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Publisher's Summary

"The story begins with my father, actually, and the fact that I'm the one who's answerable for his death. It was not my first crime, as you will see, but it is the one my mother couldn't forgive."

In her astonishing New York Times best-seller, acclaimed author Elizabeth George reveals the even darker truth behind this startling confession. Playing for the Ashes is a rich tale of passion, murder, and love in which Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers once again find themselves embroiled in a case where nothing - and no one - is really what it seems. 

Intense, suspenseful, and brilliantly written, Playing for the Ashes will make listeners "search out the sleuthing pair's first six adventures...a treasure", as Cosmopolitan predicted in their review.

©1994 Susan Elizabeth George (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A perfect choice for anyone in the market for first-rate summer fiction." (The Sun, Baltimore)

"Those who haven't discovered Elizabeth George ... should rush to read Playing for the Ashes." (Us Magazine)

"Gritty and satisfying." (New Yorker)

What listeners say about Playing for the Ashes

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Give this one a pass

It’s just too difficult to read... life has enough heartache, so why buy more than you’ve already got? It will ruin your day and make you cry and feel depressed. I got halfway thru, and despite wanting to hear how so many things turned out, I had to give it a pass.

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Intriguing Mystery

I really liked this book. To be honest, it's long and I felt an emotional toll after I finished it. It included some realities that are hard to think about but I feel the author did a really good job. In places, my heart ached. Through the characters you were able to see and feel how making bad choices affected not only themselves but their loved ones. There were a few different storylines going on and even after listening to 3/4 of the book I could not see how these were all going to be brought together, let alone solve the mystery. However, the author was able to tie everything up and the mystery had a surprise ending. This is not a "fluff" mystery. Readers who are looking for an intriguing mystery that will make them think and reflect will enjoy this book.

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Insightful

Believable, sympathetic characterization Lucid writing Excellent English usage : such a rare experience ! Hold the attention

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Best one yet in the series

A whopping good read with a large number of possible suspects to the murder of a famous English cricket player found asphyxiated in his bed in the cottage he shared with his mistress. As is becoming normal with George's characters, the personal relationships are featured but don't take over the book, there are side-plots aplenty that introduce the reader to animal rights activism, cricket leagues and culture, and now introduced Barbara Havers new neighbors...an attractive Pakistani gentleman and his 8 year old daughter ("My mother is on vacation in Canada"). Is there a future romance for Barbara? The runup to the reveal at the end is one of the best I've read this year. Again, I had read this years ago, but didn't remember how it ended, so the pleasure was there again.

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Engrossing Story with Complicated Characters.

This story was captivating and repulsive. Confusing, I know, but it is true. I could barely endure scenes with some of the most vile dialogue and actions. The depth of depravity make the circumstances that follow all the more fantastical. A one time listen for me.

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A Lynley book should not contain animal cruelty!

I love the Inpsector Lynley books, love how they solve crimes collectively. Why should this book be riddled with so much animal cruelty? I tried to overlook the first couple of morbid descriptions but when I had to keep fast forwarding to avoid the disturbing content, I realized I would rather not endure the despicable descriptions simply to find out "who done it". This was not up to standard nor what I expect and look forward to in an Elizabeth George novel.

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An excellent who-done-it!

Playing for Ashes, written in Elizabeth Georgia's own inimitable way entreats the reader to find out who makes it to the punch! This book is highly entertaining.

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Elizabeth George takes on more than a mystery

I am catching up on some of the older books in this series. Even if read out of order the quality and insight of each novel gives way to thoughtful reflection on ethical issues. Fiction and, yes, even mysteries can open our minds to understanding others. If you have not read anything by this brilliant writer then now is the time to start. I promise you will expand your thoughts about how others view our world. Find the right selection of books that fit your taste so we can share a world of understanding. These novels among others have helped me.

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Best Lynley so far

This was an engaging and thought-provoking novel—deeper and more layered than the preceding (also very good) books in the series. Match that with Donada Peters’ excellent narration and character voices and George’s vivid prose, and the result is a great listen. My only disappointment in the series is that the main characters are flatter and less developed than the temporary characters around whom each mystery revolves. Nonetheless they are likable and interesting, and I seem to be along for the ride!

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I cant get enough of Elizabeth George.

i cant get enough of Elizabeth George. she keeps the mystery going till the end

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  • Jen. P
  • 01-20-20

Playing for the ashes

Well read but awful content. Gratuitous revo!ting passages of sex and cruelty when all that is required is an entertaining whodunnit

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  • conroy
  • 06-21-20

great listen

love the in-depth the author goes to, you get a real sense of connection to the characters. narration is brilliant, faultless. highly recommended.