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78 of 83 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lynley and Havers struggle on ...
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...
Published on 9 Jan 2012 by bookelephant

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lynley & Havers : 17th issue
PAY ATTENTION, COULD BE SPOILER
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...
Published on 31 Jan 2012 by ieia51


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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 (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 17) (Hardcover)
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. If you want a true murder whodunnit, you will definitely be disappointed, and I suspect this will not be a book which many new followers to George's work. But George's many existing fans will, I think, enjoy the exploration of the emotional landscape of loss (set rather cleverly against the harsh landscape of the Morecambe Bay area) and will enjoy, too, Ardery's attempt to make over Havers' appearance (which we just know are detined to fail long term!) and Lynley's attempts to emerge from the chrysalis in which Helen's death locked him. The ending which contrives to be both upbeat and terribly sad (read it and find out how) leaves us looking forward to where George will go next ....
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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
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Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 17) (Hardcover)
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
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This review is from: Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 17) (Hardcover)
PAY ATTENTION, COULD BE SPOILER
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
2.0 out of 5 stars A Long Read That Made Me Wonder What the Point Was for 400 Pages, 24 Jan 2012
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 17) (Hardcover)
"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. This design allows for lots of subplots such as strains in Lynley's relationship with Isabelle, the St. Jameses dealing with infertility, the difficulties faced by the Cresswell children, trying to find a juicy story for a tabloid and still live with one's conscience, Barbara's battles against orders to improve her appearance, and Barbara's relationship with her neighbors.

The story has enough plots and subplots to fill six soap operas, so don't be surprised by anything that comes along. If it hasn't happened yet, it probably will.

Overall, the book left me feeling down . . . even though I admired the way that Ms. George ultimately pulled a couple of rabbits out of the hat to make the story more worth the slog.

I felt that only the writing about Barbara Havers was really good. If this book had been expanded to just focus on her, it would have been a far, far better work. Much of the rest involved too little character development, too many unlikely circumstances, too predictable development events, and not much encouragement to draw from the human pain displayed.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Left feeling very angry, 13 Jan 2012
This review is from: Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 17) (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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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 23 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 17) (Hardcover)
I've read all the Inspector Lynley books to date and apart from 'What came before he shot her' have enjoyed them. But not this one. Long drawn out and not particularly well written. Implausible plot and badly drawn characters. Won't be rushing to buy another one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Churning?, 21 Jun 2013
By 
Mrs. B. Adams "adamsopt" (Cumbria UK) - See all my reviews
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Believing the Lie, 9 Nov 2012
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This was disappointing compared with other Elizabeth George books. There wasn't really a crime to be solved and so I didn't find it as absorbing as the other stories.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Believing is not a possibility, 20 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 17) (Hardcover)
Elizabeth George's novels are usually worth reading for the plots alone -- even if her `English' dialogue reads like the literary equivalent of listening to Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, and the Britain her characters inhabit has more in common with the world of Downton Abbey than the country I live in. Please, Elizabeth -- no one in Britain (with the possible exception of Prince Charles) uses the personal pronoun `one', except in irony!

However, from the start I was struck by the apparent lack of research behind this one, which also seems to feature time travel. We start in `October' -- no indication of the year, but one when newspapers were still based on Fleet Street (most left in the 1980s), had not yet gone online, and had editors who avoided profanity (was that ever?); Blackfriars tube station was open (it has been closed since 2009, and will reopen later in 2012); people `slapped down credit cards' to pay for train tickets (so before automated ticket machines and chip-and-PIN) ; and a reporter for a national tabloid is not permanently welded to his smartphone, or even appears to possess one. Also an era before there were regular trains from Euston to Oxenholme. To be fair, more than a third of the way through the book, it is pointed out that Fleet Street is no longer the home of newspapers, but that The Source is a rare exception; this seems to have been added as an afterthought, and does not ring true.

We then skip to Cumbria, to a year when gay civil partnerships are a possibility -- so it must be later than 2004, which leaves us with a five-year window before the closure of Blackfriars station. Chip-and-PIN was rolled out nationwide from 2004, and would certainly have been in operation at Euston early in this roll-out... though I suppose he could have had an oldish credit card... Hmm... This might not matter, but if you're going to give this much detail, you might as well get it right.

These quibbles apart... unfortunately, the plot, such as it is, does not save this novel. In fact, Ms George seems to be desperately padding out a very flimsy idea with superfluous dialogue and peripheral descriptions, and it was hard work to read through to the end. It is simply incredible that a senior Metropolitan police officer would be given semi-official sanction (and, presumably, continue to receive his salary) to go on an amateur sleuthing exercise in the country with his chums, just because a dysfunctional rich family pulls some strings; and unlikely that the unwarranted, intrusive and ultimately destructive behaviour of some of the characters `on Lynley's side' would be tolerated. A couple of subplots are included -- I can't say `woven in' because it's not true -- and equally lack credibility. The final scene -- nothing to do with the main `plot' -- is pure, but presumably unintentional, farce (and effectively destroys any remaining credibility of my hitherto favourite character).

A huge disappointment for Elizabeth George fans. I agree with other reviewers that this has all the signs of a book produced to fulfil a contract, rather than through any creative idea. I don't think I will be reading any more of her novels.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An ordeal, 4 Mar 2012
This review is from: Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 17) (Hardcover)
Completely agree that this book is not up to scratch. I got up to page 255 wondering whether this had in fact been written by EG. In this country we refer to our law enforcers as the police not the cops. A boathouse on lake Windermere would not have a fish cleaning table as its a fresh water lake with a completely different stock to lake Superior. The behaviour and dialogue of a lot of the characters was also extremely juvenile. It's very rare for me not to finish a book but this was very disappointing.
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Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 17)
Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Mysteries 17) by Elizabeth George (Hardcover - 5 Jan 2012)
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