a wedding he's attending, and the reader is soon enmeshed in "what might have been" thoughts concerning the lives of both Lynley and Havers.
Lynley is the golden boy, the eighth earl of Asherton, who doesn't even need to work . . . but who sees work as his obligation. Havers is a loose cannon of emotions, instincts and prejudice . . . but who's brilliantly and doggedly determined to find the answers to any crime. How they develop comfort with one another is quite intriguing in the book.
The mystery itself is pretty straightforward, so don't look for that aspect of the book to delight you with its charm. If you judge mysteries by how hard the mystery is to solve, this one will be a 2 or 3 star effort to you.
But if you love rich, complex characters with nuanced reactions in tricky situations, this book will delight you.
Literature fans will appreciate the references that are included in sorting out the mystery.
Those who require absolute accuracy in all aspects of what's English will detect false notes here and there. Still, the overall result is quite impressive coming from an American. And most American readers won't be able to tell the difference anyway.
If the mystery had been better designed, this could have been one of the great mystery stories of all time. Do read on. There are many other fine books in this series. The rich character development in this book will add much delight to your reading in the subsequent ones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT A NEW BOOK, 18 April 2012
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Yes, as the previous reviewer said, this is a re-issue, and however interesting should not be touted as a new book. Beware such advertising. I might have bought it for my kindle had this style of advertising not annoyed me so much...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Great Deliverance, 7 July 2009
This review is from: A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley Mystery Series) (Paperback)
Terribly overwritten in places as the author aspires to writing great literature, unfortunately her characters seem to have tumbled out of a Mills & Boon. Inspector Lynley is achingly predictable, whereas Havers is actually quite unpleasant. Then there's the sub-plot regarding St James and his beautiful wife which goes nowhere, other then to create some angst for Lynley even though it's ANOTHER woman he appears to love. It's interesting to note that all the posh women in this book are all described as being beautiful but poor old working class Havers is stuck with being plain, having bad taste in clothes and being continually sweaty. The working relationship between Lynley and Havers is interesting. The final revelation of the crime is effective. Unfortunately as a whole the book is difficult to take seriously, it lurches too often into unintended parody for it to be truly effective.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your hard earned money, 4 April 2013
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What a pretentious cliched book this is. And too many errors. She really didn't have to keep labouring the point that it was set in Yorkshire by having people constantly reading Bronte. Nor was the constant reference to other writers needed. Ok so you've read books, get over it. Lots of us have.
Sorry but not every working class person dresses badly has badly cut hair or is ugly, nor is every aristo golden haired and attractive. Cliche upon cliche
Of course it was impossible for the local plods to solve the murder they had to be rescued from their idiocy by the brains from London. Could she have managed to include any more stereotypes?
And was a love angle really needed. It read like I'd expect a bad Mills & Boon to, i.e. dire. Note, a bad M&B, yes that bad.
I gave it two stars as it improved once she'd stop trying to impress us with her supposed knowledge of England. But I won't be reading any more of this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good read!, 25 Feb 2014
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I really enjoyed this book! I have seen
the television adaptation and enjoyed it but it didn't follow the book completely. I think the book is better!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Novel, 20 Nov 2013
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I found this novel thoroughly enjoyable on many levels. It is an essential read for fans of Elizabeth George as it sets the scene and explains many of the relationships which are important in her later novels. The characters are well portrayed and the murder investigation explores issues such as child abuse which are relevant to all classes and times.
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A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley Mystery Series)
A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley Mystery Series) by Elizabeth George (Paperback - 10 Nov 2003)
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