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Publisher's Summary

Elena Weaver was a surprise to anyone meeting her for the first time. In her clingy dresses and dangling earrings, she exuded a sexuality at odds with the innocence projected by the unicorn posters on her walls.  

While her embittered mother fretted about her welfare from her home in London, in Cambridge - where Elena was a student at St. Stephen's College - her father and his second wife each had their own very different image of the girl. As for Elena, she lived a life of casual and intense physical and emotional relationships, with scores to settle and goals to achieve - until someone, lying in wait along the route she ran every morning, bludgeoned her to death.

Unwilling to turn the killing over to the local police, the university calls in New Scotland Yard. Thus, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, enter the rarefied world of Cambridge University, where academic gowns often hide murderous intentions.

For both officers, the true identity of Elena Weaver proves elusive. Each relationship the girl left behind casts new light both on Elena and on those people who appeared to know her best - from an unsavory Swedish-born Shakespearean professor to the brooding head of the Deaf Students Union.

What's more, Elena's father, a Cambridge professor under consideration for a prestigious post, is a man with his own dark secrets. While his past sins make him neurotically dedicated to Elena and blind to her blacker side, present demons drive him toward betrayal.

©1992 Susan Elizabeth George (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"For the Sake of Elena is a rich, rewarding book and a top-notch mystery. It may be Elizabeth George's best yet...find it and buy it. You will want to read it again." (Mystery News)

"If you're already a fan, just know that Elizabeth George is getting better and better. Carve out some time one weekend soon, stake out a cozy chair and wallow in her best yet." (Denver Post)

"Powerful and deeply affecting, For the Sake of Elena is another satisfying addition to this superb series." (The Sun, Baltimore)

What listeners say about For the Sake of Elena

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  • K S
  • 28-12-2018

boring

This was so hard to listen to for any length of time I finally gave up.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mark
  • 13-11-2019

Good Writing, Bad Plotting

George can certainly write, and I have read or listened to just about all of her many novels. She has a persistent weakness and that is on display here: she thinks up the weirdest, most unbelievable motivations for her characters. She has a tendency to make characters build up these rages that lead to violence, not against the person they are mad at, but against some other person as a way to "get them." Her love for this ricochet revenge type plot borders on the ridiculous.

The performance by Simon Vance is nearly perfect. I find it extremely hard to listen to the ones recorded by Donada Peters or Davina Porter (who are the same person). She over-interprets and tries to sound fancy but just achieves phony.

1 person found this helpful

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  • AmazonReviewer
  • 04-08-2020

Boring with a mediocre narrator

This was so incredibly boring. It didn’t help that the old man who narrates was terrible at reading with the proper emphasis and cadence. Why on earth would they change the narrator when the first one was superb?? Don’t bother with this one. I’m going to be much more selective about any of the sequels I choose to buy in this series.

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  • Judith B
  • 07-07-2020

A good read but....

I enjoyed the book.Elizabeth George writes well. I have read or listened to a number of her books and I don’t understand why she refers to Helen as Lady Helen. I know she has a title but but to continually refer to her this way is annoying. Why doesn’t she call her sister Lady Penelope. The other thing that is not believable is how some of her characters go into great detail about their sexual adventures. I can’t believe an aging Englishman would share details at such length, especially at the time this was written and it’s not credible that the detectives would have the time and patience to listen to the old goat. The performance was superb, Simon Vance never disappoints. I wish he read more of this series. Donarda whatshername is ok but manages to make most of the characters sound like upperclass wankers.

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  • Patricia Worthy
  • 16-04-2020

Great Listen

Saw this book made into British TV. episode of inspector Lynley but that didn't spoil the story for me Enjoyed the narrator especially.

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  • Lynn Mason
  • 23-09-2019

Another good one

As Always, I love listening to Simon Vance. He could read the dictionary and I'd still be thrilled......

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  • James
  • 16-06-2019

Don’t do it

I struggled and struggled and struggled and still couldn’t finish the book. I like a mystery that moves along and no one talks about a woman staring at the ceiling making characters and objects out of the swirling plaster. Don’t waste a credit.

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  • DrK
  • 07-06-2019

Elizabeth George does not disappoint

I never fail to be amazed at the psychological insight of an Elizabeth George mystery. This one veers from meditations on love, infidelity, feminism, Elder Care, parent and child relationships, and the soul of the artist. All of that in a page turner? Pretty darn good. And the narration of Simon Vance is the icing on this very complex and delicious cake.

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  • Ann
  • 26-05-2019

A lot of Red Herrings!

This long book held my interest. I think the Oxbridge setting and characters were written well. It was fun to speculate on who the killer was. What I found annoying was the excessive use of four letter words and ridiculous descriptions of explicit sex. Lindley’s personal life bored me. Haver’s situation was credible and often touching.

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  • Bruce
  • 10-05-2019

George & Vance at their best!

A great combination of two very talented artists.
Excellent writing and equally engaging acting - Vance brings Elizabeth George's creation to life!
Outstanding!

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