Believing the Lie: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 14 Paperback – 13 Sep 2012
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A cool, clever book that needs concentration and a sharp brain to unravel (Sunday Express)
A fascinating read (Woman)
Presses all the buttons to make us hoover her stuff up (Daily Telegraph)
She's a designer of fastidious mosaics that never fail to intrigue (Guardian)
Elizabeth George's masterly novel sees Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley back centre stage in an intricate crime dramaSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book #17, in the Inspector Lynley mystery
This is a good size book over 600 pages of a tightly plotted mystery that brings MS George’s unpredictable characters in the... Read more
I would have given this book a straight 5 but I could not get round the fact that Barbara Havers has been given a scottish accent even though she was born and brought up in London.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very good worked straight away and audible aspect really useful.Published 4 months ago by robert j hawes
A little contrived with several plot lines fairly unlikely / in real but still has that ability to draw one into a fast paced detective novelPublished 7 months ago by K KING