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on 12 October 2017
As always Elizabeth George comes up with something different Excellent
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on 3 March 2014
I have been a fan of the Inspector Lynley novels for many years but this one should have a warning " do not read this book unless you speak Italian" I am half way through but getting so irritated that I am giving up!
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on 1 February 2018
Excellent gripping read, couldn't put it down!
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on 6 April 2014
I have read all of the Elizabeth George Inspector Lynley books and enjoyed them, some more than others, but enough to buy this her latest in hardback when it was first available.

What a mistake . This was about the typically headstrong Havers, still carrying her working class chip, but squandering her own MONEY which shes not supposed to have chasing unrequited love and a fantasy what?... child/friend/self?

The storyline was boring. Was it mean to enable us to pity Havers? It failed. ..

She put her career on the line..WOW what for ? If she had been soooo insubordinate no one could have saved her.

If I spoke Italian some phrases might have been understood , in fact I would have needed to speak a lot of Italian so what was the point without a translation.

The book was dire in the extreme and very disappointing. Slow slow slow .

I expect its hard to keep up a good storyline with so many new authors coming on line but I still love James Lee Burke Anne Cleeves, Michael Connolly although I am finding Patricia Cornwell boring..

Anyway Elizabeth George much as I enjoyed your previous books this one is a big miss. Sorry
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on 22 October 2013
Poor Hadiyyah - she almost drowned in the chilly North Sea in Deception on his Mind and now she has been kidnapped in Italy. This episode in the Lynley/Havers saga involves Havers more than Lynley, although he is initially despatched to Lucca to liaise with the Italian police. Of course he speaks Italian whereas Barbara Havers does not, though this doesn't prevent her from flying over there against orders to support her friend and neighbour Azhar, Hadiyyah's father.
So the action mainly takes place in a picturesque part of Italy, while things are happening in London: Barbara's involvement with a tabloid journalist; Azhar's complicated personal life; Lynley's new relationship as he attempts to get over his wife Helen's death.
Barbara Havers is the star of this show - the real Barbara, not the slimline TV version - and although it's hard to believe that someone so scruffy and unkempt, with such disregard for rules and procedures, would have survived for this long and been promoted to sergeant in Scotland Yard, this is fiction after all - and enjoyable fiction at that!

I wasn't expecting this to end the way it did, and look forward to finding out what happens to all the characters in the next book.
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on 28 October 2013
I have enjoyed most of the Inspector Lynley series so far, but this one had me wanting to throw the book against the wall. Yes, it is densely plotted and quite dark, but I found it hard to believe that both Barbara and Thomas would behave in quite such extreme out of character and unprofessional ways, and that despite recent criticisms, the inner workings of the Scotland Yard are quite as jejeune as depicted here. Not only that, I am driven to distraction by the repeated use of "c'nt" (for can't) and "p'raps" for perhaps in just about every character's speech. Miss George, please open your ears, not all Brits speak like half educated reality TV stars. Could do better.
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on 24 October 2013
This is arguably Ms George's best book since "What Came Before He Shot Her". It's good to see Insp Lynley finally emerging from the depths of grief and getting past his enormous error of judgement in his relationship with his boss. That said, his new love interest seems equally bizarre, so goodness only knows how that will pan out.
However, any story with the redoubtable Barbara Havers at the centre of it cannot fail to be a gem. My only worry is that Ms George is in danger of turning Barbara from a character into a caricature. All her traits, both good and bad seem unnecessarily exaggerated - I'm a bit sick of reading about the stained dressing gown and red high-tops and surely she didn't need to scalp herself to emphasise her contempt for authority? The unrelenting misery of Barbara's life is so bleak. She needs to wise up to the idiot Azhar and look twice at the lovely Italian detective who clearly finds her attractive!
I agree with other reviewers that the book is too long, but most of them are. That doesn't bother me, but what did was the quality of the writing in places. Ms George has always had an interesting way of phrasing sentences, but there are several here that are not just clunky but border on poor English. For example, "It wasn't as difficult as it had used to be..." Ms George is far too good a writer for some of the mistakes in the book, so perhaps she has been a victim of poor editing. Certainly, the suggestion should have been made to cut down on much of the Italian dialogue. While appreciating her always admirable attention to detail, I didn't want to have to sit with an Italian dictionary in order to get the best from the book.
But don't let this put you off, potential readers! On balance it's a cracking story and I can't wait for the next instalment in the lives of Lynley, Havers, et al.
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on 14 November 2014
Ok, I have been a fan since the start, sobbed over Helen's death, pulled my hair out time and time again over Barbara Havers. And Just One Evil Act is a great story - but I must be honest and say I wanted to give up half way through, I settled for skimming quite a bit of the middle - a much harder job on a Kindle! Because it is very poorly edited, it could have done with being half as long, most of the middle bit added little to the story. And don't get me started on the Italian words scattered through out - I can speak Italian but even I found them irritating and unnecessary. So why 5 stars - because once I got past the terrible middle, I loved it and read solidly for 2 hours to finish it. When Simon and Deborah appeared in the story I gave a little cheer but unfortunately their appearance was short-lived. Barbara's escape at the end was terribly contrived and not particularly believable but I had tears in my eyes when she got back to her poky shack.
I gather from the list of acknowledgements at the end that Elizabeth George is changing editors - I don't know which editor was responsible for this, he/she should be shot. From many of the reviews I have read, many reader will never buy another Elizabeth George novel - what a shame. Will I? I will check the length of the novel first - to try and gauge as to whether any editor gave a damn! Meanwhile I will follow Valerie Keogh's new detective Mike West - shades of Tommy Lynley there I think!!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 August 2014
I'm a big fan of the Inspector Lynley books, and were it not for two points I'd give this at least four stars - but I was let down. One problem was the ending, of which more later, and the other was despite being labelled on the front as 'An Inspector Lynley Novel', Thomas Lynley only plays a bit part, which rather spoils it for me.

