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Just One Evil Act | [Elizabeth George]

Just One Evil Act

Barbara Havers puts her career on the line while DI Thomas Lynley attempts to straighten her out before it's too late. When Hadiyyah Upman disappears from London in the company of her mother, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is as devastated as the girl's father. They are her close friends as well as neighbours, but since the child is with her mother, nothing can be done. Five months later, Hadiyyah is kidnapped from an open air market in Lucca, Italy, and this triggers an investigation in the full glare of the media spotlight.
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Publisher's Summary

Barbara Havers puts her career on the line while DI Thomas Lynley attempts to straighten her out before it's too late.

When Hadiyyah Upman disappears from London in the company of her mother, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is as devastated as the girl's father. They are her close friends as well as neighbours, but since the child is with her mother, nothing can be done.

Five months later, Hadiyyah is kidnapped from an open air market in Lucca, Italy, and this triggers an investigation in the full glare of the media spotlight. Barbara's clever manipulation of the worst of London's tabloids forces New Scotland Yard to become involved. But rather than Barbara herself, her superior officer DI Thomas Lynley is assigned to handle a situation made delicate by racial issues, language difficulties, and the determination of an Italian magistrate to arrest and convict someone - anyone - for the crime.

©2013 Elizabeth George (P)2013 Penguin Group USA

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (10 )
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3.8 (10 )
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Story
3.8 (10 )
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Performance
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    ACT1 Australia 03-21-14
    ACT1 Australia 03-21-14 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    250
    36
    FOLLOWERS
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "And with a single bound, Jack was free!"

    I was hooked, no doubt, it was a good read from that point of view but the ending did have a sort of "with a single bound Jack was free" feel to it. Davina Porter is right up there on my list of favourite narrators, she manages male and female very well and certainly makes the plot come alive. I did want to smack Barbara Havers (as, I suspect, did Lynley!) from time to time but it looks as if the talented duo are destined to ride again in the future. I hope there is more with Lynley's romantic state the next time too, I like Deirdre!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
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  • barjil
    BEMBRIDGE, United Kingdom
    11/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Agreeing with other listeners......."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Just One Evil Act to be better than the print version?

    No. As other reviewers have said, there's far too much Italian. I can read Italian a bit but couldn't follow the speech. It would have been better if the author had translated somehow where necessary because sometimes the Italian was relevant to the plot. Also the names would be easier to follow in print.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Elizabeth George? Why or why not?

    I have always loved Elizabeth George's books and grabbed this one before there were any reviews. It is a disappointment.


    What didn’t you like about Davina Porter’s performance?

    Her voice wasn't suitable to the book - a man would have been better. Maybe she was chosen for her Italian?


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Too long and complicated for one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    I am just at the end of Part 3 and no longer really care who did what to whom but am gritting my teeth to get to the end. This seems quite different from Elizabeth George's previous Lynley books and seems a bit self-indulgent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Stephanie
    United Kingdom
    3/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator needs to prepare!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not necessarily. Plot was good, narration was poor..


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The only sensible ending that could happen, I believe..


    Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Davina Porter?

    Crispin (who narrated Careless in Red) who was excellent.
    This narrator had not prepared the significant amount of Italian spoken in the book. The pronunciation was often awful and significantly wrong in most instances and particularly important when several tracts of Italian was not translated into English. As a Brit who speaks Italian fluently, even I could not understand some of the very badly spoken phrases! Bring back Crispin I say!


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    No - only because I do not enjoy going to the cinema.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Samantha
    Hartford, United Kingdom
    2/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply shocking"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Having a completely different narrator.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Elizabeth George again?

    Yes. I've enjoyed her books - particularly in audio- book format - before.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Davina Porter’s performances?

    Never. A simply shocking perofrmance. I turned off after forty-five minutes and will not bother with the rest. (I've never done this before with any audio-book.)


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Just One Evil Act?

    I only got a short way into this book, so this cannot answer this.


    Any additional comments?

    An average book, dragged further down by an awful narration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • J
    Kensington, South Africa
    12/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A story better read than heard?"

    The story is fine - not perhaps Elizabeth George's best, but still worth a read.

    Unfortunately the book is let down by the narrator, who sounds like an older lady with a rather old fashioned way of reading better suited to 1950's cosy murder mysteries than modern crime novels. It just doesn't do the story justice.

    Additionally, there's a lot (a lot!) of usage of Italian which is untranslated. I somehow think it would be easier to get a gist of things, and also to remember the Italian names, if the reader actually saw the text in black and white.

    In summary: I suggested listening to a long sample before purchasing. (When will I ever learn that I always need to do this?!)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crime Fiction Groupie
    High Wycombe, United Kingdom
    11/28/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a disappointment"

    I've not even finished this (still on first download section), and am already suspicious that I may not return for the rest. I've loved George's Lynley novels for a long time, although had seen a gradual downturn over the last 2-3 books. But this is a train-crash of a book.

    The story: should have been interesting, as I have enjoyed the Havers/Haddiya/Azhar storyline. However the Lynley/new girlfriend thread is just not gelling at all. And now the storyline has moved to Italy - and we have the pseudo-Italian lessons. A seemingly random selection of Italian words being thrown in, with translation/context not always provided. Why on earth would the author think readers want to be distracted by this? Added to her increasing habit of pretentious use of long words and her tendency to not use 1 word where she can throw in 10.............. I'm really struggling so far.

