Customer Reviews


45 Reviews
5 star:
 (22)
4 star:
 (13)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


53 of 54 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


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

53 of 54 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


38 of 40 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reissue, 5 April 2012
This review is from: A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley) (Paperback)
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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars outrageous!, 5 April 2012
This review is from: A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley) (Paperback)
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".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT A NEW BOOK, 18 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley) (Paperback)
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...
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Great Deliverance, 7 July 2009
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Not a book for me, 13 Oct 2014
By 
S. Macleod (Inverness, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the first Inspector Lynley book I have read, though I had seen a number of the TV dramas. I'm afraid I prefer the TV adaptations. The characters in the book are actually quite unpleasant and didn't appeal to me at all. There was also (for me) far too much lurid description of the sexual abuse background to the crime. I don't think I'll be reading any more of the series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well-written, although no real mystery, 26 July 2008
By 
This first outing for Lynley and Havers sees the pair investigate the murder of a country farmer. The farmer's daughter is found next to his body, holding an axe and declaring that she "did it", and is quickly locked away in a mental hospital, but the local priest travels to London to convince the authorities that the crime merits deeper investigation.

Many readers, me included, will have come to Elizabeth George's writing after watching the BBC TV series based on her novels. What is striking about this book is the subtlety with which George paints her main characters (who are quite different to their on-screen incarnations, particularly Barbara Havers). Lynley and Havers, and the interaction between the two, are at the heart of "A Great Deliverance." George takes the time to show us where these people come from, and how they feel. The level of characterisation of the detectives is surprisingly detailed for a "crime" novel and this aspect of the book makes for refreshing reading.

Less refreshing is the central story. Most readers will have guessed relatively early on what the "shock" is in this book; and will not actually be all that shocked. The book is twenty years old or so and perhaps is beginning to show its age in that the main plot points have been seen so many times in crime stories and particularly in television dramas; many readers will get a sense of deja vu in the reading of "A Great Deliverance", which is sadly less than the book deserves. Another problem is that the portrayal and dialogue of a couple of minor characters does not quite ring true and the revelatory "showdown" conversation that occurs to explain the crime and why it was committed features a few lines that really do not seem credible. These do jar a little at what is supposed to be the climax of the novel.

However, the writing is generally strong, and having read other reviews of George's novels that point out the mistakes she makes in the depiction of British life, I was pleasantly surprised to see that she gets most things right here and does convey a strong sense of place, something missing from some other crime stories.

Not a bad read overall, and I will be reading other books in the Inspector Lynley series to see if Elizabeth George's strong writing combines with a more intriguing plot elsewhere, and to see how the partnership between Lynley and Havers develops in the books.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley) (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 25 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley)
A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley) by Elizabeth George (Paperback - 12 April 2012)
£6.29
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews