#1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George offers the latest in her Inspector Lynley series: a gripping child-in-danger story featuring fan favorite Barbara Havers.
Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is at a loss: The daughter of her friend Taymullah Azhar has been taken by her mother, and Barbara can't really help - Azhar had never married Angelina, and his name isn't on Hadiyyah's, their daughter's, birth certificate. He has no legal claim. Azhar and Barbara hire a private detective, but the trail goes cold.
Azhar is just beginning to accept his soul-crushing loss when Angelina reappears with shocking news: Hadiyyah is missing, kidnapped from an Italian marketplace. The Italian police are investigating, and the Yard won't get involved, until Barbara takes matters into her own hands. As she attempts to navigate the complicated waters of doing anything for the case against her superior's orders, her partner, Inspector Thomas Lynley, is dispatched to Italy as the liaison between the Italian police and Hadiyyah's distraught parents.
In time, both Barbara and Lynley discover that the case is far more complex than just a kidnapping, revealing secrets about Angelina; her new lover, Lorenzo; and even Azhar - secrets Barbara may not be willing to accept. With both her job and the life of a little girl on the line, Barbara must decide what matters most and how far she's willing to go to protect it.
©2013 Elizabeth George (P)2013 Penguin Audio
I have enjoyed Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley books in the past but this one was too much Barbara Havers and not enough DI Lynley. Barbara is fine as a sidekick - subplot but her behavior in this book is just so annoying. To have to digest such a (too) long tale with her bad behavior driving the plot forward was not enjoyable for me. The problem is, this is a good story but Barbara acts up way too much and there's no evidence of a calming influence from Lynley. I realize her irritating ways drive the plot forward but at what cost? Intelligence, I think. I would have edited out at least 25 - 30 percent of this book and most of that would have been her way over the top bad behavior. Davina Porter's narration was fine but I doubt anyone could make this type of behavior endurable for such a long read.
If you have not read Elizabeth George in the past, do not start with this book or you may never read her again. If you are a fan, skip this one or perhaps, read the abridged version? I'm sure Barbara will still be annoying in that one too but there will just be less of it to endure.
This was the most disappointing George book that I have read/listened to. I found the story too much in the mind of Havers and her actions appeared out of character after reading prior books. It was also somewhat unbelievable how everything was resolved at the end. Good narrator -- poor story line.
I mostly listen to books while exercising, which pretty much explains all of the action/thrillers on my list.
I have been a huge fan of this series, but this one was just painful. Having Barbara Havers go completely off the rails was just too much. Killing of Helen was bad enough but this is a bridge too far....
Yes, I have read all of Elizabeth George's Inspector Linley books. And Davina Porter is excellent.
She is usually just "spot on" in depicting what's happening. I feel like I really know the characters.
This is a story that started out well but then devolved into a story that seemed to be searching for a "point". George has used lots of Italian in the text which is often not translated, [or other wise made clear] so I felt like I was missing the "flavor" of so many lines. And sadly it just ended. It was clear that more was to come re Linley, but B. Havers and Azhar were just left. It was so disappointing.
I love the Barbara Havers character and would have liked to love the book but I found it to be overly long and under edited. I think that Havers is marginally within character and I welcomed her chance to bloom, but I found the plot to be contrived and trite (I figured out pretty quickly what had happened).
I suppose the bottom line is that Elizabeth George was not able to develop the plot and the characters enough to give Barbara the leading role. She still seems more like a secondary character and wasn't enough to carry the book for me. Sure, she's headstrong but I find it difficult to imagine her getting so intertwined with Mitchell Corsico and Isabelle Audry did an about face that was a bit too convenient.
Unlike some, I didn't mind the Italian as it wasn't too hard to follow the plot. I enjoyed the scenes in Lucca, as I've actually been there and can picture it.
I agree that the book is way too long. not enough happened to justify it. A tighter edit could have helped it a lot.
Sure, I would listen to some of her earlier novels as they were captivating. Will I listen to future books? No, I'll wait until I can get them free from the library until I'm convinced they are worth purchasing again. I only slogged through this one because I kept hoping it would get better.
fine, not great
Like many authors with long-running series I fear that Elizabeth George has run her course with these characters.
No. The narrater is too sacchrin and sing-song. It is a more serious book but I feel like I am being read Winnie the Pooh.
Simpering.Sacchrin. Sing-Song. I'm not five.
Irritation that the publishers can't seem to match a narrator to the tone of a book. Next time use John Lee or Susan Jameson.
So much, but mostly that Barbara Havers acted completely out of character compared to who she was in the series before. Azhar wasn't true to his character either. I think EG threw her characters under the bus to serve a plot rather than having them act true to themselves in a given situation.
I also thought Lynley's whole story line in Italy was uninteresting and the book seemed very slow. And there were entire conversations in Italian that were untranslated...a little bit is okay but this was way too much.
No, and I have listened to or read everything in the series at least once. The past few books seemed worse than what came before and this was worse than the last few together.
Yes, she's great, as always.
Not going to spoil it for anyone who wishes to listen. Basically I wish this book hadn't happened.
I've always really enjoyed EG books until the last few. Barbara Havers was a great character. I got half way through this one and didn't believe any of what EG had Havers doing, so I quit listening, which is really rare for me.
When Lynley makes his last visit with Isabelle Ardrey.
I liked that she provided pronunciation for the Italian and Pakistani words.
no. WAY too long.
I got really tired of it and was ready for it to be over.
It's hard for me to believe that this book was written by Elizabeth George.
It's hard to believe that anyone who acts like Havers in this book is still employed and not in jail. While Havers has always been portrayed as frumpy, unsophisticated and a loner, she always seemed to be a good cop. In this book, she loses the ability to think rationally or act professionally.
It's hard to believe that the sophisticated Thomas Lynley is spending his time with a roller derby queen. It was hard to see him with the alcoholic Ardrey too. There is no passion in his life after Helen.
I loved the early books in this series, and the development of Havers and Lynley was part of the reason that I kept coming back. Sadly, this book doesn't ring true to the characters we've come to know.
The narrator was a bit distracting as other reviewers have noted. There are unexplained hints in the storyline with the private detectives, and why would Azhar have been combing the countryside for Hadiyyah? Given the numbers of Middle Easterners living in Europe, is it likely these upper class Italians wouldn't know Muslims don't drink alcohol? Expect much head scratching if you read this book.
I love Elizabeth George's characters and always look forward to the next book in the Lynley series. This is the first time that I have bought one of her books on tape, and I have to say that I am very very disappointed. When I read that part of the story takes place in Italy, I was excited because I speak Italian and am very familiar with Tuscany. I really like the way Ms. George uses Italian words without translating them but in context so it is easy to figure out what the words mean. However, this narrator almost ruined the experience for me because of her horrendous Italian pronunciation. How hard would it have been for her to learn some basic rules of pronunciation before accepting this job? Italian is a phonetic language, and unlike English, it is easy to learn what sounds the letters make. It is not always easy to know which syllable to stress, but she certainly could have asked a native speaker. Practically every single word has an error, either of stress or major mis-pronunciation. I'm not expecting her accent to be perfect, but at least she could have made an effort. Students of Italian on the very first day of class usually do a better job of pronouncing words. I find myself screaming at the recording, which obviously detracts from the experience. Please please please don't hire this woman again if there is even one word of Italian in the book.
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