    And now we come to the narrator - OMG. The story might have just about kept me engaged (hence the 2 stars), but the performance is awful. There is a complete mangling of accents for Havers, Ardery, even Lynley, on top of the most unconvincing London accents for the minor characters that I've ever heard in 5 years of audiobook listening. Maybe the Italian accent is better to native Italian speakers, but to this untutored ear it sounds rather forced. Based on this performance, I'd actively avoid anything with this narrator in future - sorry Ms Porter.

    So I'm unable to recommend this to anyone but the most die-hard of George fans, and might suggest purchasing the book rather than the audiobook. Sad to be striking a favourite author off my future purchase list.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ms K. Pell
    United Kingdom
    1/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very disappointing."
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    As I was unable to listen beyond the first couple of chapters, I don't feel able to say who might enjoy it more.


    What could Elizabeth George have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    As someone who speaks no Italian, I found my mind switching off from all the Italian phrases and couldn't say if they were places, people or conversation and lost chunks of the story at these points, although, with hindsight, don't feel that I missed a great deal worth listening to. Perhaps Elizabeth George could consider how much value this added to her storyline compared to the confusion experienced by, I am sure, other listeners.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Davina Porter’s performances?

    Absolutely not. The narrator's shrillness of tone and attempts at regional accents made the book impossible for me to listen to. I really should have read the reviews as I have since read the same point raised several times. Lesson learned.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Very disappointing. I have read all of the Inspector Lynley books and this is the first that I attempted to listen to. Aside from my previous comments about the narrator, even in the first few chapters that I tried to follow, my lasting impression is that I would have been disappointed in the story had I been able to grit my teeth and carry on for longer.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • IrisP
    Berkeley, Gloucestershire, UK
    6/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Barbara Havers in self destruct mode"
    What did you like most about Just One Evil Act?

    I have enjoyed all the Lynley mysteries and although this is more about Barbara Havers and her headlong dash for the cliff edge, I found it very entertaining. Unlike other reviewers, I did not find the Italian off-putting since the following text made the meaning obvious and I actually thought the Italian accent rather good.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I nearly did not buy this as a result of some of the bad reviews it got. That would have been a mistake. It was a well read and complex story and up to the usual George standard. It is almost impossible to believe that she is not British and my usual game of trying to catch her out with misplaced Americanisms is never disappointing - mostly there are none but this time I found one ! There was a good twist in the tail at the end and it was quite an engaging story. I did find Barbara's antics a bit irritating at times and sometimes not too plausible.


    Have you listened to any of Davina Porter’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to Davina Porter reading other stories and I find her an expressive and intelligent reader. It is difficult to be consistent in books of this length but she achieves this remarkably well.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It is rather long to listen to all in one sitting but if I had the time I probably could. It was certainly a story I looked forward to getting back to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rachel
    Stoke on TrentUnited Kingdom
    4/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beyond unbelieveable"
    Would you try another book written by Elizabeth George or narrated by Davina Porter?

    I've read nearly all Elzabeth George's books, and think some of the earlier ones are excellent.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Elizabeth George again?

    I'd have to be persuaded.


    Any additional comments?

    The set-up for this series has always stretched credibility - the aristo Lynley, his odd best friends, and the stubbornly and increasingly caricatured working class lass, Barbara. The books in the series have often been excellent despite this, but this one stretches credibility just too far. Barbara's actions are improbable, Lynley's bizarre, and the idea that Barbara can charge round London (and Italy) on a private mission without her bosses intervening forcibly just doesn't hold water. Especially as she's not well liked, and has an enemy, who gets a rather odd come-uppance. This is, after all, set in the police force. I didn't enjoy the untranslated Italian, either. Disappointing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs. Margaret Bulmer
    W Yorks, UK
    4/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "non capisco"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    i didn't enjoy this book much, but due to personal circumstances was stuck with it. How irritating it was to hear so much Italian (without translation) and be forced to guess the meaning. I found Barbara Havers crush on Taymullah Azhar more like that of a teenager than a supposed hard-headed police detective. Surely in the real world she would not have got away with her insubordination and insolence. Lindley again was portrayed as the aristocratic 'toff' with an affluent lifestyle, whilst Barbara was the down-at-heel, badly dressed side-kick. As the story moved towards the end I felt myself hoping that Azhar would turn out to be the murderer, Barbara would be wrong and then kicked out of the force. But sadly it wasn't to be. Azhar and his daughter flew off to Pakistan, Lindley picked up his affair with the vet, and Barbara was left alone again. I suppose Elizabeth George will wheel her out once again to be the foil for Lindley's brilliance!


    What aspect of Davina Porter’s performance might you have changed?

    I thought her interpretation of Barbara Haver's was over the top.She sounded more like an east end costermonger than a detective. Not being able to speak Italian I am not a good judge, but her Italian pronunciation sounded quite authentic.


    Could you see Just One Evil Act being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    NO - for the love of god spare us. i saw some with Nat Parker and Susan Small and was not impressed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    Derby, United Kingdom
    3/31/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love Barbara Havers, I love her sailing ever closer to the wind, and her loyalty.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I did find some of the Italian pronunciation a little ott at times


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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