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Payment in Blood (Inspector Lynley Mystery, Book 2) Paperback – June 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (June 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553284363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553284362
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,426 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, eighth Earl of Asherton, is sent to Scotland to solve the death of playwright Joy Sinclair in what PW termed a "vividly characterized story of murder and espionage with elements of theatrical life, British class consciousness and love gone awry."
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The much acclaimed author of A Great Deliverance delivers her challenging second novel--a literate, vastly detailed, and intricately characterized piece which progresses from a frigid Scottish manor house/hotel to a swarming, theatrical London. Scotland Yard's Thomas Lynley (series detective and Earl of Asherton), unexpectedly assigned to a gory stabbing murder, uncovers deeply hidden family secrets and various psychological convolutions among suspects, but allows personal jealously to color his choice of prime suspect. A bit mechanical in places, and slow-moving in others, but steadily absorbing and masterful overall. The upcoming author tour should boost demand --especially from readers of George's first.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels of psychological suspense, one book of nonfiction, and two short-story collections. Her work has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha awards, the Grand Prix de LittÉrature PoliciÈre, and the MIMI, Germany's prestigious prize for suspense fiction. She lives in Washington State.

Customer Reviews

Great story with some character development.
Kay Wood Houser
I have been a fan of Inspector Lynley since Ms. George wrote her first book.
Lucky Irish
I really enjoyed reading this book, I could not put it down.
WhateverWorks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Elizabeth George takes the cool Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley and turns his world upside down. For unknown and possibly public relations reasons, Scotland Yard sends Lynley outside of his jurisdiction to Scotland to take over an investigation after a fetching playwright is found murdered in her bed.

But, the guest in the adjoining room is Lynley's much beloved Lady Helen Clyde. To Lynley's chagrin, it turns out that Lady Helen has been sharing her boudoir. Naturally, she must be interrogated. How will Lynley bear up?

Lynley is clearly distraught by dealing with the situation and is soon making big mistakes. How will that affect the investigation? Well, it's not good . . . but fortunately Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is on duty with Lynley.

Although this is a mystery, the book succeeds more as an investigation into the English class system and its weaknesses. With Barbara Havers standing in for every person in her role as skeptical seeker after truth, we see the rotten underpinnings of having a hereditary elite in place. How far has the rot spread? Well, you'll just have to read the book to find out.

The mystery itself takes some tangled turns that will provide much entertainment.

I graded the book down a bit. Some scenes didn't resonate with my impressions of this character from the last book. I thought that Ms. George had Lynley's head spinning a bit more than seems likely from what we learned about him in A Great Deliverance.

The book is a very important one in the series though. Frequent references in future books are made to the events in this one. You will enrich your enjoyment of future books if you read Payment in Blood.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
The second installment in Elizabeth George's successful Lynley-Havers mystery series is a solid successor to the first book, A Great Deliverance. In this story, the melding of the cozy, police procedural, and hard-boiled genres that was balanced so well in the first book leans a little more to the cozy side of things, with a trip to Scotland to investigate a murder on an ancient Scottish estate (turned up-scale bed and breakfast), which evolves into a classic locked-room mystery with a cast of illustrious and spoiled suspects. The emphasis is a bit more on Lynley than Havers in this story, which is expected since he promotes more of the cozy feel, while Havers promotes more of the hard-boiled feel. However, Havers fans should not despair -- her dark side is still there, althouth a bit tempered. All in all, this mystery advances the ongoing tale of these two seemingly ill-matched yet complementary partners, by exploring Lynley's "dark side", fleshing him out a bit more than in the first book.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker on March 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
Even though George paints a somewhat old-fashioned portrait of English life, she is still able to write very very good mysteries.
Her detecive thrillers are clever, intuitive, have nice twists, good, well evoked settings, and are very well written, if somewhat OVER written.
the mystery here is first class as ever. she writes with the style of agatha christie, and comes up with solutions that the dead queen would be proud of. It is only a shame that Lynley is not quite as interesting as Poirot. However, the relationships the main characters 5 characters really are VERY interesting. they add weight, credibility, and realism to the story. they add a more personal and intimate side, and prove an ongoing drama to mix with that of the different crimes which come up in each book.
She is very good at drawing her character, and very good at coming up with agatha christie style plots. her psychology is accurate, and her writing very descriptive.
Definitely worth a read. This second book was very very good. So far, i dont think she written a bad one, and i've read nearly all of them. A good build up A Great Deliverance, and got the series off to a really smashing start.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Schoppy on October 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
I enjoy the Lynley/Havers series very much and found this book very hard to put down. The central mystery involves the death of a Playwright on a Scottish estate and the cast of suspects that were involved. The story moves from the estate to various other locations which keeps the reader interested.
There were some problems that I had with the story. There were too many characters and sub-plots involved that took away from the main mystery- including the romantic turmoil of Lynley and some past crimes. There was also a conspiracy plot thrown which only took away from the main mystery.
I did like the character development and I did feel for Lynley and Havers at various times during the novel. This is still a good mystery to add to your collection and I will continue to follow this series.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Christina P. Branson on July 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
And the first novel in this series was pretty dang good. The only thing that gave me fits was that there were so many characters that until one was introduced at length, I couldn't get a good fix on his or her place in the story. But I was pleased with the plotting as well as the development of the main characters.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By BeachReader on October 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
The mystery in this book was a bit more complex than that in George's first book in this series: the solution was not as apparent. Unfortunately, there were so many secondary characters that it was hard to keep them straight. It was obvious that these characters were there to act as "red herrings".
I also thought that the coincidence of Lady Helen being on the scene of a murder, and intimately involved, was a bit of a stretch, but was able to accept it with just a grain of salt.
George did a fairly good job of giving us more insight into the main characters (Lynley, Havers, Helen, and Deborah) and fleshed out their backgrounds quite well.
I thought that the last third of the book was far too dragged out...I found myself skimming a lot.
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