Detective Inspector Lynley is approached by business magnate Bernard Fairclough for a confidential review - not a formal investigation - of the circumstances of his nephew's demise. The coroner's verdict is accidental death.
Still grieving for his murdered wife, Lynley has personal reasons for welcoming a spell away from London. He heads to the wild beauty of the Lake District, with Deborah and Simon St James to provide cover for his inquiries. Barbara Havers, back at base, makes her own unique contribution to the case, distracted only by Isabelle's ambitions to improve her Detective Sergeant's appearance.
When he comes to know the various members of the extended Fairclough dynasty, Lynley finds many possible motives for murder, and uncovers layers of deceit and betrayal that expose the lies at the heart of the Cumbrian community.
©2012 Eilzabeth George (P)2012 Hodder & Stoughton
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"Charles Dickens or Elizabeth George?"
I've read all her other Lynley books so despite the mixed reviews I listened to this one.
The story's okay - less detective novel than a book describing relationships.
The main problem I had was the narration. The accents weren't brilliant - the newspaper editor sounded like Fagin from the film 'Oliver'.
Al in all, not a complete waste, but not a resounding success either.
"Vintage Elizabeth George"
Another convoluted story from Elizabeth George that keeps your mind sharp and your ears firmly attached to the phones. Nothing is quite as it seems and there are times when I wanted to shake the characters for their misunderstandings. The reader was great for the most part but obviously has a wealth of accents ready to be called upon. Having read all of the Lyndley series I was startled by the rich scottish accent of Barbara Havers - I have always thought of her more as Essex. Thankfully, the majority of the book was read in the reader's normal voice which is excellent. The ending leaves many questions being asked, roll on the next instalment.
It is worth reading the series from the beginning so that the development of the characters can be followed.
"One Major Problem"
This story is up to the usual standard of Elizabeth George and her fans will not be disappointed except for one factor ..... Tim Bentick for some reason, (good with all the voices of the other characters) reads Barbara Havers WITH A SCOTTISH ACCENT! She came from South London for goodness sake, as did her family!
Apart from that grating factor otherwise very enjoyable and nice and long.
"Elizabeth George getting back to her best"
After the two previous Lynley stories which I found really poor it is a pleasure to say that this book shows a return Ms George's old form. Lynley is sent up north on an "unofficial" mission to investigate a murder/suicide/accident, helped by Deborah and St James whilst Havers remains in London to find out what she can about the people involved. Nothing is quite what it seems and the job is more difficult than he had presumed. I wish that that Lynley's romance(?) with the awful Isabelle Ardery had been omitted but Haver's private life continues to entertain. Timothy Bentinck did a sterling job with the narration (once I had got over thinking it was David Archer speaking!)
"Okay, but not her best"
This book is fine, it will keep you entertained, but it's not Elizabeth George at her best. Have to say, though, that George off peak-form is probably still a lot better than most other authors in top-form.
Lynley and Havers are back (though not really working together), though there's rather too much of Simon and Deborah for my taste. It's like somewhere, George started focussing more on the internal dramas of the characters rather than on creating the best and most tightly crafted whodunnit.
Also, I'm growing a little tired of the bleak endings.
I enjoyed the reader - there are two audio versions, one with a male and one with a female voice. I bought the latter and thought he did a good job.
"Ms George had lost the plot"
Where is the crime? This is not a Lynley mystery and I was very very disappointed.
I enjoyed this a lot, as I do all Elizabeth George's books. That said, I thought some of the plot was a bit unbelievable and somewhat annoying, but on the whole it was good. Tim Bentinck's narration was very good. Main difficulty was having Havers with a Scottish accent, when I'm fairly sure she was from Acton, and I'm sure the reader could have coped - he seemed to do well with everything else!
I bought this as I wanted to try a new author and I like Tim Bentinck from 'The Archers'. The book is interesting although the continual series of misunderstandings grated a little, but I could not get away from the 'nice man' voice of the narrator which simply did not fit the often gruesome subject matter of the book. I really wanted to lose myself in this book, but just couldn't.
"Love George's books usually but this is awful!"
This book is read really well and the style is typical Elizabeth George which is good BUT sadly she seems to have lost her way as far as Inspector Lindley is concerned.
There are sub plots galore which are totally unwelcome and not necessary, Havers is great as usual but Deborah St James brings a side story which is truely upsetting, her character is so unlikeable it is hard to see why anyone has time for her.
The last quarter of the book made me want to scream as it is so awful and without purpose.
To anyone whom dislikes story lines related to child pornography steer clear especially as its not needed in the plot at all and adds nothing but a bad taste in the mouth.
Shame on you Elizabeth George this is a horribly twisted family angst story not a murder mystery!!
Re-writing the book.
Too many separate plot lines that didn't hang together. 'Revelations' that were signposted so clearly from the outset, the time it took to get to them was tedious beyond belief.
He read the story extremely well. My only query was why DS Havers had a Scottish accent... but surely that would be down to the producer to sort out?
It needs to be about 50% shorter so, basically, just decently edited!
I was hoping to work my way through all the Lynley books, but I am giving up now after 3. Far too long and the main characters appear too little.
"Excellent. Kept me enthralled to the end."
I liked the clever plot. I disliked the implausibility of a wife of a forensic office being involved in a crime with seemingly no effective supervision but otherwise it was a great listen.
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