The first half of the book, which features as plot the kidnap of Havers' young friend Hadiyyah and various subsequent machinations including murder (mostly taking place in gorgeous Italian settings) is a bit slow. The 700 page volume suffers from Rowling-Late-Novel-Bloatingitis - you could lose 100 pages from that first half and it would only be better. But with the kidnap and Havers' increasingly messy plight, the writing steps up several gears and it becomes gripping.

By now we've got over the fact that American writer George has such a good grip on British life without ever visiting, and she rarely makes the little slips you found in the early books. The only thing I would say is that she overplays the whole class business, sometimes almost turning her characters in caricatures. So, for instance, (lower class) Barbara Havers is given a gift of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and we get 'She'd not the slightest clue what to do with the former - perhaps a Mediterranean fry-up? she thought - but she reckoned the latter would be smashing on chips.' Frankly, this is a bit insulting. I mean, they have olive oil and balsamic vinegar in Frankie & Benny's...

Nonetheless, George weaves a great plot as usual, with plenty of subsidiary interpersonal developments going on. But what about that ending? The thing I have a problem with is that a character commits a serious criminal offence, and constantly lies to his/her friends, but everyone forgives him/her (including the police) apparently because he/she meant well and is somehow loveable. This just doesn't wash - I think George ought to watch the ending of the second season of the original Swedish version of the Bridge to see how this kind of thing should be handled.

So I was disappointed, but I'm glad I read it, and any Lynley fan will want to. But if you haven't read Elizabeth George before, this isn't the one to start with.
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on 22 July 2014
Negatives first: That book reads as if it has been written by three persons. One of them is clearly George. Another one is obviously learning, while tipping, Italian on his Ipod. Unfortunately that person failed to read through it before submitting. While I speak a few words Italian, it was tedious and annoying. The third person is a teenager from South London whose vocabulary consist of “can`t be arsed”, “hoof it”. George, on the other hand, has spent too much times watching Downtown Abby. She made me dislike Helen.
The editor was probably so confused, that at one page information was presented as new, despite the fact that everyone knew about this already ten pages earlier.
In fact, I doubt there was an editor involved.
Plus, I think there are too many persons in the story, I lost track who is who.
Positives: Lots of twists and turns which made me want to finish the book. Barbara is here the star, and her emotional state (and breaking into pieces) is very raw. Isabelle ....well I won’t give anything away. And Lynley? Is in love again.
Okay, three stars then
Would I buy another George after this? Of course, every writer has the right to be not at her best. But if the next one is written as poorly as this, I doubt there is another one for me.
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