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Publisher's Summary

To this day, the low, thin wail of an infant can be heard in Keldale's lush green valleys. Three hundred years ago, as legend goes, the frightened Yorkshire villagers smothered a crying babe in Keldale Abbey, where they'd hidden to escape the ravages of Cromwell's raiders.

Now into Keldale's pastoral web of old houses and older secrets comes Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley, the eighth earl of Asherton. Along with the redoubtable Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, Lynley has been sent to solve a savage murder that has stunned the peaceful countryside. For fat, unlovely Roberta Teys has been found in her best dress, an ax in her lap, seated in the old stone barn beside her father's headless corpse. Her first and last words were "I did it. And I'm not sorry".

Yet as Lynley and Havers wind their way through Keldale's dark labyrinth of secret scandals and appalling crimes, they uncover a shattering series of revelations that will reverberate through this tranquil English valley - and in their own lives as well.

©1989 Susan Elizabeth George (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Spellbinding...a truly fascinating story that is part psychological suspense and part detective story." (Chicago Sun-Times)

"Pure entertainment from its insidious beginning to its gripping end." (The Washington Post Book World)

"Awesome...immediately thrusts the author into P.D. James' dark orbit." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about A Great Deliverance

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Profile Image for Stevon
  • Stevon
  • 11-11-2019

good debut novel

First time author for me, debut novel for the author. I first heard about Elizabeth George from Audible's suggestions for books you might like based on others you've listened to. And, my wife's book club was reading another book in the series at that time so I decided it must be fate for me to try a new author. When I find a new author with a series I have to decide whether to start with the book I found or go back to book #1 in the series. In this case the series looked good enough, the ratings were good so I went for book #1, this one.

It turns out the author is a Yank, born in Ohio, raised in the San Francisco Bay area, UC Riverside for an English degree and basically living around LA after that. She appears to fit into the category of American authors that write books set in the United Kingdom. There are actually quite a few.

A lot of times a new author writing the first books in a series take some time to find their voice and over a period of time, hit their stride and really take off. The jury is still out on Ms George. This book took off slowly in my mind. It wasn't until several chapters into the story that we even meet Detective Lynley who is to become the focus of the series. And, getting to know him is somewhat slow in developing. Bit by bit you do get to know him but I suspect there is plenty more to come.

Still, somewhere around the two-thirds point of the book, when Lymley really starts focusing on the murder and begins to unravel the mystery the book becomes very engrossing and you are then caught up in it and it becomes a page turner. This last part of the book is very intense, very good listening. I did thoroughly enjoy it in the end, enough so that I will go on to the second book in the series.

Also, in my research I discovered that many of the early books in the series were made into a British TV series. I suppose it can be found somewhere in the online streaming world but I might wait a bit until searching that out as sometimes TV or movies can distract you from the books.

10 people found this helpful

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  • F Sparverius
  • 26-08-2019

speed reading narration

This story did not hold a lot to engage the reader's ongoing attention to begin with, but the narrator made it almost unendurable. It seemed like she was trying to speak as fast as possible. There was no paced storytelling. She used the same voice for the text as for the dialog of the male protagonist. I could never tell when he was speaking. The speaker ignored tone and inflection cues from the author. Phrases like, "she said quietly" seemed out of place after the line had already been read without indication of quiet.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Debbie
  • 15-07-2019

Sick, Sad and Unnecessary Tale of Abuse

A fan of British crime stories, this one is one I wish I’d passed up. ☹ It could have been told much more tastefully, kindlier, and in a way that the listening/reading audience would have been able to rally round. From beginning to end, this is a woeful tale, and I figured out pretty quickly what had happened, and still had to listen to the heartbreaking details. I still have no idea who was delivered from what. No redeeming qualities here.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Cleo lane
  • 01-07-2019

too brutal an D graphic

it is sad that Elisabeth George feels it is important to tell us every detail of aberrant behavior, in this case pedofilia by a father to his children. Do we really need to know about this, not to mention every disturbing detail? This is second time I've been burned by a George mystery. No more!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 05-10-2020

Trigger Warning

Trigger warning: characters give first person accounts of bring raped by their father when they were children.

2 people found this helpful

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  • AmazonReviewer
  • 02-08-2020

Possibly the best performance of any audiobook

I was blown away with the reading of this audiobook. The book itself was pretty incredible too, especially considering the year it was written. I absolutely recommend this book and can’t wait to read more of this author!

1 person found this helpful

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  • LBG
  • 04-07-2020

Interesting and unexpected

I very much enjoyed how Ms. George tied several strands of stories together into an interesting crime mystery. The only thing I really don’t like is the harsh portrayal of Det. Havers self image. She was integral to the investigation which had many wonderful twists.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Terri J Thresher
  • 01-11-2018

Elizabeth George outdoes herself again!!

The story was enthralling with a "didn't see that coming" ending. Excellent narration as usual.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Luna
  • 16-03-2019

The Narrator Tells the Story

Ms. Peters is apparently a well-respected narrator. I have issues with her performance. Her voice rises in emphasis to positively shrill, and her drawl is inevitably supercilious. Perhaps she is just accurately reflecting this particular author. Ms. George's books have ugly moments, many just downright mean. Transparent attitudes (e.g., her depiction of Roberta). These attitudes have grown exponentially in subsequent best-selling books, each more carelessly written. To my taste, Ms. George has problems with character development, relying progressively on unrelenting, interminable internal monologue, primarily for those characters afflicted with popular attitude-engendering characteristics. It gets worse as the series progresses. I don't mind ugly people in my books, but jeepers, it would be nice to like someone in this deteriorating, unfortunately lucrative, morass. So, perhaps, Ms. Peters is just absolutely accurate to the true sense of the books. If so, it's a shame, because I avoid anything she narrates.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Pam
  • 01-05-2019

Whiney nasal narration.

Could not listen to one more word. Love the author though. Will try again someday.

4 people found this helpful

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