After the senseless murder of his wife, Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley retreated to Cornwall, where he has spent six solitary weeks hiking the bleak and rugged coastline. But no matter how far he walks, no matter how exhausting his days, the painful memories of Helen's death do not diminish.
On the 43rd day of his walk, at the base of a cliff, Lynley discovers the body of a young man who appears to have fallen to his death. The closest town, better known for its tourists and its surfing than its intrigue, seems an unlikely place for murder. However, it soon becomes apparent that a clever killer is indeed at work, and this time Lynley is not a detective but a witness and possibly a suspect.
The head of the vastly understaffed local police department needs Lynley's help, though, especially when it comes to the mysterious, secretive woman whose cottage lies not far from where the body was discovered. But can Lynley let go of the past long enough to solve a most devious and carefully planned crime?
Investigate another case with Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley.
©2008 Susan Elizabeth George; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
Daily Dog Walker and LONG Silicon Valley commutes, so I gulp through and love lotsa books, especially literary fiction and Mystery.
After EG's last excursion into fringe Lynley-land with "What Came Before He Shot Her" I am SO happy to have George, and Thomas Lynley back again. Alhough Lynley is also still recovering, as this erstwhile reader is, from "What Came Before" he is back again!
This is an exquisite little book about birth and all that ones birth and place in family and universe entails, as Lynley traipses through England on a soul-scourging, post trauma walk, he ends up in the middle of the Book's requisite murder mystery. But the web of characters, including Lynley and yes, Havers, includes several beautifully rendered portraits of people who are struggling with what they were born to be, who there parents were or were not, what their psychic inheritance is, what their birth really means, what their place in the universe really is. And the beautiful thing about this unveiling of character is that it is NOT, as was the case with "What came before..." heavy-handed or pedantic. George is, rather, at her exquisite best in sculpting what is not simply a murder mystery, but is much more resonantly a mystery of birth, birthright and birthwrong.
I read all of the early Elizabeth George mysteries, but hadn't read or listened to several of the latest, so thought I'd try this one. The narrator was very good, but while the story was overall enjoyable, very little of the detective work really had any linkage to the "solution" that is eventually revealed. The murder and investigation seemed more of a backdrop for exploring the internal and interpersonal issues of the investigators. When the end arrived, it seemed abrupt and I actually said "That's IT?" As always, Elizabeth George gives us characters with real depth and believable complexity. There's just too much of the storyline that ends up having no real connection to the murder or its solution.
Ms. George is an excellent writer but to abridge her work is a disservice to her and the reader. Her character development is so good when its cut short you really don't get the full depth of their personality and it is quite confusing particularly to a new reader. Having read all of her books I was familiar with the regular characters. She is one author that a should not be abridged.
I agree with previous reviewers that it can be difficult to follow the entire list of characters, but that's not the real problem I have with this book. It feels like the author was given the challenge of using every plot twist or scheme one could think of in just one story. Let's see, we've got jilted lovers, not one but two (or is it three?) love triangles, jealous lovers, hidden pasts, not one but TWO mysterious deaths, love/hate father-son relationships (again, more than one), an ex-cop destroyed by the loss of his wife, incest, sexual abuse, old/young sexual reltionships, repressed dreams imposed (and denied) one's children. I mean, come ON! It felt a lot more like a sampler than a cohesive story. I can't recommend it.
Say something about yourself!
A great mystery in the style of the original Lynley novels. A lot of characters, tons of suspects, and a plot that keeps you guessing. George weaves her stories through all sorts of people, and doesn't go soft on issues that we may find heart wrenching! Convincing and enjoyable from the start!
Really enjoy Elizabeth George's work but this last book left me bewildered. The story line is complex which the author usually manages to plot well but this time it just didn't quite jive. It rambled in some parts. The characters were hard to follow and the necessity of the murder didn't make any sense.
At the beginning of the book she piques your interest when the body is found but as it goes on you couldn't quite follow the plot..it was too shallow. Of course, I wanted to know what happened to Inspector Lynley after the murder of his pregnant wife in George's last book. How was he coping with his wife's and unborn son's death and she depicts him very well in his grief. He is such a defined character in all her novels. It was disappointing but will read her next one when she publishes it She writes very well.
Both my wife and I enjoyed this book very much and argued about who got the Ipod next! It cooks right along with a plot full of twists and turns leaving you wanting to listen to just one more chapter. Excelent reader and well crafted plot. Good character development and lots of human lesons. Dont worry about the many characters and their relationships, just read on and all will become clear. Thanks to EG and the reader!
I don't know about you, but why are there so so so many 5 star reviews. I LOVE books, but so few are 5 star.
Lynley is back, I'm not sure about George. I like the book because I love Lynley and the characters connected to him were well written. That said, it felt like two stories, Lynley and his cast and the victim with his cast, two stories that intersected but didn't quite merge.
I attributed it to Lynley being detatched and thought it might be an intentional device, but what do I know.
Still it was entertaining.
Publisher's summary, spot on for both storys.
The story is so rich with landscape details and human emotions that your imagination visualizes the story like a made-for-tv movie. At least to those of us that have followed the PBS episodes. You may want to keep track of the characters; they are many, with different stories that don't get entwined until a couple of hours into the story. With winter coming, this is a wonderful audiobook to curl up to in your favorite chair, hot cocoa in hand and fly off to the British Isle's cold, wet and windy beach.
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