Detective Inspector Lynley is approached by business magnate Bernard Fairclough for a confidential review - not a formal investigation - of the circumstances of his nephew's demise. The coroner's verdict is accidental death.
Still grieving for his murdered wife, Lynley has personal reasons for welcoming a spell away from London. He heads to the wild beauty of the Lake District, with Deborah and Simon St James to provide cover for his inquiries. Barbara Havers, back at base, makes her own unique contribution to the case, distracted only by Isabelle's ambitions to improve her Detective Sergeant's appearance.
When he comes to know the various members of the extended Fairclough dynasty, Lynley finds many possible motives for murder, and uncovers layers of deceit and betrayal that expose the lies at the heart of the Cumbrian community.
©2012 Eilzabeth George (P)2012 Hodder & Stoughton
I've read all her other Lynley books so despite the mixed reviews I listened to this one.
The story's okay - less detective novel than a book describing relationships.
The main problem I had was the narration. The accents weren't brilliant - the newspaper editor sounded like Fagin from the film 'Oliver'.
Al in all, not a complete waste, but not a resounding success either.
"Vintage Elizabeth George"
Another convoluted story from Elizabeth George that keeps your mind sharp and your ears firmly attached to the phones. Nothing is quite as it seems and there are times when I wanted to shake the characters for their misunderstandings. The reader was great for the most part but obviously has a wealth of accents ready to be called upon. Having read all of the Lyndley series I was startled by the rich scottish accent of Barbara Havers - I have always thought of her more as Essex. Thankfully, the majority of the book was read in the reader's normal voice which is excellent. The ending leaves many questions being asked, roll on the next instalment.
It is worth reading the series from the beginning so that the development of the characters can be followed.
"Okay, but not her best"
This book is fine, it will keep you entertained, but it's not Elizabeth George at her best. Have to say, though, that George off peak-form is probably still a lot better than most other authors in top-form.
Lynley and Havers are back (though not really working together), though there's rather too much of Simon and Deborah for my taste. It's like somewhere, George started focussing more on the internal dramas of the characters rather than on creating the best and most tightly crafted whodunnit.
Also, I'm growing a little tired of the bleak endings.
I enjoyed the reader - there are two audio versions, one with a male and one with a female voice. I bought the latter and thought he did a good job.
"Elizabeth George getting back to her best"
After the two previous Lynley stories which I found really poor it is a pleasure to say that this book shows a return Ms George's old form. Lynley is sent up north on an "unofficial" mission to investigate a murder/suicide/accident, helped by Deborah and St James whilst Havers remains in London to find out what she can about the people involved. Nothing is quite what it seems and the job is more difficult than he had presumed. I wish that that Lynley's romance(?) with the awful Isabelle Ardery had been omitted but Haver's private life continues to entertain. Timothy Bentinck did a sterling job with the narration (once I had got over thinking it was David Archer speaking!)
"Love George's books usually but this is awful!"
This book is read really well and the style is typical Elizabeth George which is good BUT sadly she seems to have lost her way as far as Inspector Lindley is concerned.
There are sub plots galore which are totally unwelcome and not necessary, Havers is great as usual but Deborah St James brings a side story which is truely upsetting, her character is so unlikeable it is hard to see why anyone has time for her.
The last quarter of the book made me want to scream as it is so awful and without purpose.
To anyone whom dislikes story lines related to child pornography steer clear especially as its not needed in the plot at all and adds nothing but a bad taste in the mouth.
Shame on you Elizabeth George this is a horribly twisted family angst story not a murder mystery!!
"One Major Problem"
This story is up to the usual standard of Elizabeth George and her fans will not be disappointed except for one factor ..... Tim Bentick for some reason, (good with all the voices of the other characters) reads Barbara Havers WITH A SCOTTISH ACCENT! She came from South London for goodness sake, as did her family!
Apart from that grating factor otherwise very enjoyable and nice and long.
"Ms George had lost the plot"
Where is the crime? This is not a Lynley mystery and I was very very disappointed.
I enjoyed this a lot, as I do all Elizabeth George's books. That said, I thought some of the plot was a bit unbelievable and somewhat annoying, but on the whole it was good. Tim Bentinck's narration was very good. Main difficulty was having Havers with a Scottish accent, when I'm fairly sure she was from Acton, and I'm sure the reader could have coped - he seemed to do well with everything else!
I bought this as I wanted to try a new author and I like Tim Bentinck from 'The Archers'. The book is interesting although the continual series of misunderstandings grated a little, but I could not get away from the 'nice man' voice of the narrator which simply did not fit the often gruesome subject matter of the book. I really wanted to lose myself in this book, but just couldn't.
"What a waste of time and money"
Elizabeth George is a great detective mystery writer. What a shame she has decided to become a poorly average romantic fiction writer. I battled on to the end of this weary tome thinking that something interesting might actually happen beyond the emotional meanderings of a bunch of cliched stereotypes. Yes there is action, but by the time you get it you could not care less about the people it happens to so it is pointless and uninteresting. What a shame Tim Bentinck lent his brilliant reading talents to this dross -- it was only the high quality of his reading style that kept me hanging on to the end. Rarely have I felt my money on an audiobook so ill-spent.
I am halfway through Part 1 of 3 downloads and am already considering giving the rest a miss. Tim Bentinck reads this as if he was reading an instruction manual - not monotonous by any means but precise, factual, unrelenting. And what was it with making a phone call sound like a phone call with the caller having a tinny in-the-distance voice? I was driving in traffic at the time and all I could hear was one side of the conversation. I have just finished listening to With No One as Witness which is the book preceding this one and was narrated by Diana Bishop. This was a much easier listen and the characters, even though they were the same ones, felt much more real. Sorry Tim, but I won't be listening to you again as much as I love the Inspector Lynley mysteries.
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