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on November 23, 2004
"The Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers" mystery series is a fairly new reading venture I have begun. The previous books I have read are, "A Great Deliverance," "Payment In Blood," For The Sake of Elena," "Playing for the Ashes," and, finally, this particular one. Each story is heartwrenching and complex, but "In The Presence of the Enemy is by far the best book in the series which I have read.

The premise of this installment concerns a tabloid writer, Dennis Luxford, who receives an annymous note demanding that Luxford acknowledge his illegitimate daughter, Charlotte Bowan, who was conceived during a brief illecit affair with Eve Bowan, a member of Parliament. Charlotte has been kidnapped by the sender of the note. At first, Luxford does nothing, thinking that it is a joke, but when Charlotte's life is threatened, he enlists the help of amateur sleuths, Simon Alcourt St. James, and Lady Helen Clyde. It is only when the investigation takes a drastic turn that Scotland Yard is called in to the case, and Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers join Simon, his wife Deborah, and Helen in finding the culprit.

This installment is filled with suspenseful and heartwrenching moments. The sceens between Charlotte and her abductor are equally terrifying and poignant. The characters are sympathetically portrayed and likable, except Eve Bowan, Charlotte's mother, who seems to not care about her little girl at all. Ms. George possibly portrayed her too negatively for my taste. All the other characters are unforgettable, and Barbara Havers, a character whom I greatly disliked when I first began the series, is becoming more and more my most favorite character of the books.

This novel is a must-read for mystery fans, and even if you have not read any books in the series, this is a good place to start. Read this novel to meet some unforgettable characters, and for a shocking solution which will make you want to read other books in this gem of a mystery series. Happy reading, and take care.
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on December 3, 1998
This is my fourth George novel. I liked them all, but this book is outstanding. I stayed up all night turning the pages. Just when I thought I had solved the mystery, bam...another twist, another plot. "Missing Joseph" is still tops on my list, but this is a very close second!
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on March 13, 1998
I had never heard of Elizabeth George until this book fell into my hands as a birthday present. Now, I'm sold and I'm already saving money to buy a new book. The best part in her books is the unespecting end. I like books where you can guess and speculate; WHO, and WHY. READ THIS BOOK!
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on December 6, 1997
In the Presence of the Enemy is one of the best books I have read in recent memory. It offers a unique twist, the characters are interesting and sound,and it is as close to perfect as a British mystery can get. I highly reccommend this book.
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on June 6, 1996
Her writing is so incredibly insightful and her characters so realistically complex that it is easy to forget that it is fiction. Brilliant and fascinating explorations of what motivate people (and not just criminals) to extraordinary behavior
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on July 5, 2013
I have read this book more than once, I have liked it so much. I loved the suspence of it, but made me wonder if parents could really be cold to their children. Poor Barbara is at her best here.
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on July 26, 2014
If I could give this book ten stars I would. Suspenseful, beautifully balanced with of course, the surprising outcome make this one of my favorite Elizabeth George's novel. Don"t miss it!
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on January 6, 2015
An excellent novel in the Elizabeth George/Inspector Lynley series. The plot twists were compelling, and the characterisation, as usual with George, was both sympathetic and insightful.
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on March 3, 2014
George keeps you guessing and wondering. A few clues are presented that you know are important, but don't know what they mean. At times it seemed long winded, but over all was very good.
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on May 23, 2014
I'm rereading all her books in order. I liked this one a lot because Barbara gets into an interesting situation. I just find the Lynley books easy to read and enjoyable.
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