Thomas Lynley is called back to Scotland Yard when the body of a woman is found stabbed and abandoned in an isolated London cemetery. His former team doesn't trust the leadership of their new department chief, Isabelle Ardery, but Lynley may be the sole person who can see beneath his superior officer's hard-as-nails exterior to a hidden and possibly attractive vulnerability.
While Lynley works in London, his former colleagues Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata follow the murder trail south to the New Forest, a beautiful and strange place where outsiders are not entirely welcome. What they don't know is that more than one dark secret lurks among the trees, and that their investigation will lead them to an outcome that is both tragic and shocking.
A multi-layered jigsaw puzzle of a story skillfully structured to keep readers guessing until the very end, This Body of Death is a magnificent achievement from a writer at the peak of her powers.
©2010 Susan Elizabeth George (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers
"George tantalizes with glimpses of a horrific earlier murder case; showcases Lynley at his shrewdest, most diplomatic best; and confounds readers with a complex array of evidence, motives, and possible solutions." (Publishers Weekly)
This is my first Elizabeth George novel. The best thing about it, I thought (and I enjoyed the book a great deal), was the opportunity to go from mind to mind of the characters. I think George does a great job of integrating varying points of view and finding a balance between a novel that is driven by the plot (as is the genre of mystery) and involved in the reactions and thoughts of the characters. It's not particularly difficult to conjecture the "bad guy" but that seems to be ok with the author and was ok with me. The turns of the plot are not spoiled by having a sense of "who done it." There are enough hidden detail to make the who less compelling than the how. The book is well narrated and well paced. Good read.
I wonder if they are all this good. She builds a complex, multi-track mystery and pulls it all together very plausibly in the end. Like other reviewers I don't want to disclose too much about that. The surprises are a plus. George writes well, develops characters one cares about and it has made me want to read more of her books. Unfortunately Audible has few, and some are abridged. I wouldn't want to read an abridged version because I like the detail and character development.
John Lee is a favorite of mine and once again he does a good job. This may not have been the perfect book for his voice, but I'm so used to it, I just settle down with an old friend and let him read to me.
Beautifully written and read, the kind of audiobook that makes you miss your subway stop. Full of memorable set pieces and psychologically rich characters. My only disappointment is that I am not seeing any other Lynley novels: please put them all on audio!
I love Elizabeth George. And I really am not a fan of mystery novels. But George is smarter than I am...she keeps me guessing. Her characters are so well drawn and the first third of all her books keep me happily occupied for hours. And if, as is the fault of many in the mystery genre, the middle two thirds occassionally try my attention level, I am always drawn back in quickly via a twist in the plot or characters. Lynely is brilliant again, his usual erudite and urbane self, but a bit frayed around the edges due to his wife's murder two books ago. Havers is grumpy as ever and even the St. Johns make an appearance. This is not a series for those looking for an easy auditory "read". Sookie Stackhouse this ain't. But it is a well written mystery novel by a seasoned writer. George's heyday seemed behind her as far as I was concerned (I hated "Careless in Red" ~ Lynley was out of his element) but she seems to back with this book. I have read all of George's books and I heartily recommend her to fans of Stieg Larsson or P.D. James. This was a good book and a good audible reading. Although Simon Vance is my favorite, I thought John Lee did a very, very good job connecting with George's characters. Note: Even though I found the correlating story lines fascinating, one may be disturbing to some people. But if you got through any of Larsson's books you'll be fine.
This book is probably an excellent read, but it is not best suited for listening. The plot jumps around quite a bit, back and forth from various main characters and plot lines. This is a little hard to keep track of as an audio book. Also, the plot is a little slow getting started, presenting a lot of detail that only comes into play much later in the story. The abridged version may be a better listen.
Writer, painter and unabashed romantic with passion for history and mystery.
The first time I listened to this book, the plot gripped me, I thought the narrator created compelling voices, and I liked everything about the book except the way Lynley and his new (female, temporary) boss interacted. Since their evolving acquaintance provides much of the non-criminal tension, that seemed a major distraction. However, on second listen several months later, I saw both characters in a different light, while the plot seemed even more masterfully spun and resolved. For listeners new to the Lynley series, there is just enough detail provided about the continuing characters so that you probably won't feel lost. In other words, don’t let the fact that this is the most recent of a long series stand in your way of a great listen. And for those of us who have had to face and accept the sometimes tragic changes recently in the characters and their relationships, I think some of the jarring elements of the last three books are starting to wear off. In sum, this is a rich and gripping mystery narrative peopled by a huge range of lively, although not all likeable, characters. George also evokes England during a recent blistering summer with great realism and sensuousness, giving the greed and the stark and brutal failures of love and compassion that drive the crimes a hot depth unusual in any novels set in Britain.
I was very excited to download this audio but was disappointed. The narration was good but the writing was overly descriptive and dragged. There seemed to be a lot of things happening that were irrelevant to the story. Things came together eventually but the end seemed obvious and unsatisfyingg
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