#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
For ardent fans of Elizabeth George, you've no choice but to listen to Just One Evil Act and you will not regret it. The excellent writing is there, as is the intrigue and the continuing saga of Lynley, Havers and the Met. And of course eminently listenable Davina Porter.
If you've never read George before, then listen to ANY of the many many Elizabeth George novels except the last three. Best to start with her first Inspector Lynley mystery, A Great Deliverance.
All that said, Just One Evil Act is indeed a bit of a chaotic mess of plot and characters. Reminiscent of Italy, actually, getting lost at every turn. That well may be her motivation, as much of the story takes place in Tuscany. The characters are thrown in so quickly, with few fleshed out and no one soliciting empathy. Like one's first days in Naples. But after a week, being enthralled with everything, including the clothes on the line.
The second half is more of the Elizabeth George fare her readers expect - that perfect blend of character, engrossing personal drama and gritty UK mystery. And an intriguing peek into the Italian police process. Barbara Havers and Thomas Lynley may start out weak, and almost feeble minded, but apparently this particular crime was the catharsis they both needed, as in the end....ok, no spoilers here. For the seasoned Elizabeth George listener, this is another treat.
I absolutely love audiobooks. There is simply nothing like having someone read you an engrossing story; not to mention you can get things done while you listen. I always have one on the go.
If you like this series you will like this book. Just good characters developing as characters do with a familiar plot. Sometimes familiarity is just what you are looking for...in that mood this is the book for you.
Too many or too few details. Thought I'd missed a chapter at times.
I wouldn't make Havers appear to be so lovelorn and losing perspective.
Davina is always good. She spoke the Italian slowly; otherwise, would've been really lost.
Definitely, we need to know what happened to whom. Some characters must be gone for good.
This is only Elizabeth George book I've been disappointed with.
Engagingly complicated story
Havers viewing the videotape
Best I can do is the horridly overused word "Awesome".
Based on other reviews, I almost passed this one by. Then I saw Ms. George on a show about authors & books (Well Read) and changed my mind. So glad I did. I'm just hoping that the author will soon address the underlying mystery involving the death of Inspector Lynley's wife.
I love Italy and Lucca. Expected to love this book...
Davina Porter DESTROYED the Italian language with one mispronunciation after another. What was she thinking ? To even accept this assignment?!!! And is there no such thing as an "editor" in audible books?!! Shame on Audible and shame on her.
Major reaction was exasperation with the mangled Italian... I was also frustrated with the series of idiotic decisions and acts made by Barbara Havers - and that she got away with them. I truly thought that George was preparing to rid the series of Barbara by having her fired. It is incomprehensible that her bizarre behavior would be tolerated.
I'm pretty sure that Elizabeth George had nothing to do with writing this book... Come to think of it, maybe the last three books ...
I am a high school math teacher interested in almost everything except for Jell-O. If not for Audible, I could never read anything!
Story Character Development
Lynley shows up unexpectedly at Barbara's home.
I was drawn to the Italian detective, much to my surprise.
Elizabeth George goes international.
I thought long and hard before choosing this book because of the reviewers who characterized Barbara as not acting like Barbara. Having finished the book (and I confess that I turned it off only to sleep - sigh!), I wonder whether we read the same novel. Barbara acted exactly like Barbara would in a cruelly intense situation. If a character behaved in a way that was not true to his nature, it was Barbara's neighbor, the professor. I loved this book because of the twists and turns, Isabel's curious choices at the end of the novel, and because I see that there are new paths available to Ms. George as she creates the next novel.
This book is way too long. Events seem to crawl through time.
I love Elizabeth George, but this is not the book to start with in enjoying her works. I have heard about Barbara's messy life and red trainers too many times now, and her self destruct mechanisms crowned in the end by success is old news.
This book is not an easy one to perform. There are a host of different characters and accents. Porter did a credible job. I think my ear just got tired.
An Inspector Lynley novel is always outstanding, and this one was one exception. My favorite character Havers is deeper in trouble than before, and that's no picnic
I am a retired school counselor (middle and elementary) and an avid reader. I am a lover of great mysteries, quirky protagonists, and medical/scientific non-fiction. I travel a lot and love the freedon audiobooks give me to drive, work, and relax while enjoying a good book. On my ipod I have eclectic musical selections as well as audiobooks. I will strive to never steer you wrong in a review.
It was a little frustrating due to the fact that the book was too long and not as well plotted as those in the past.
This is not my favorite. I think the book is too long and the main characters other than Lynley are not very sympathetic.
She is the consumate artist. I have enjoyed everything she has read in great part due to her skill as a reader.
It inspired me to consider re-reading the older books to try to recapture the magic in those.
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.
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