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Publisher's Summary

#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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    234
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  • 3 Stars
    91
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    40
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    25

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    150
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    63
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    23
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    15

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    198
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    157
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    85
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    39
  • 1 Stars
    30
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Victoria
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 03-14-14

Barbara Being Barbara

If you could sum up Just One Evil Act in three words, what would they be?

Story Character Development

What was one of the most memorable moments of Just One Evil Act?

Lynley shows up unexpectedly at Barbara's home.

Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

I was drawn to the Italian detective, much to my surprise.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Elizabeth George goes international.

Any additional comments?

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.

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  • Frances
  • Eagle, CO, United States
  • 03-13-14

Just One Act Too Long

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

This book is way too long. Events seem to crawl through time.

If you’ve listened to books by Elizabeth George before, how does this one compare?

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.

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

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.

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  • Jette
  • Ishoj, Denmark
  • 03-09-14

A great read

What did you love best about Just One Evil Act?

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

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  • Jan
  • LAGRANGE, KY, United States
  • 02-05-14

Not My Favorite

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

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.

If you’ve listened to books by Elizabeth George before, how does this one compare?

This is not my favorite. I think the book is too long and the main characters other than Lynley are not very sympathetic.

What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

She is the consumate artist. I have enjoyed everything she has read in great part due to her skill as a reader.

Did Just One Evil Act inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to consider re-reading the older books to try to recapture the magic in those.

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  • Story
  • Paula
  • Coastal southern New England
  • 02-03-14

Not enough Lynley, too much harried Havers...

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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  • DH
  • NEW YORK, US
  • 02-03-14

Too much Barbara havers

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.

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  • Fay
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 01-22-14

Painful

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....

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  • Marne
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 12-24-13

Not her best

Would you try another book from Elizabeth George and/or Davina Porter?

Yes, I have read all of Elizabeth George's Inspector Linley books. And Davina Porter is excellent.

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

Naturally.

What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?

She is usually just "spot on" in depicting what's happening. I feel like I really know the characters.

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

NO!

Any additional comments?

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.

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  • Performance
  • Story

Only mildly enterntaining

Is there anything you would change about this book?

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).<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>I agree that the book is way too long. not enough happened to justify it. A tighter edit could have helped it a lot.

Would you ever listen to anything by Elizabeth George again?

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.

What three words best describe Davina Porter’s performance?

fine, not great

Any additional comments?

Like many authors with long-running series I fear that Elizabeth George has run her course with these characters.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Last Lynley/Havers for this long time fan.

What disappointed you about Just One Evil Act?

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.<br/><br/> 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.

Would you ever listen to anything by Elizabeth George again?

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.

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

Yes, she's great, as always.

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

Not going to spoil it for anyone who wishes to listen. Basically I wish this book hadn't happened.

Any additional comments?

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.