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Playing for the Ashes (Inspector Lynley Book 7) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews

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Length: 706 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

British crime writer George's seventh book featuring detectives Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers spent seven weeks on PW's bestseller list.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

George is a gifted writer who spins rich, colorful, mesmerizing, multifaceted stories that combine an absorbing mystery with provocative insights into her characters' innermost thoughts and emotions. Her latest story once again features Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his sidekick, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. Chalk and cheese when it comes to background, philosophy, style, and personality, Lynley and Havers easily forget their differences when a tough homicide needs solving--take, for example, the asphyxiation death of renowned, all-England cricket player Kenneth Fleming. The duo's inquiries turn up some disturbing facts about the cricket star. Not only was his personal life a shambles, but he had a very odd relationship with a former teacher. The case is more byzantine than any Lynley and Havers have encountered in their years as a crack homicide team, and even when they've identified Fleming's killer, the file isn't really closed. As usual, there's more to think about in George's story than simply whodunit. Readers will be astounded by the ease with which she weaves complex relationships and provocative moral, emotional, and ethical questions into the compelling plot. Another tour de force from one of today's best storytellers. Emily Melton

Product Details

  • File Size: 1890 KB
  • Print Length: 706 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (May 6, 2008)
  • Publication Date: May 4, 2008
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0018SJO8C
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,876 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Seventh in the Inspector Lynley Mystery Series. A famous cricket player dies in a suspicious fire, and New Scotland Yard's investigation is complicated by the professional jealousy of the local constabulary. The suspects include the dead man's not-quite-ex-wife, his angry teen-age son, his lover (who has conveniently gone missing), her former lover, and at least three other people whose motives and relationships are too complex to be so neatly summarized. What these diverse characters have in common is their distastefulness-they are by far the most unpleasant group of people assembled in any of Elizabeth George's novels, and most of them have the foulest mouths, as well. In a departure from the style of the previous Inspector Lynley mysteries, George uses first-person narrative for some of the chapters, in the form of a journal kept by one of the characters. Although this device turns out to have a purpose, the narrator is an extremely unsympathetic figure who tries the reader's patience before the strands of the plot are connected. Meanwhile, Inspector Lynley clashes with his superiors and has new misunderstandings with Lady Helen Clyde, while Sergeant Barbara Havers moves into a new apartment. There are a great many details that suggest this installment could have used a little more careful editing. For example, the issues that Lynley and Helen quarrel about seem forced and artificial, and it is very hard to believe that a detective sergeant's salary doesn't allow for a new refrigerator. In sum, a disappointing downturn from the quality of the rest of the series.
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By A Customer on February 25, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Numerous reviews have detailed the virtues of this work. I especially agree with the praise for George's integration of multiple plot lines and her employment of a "diary" element in the voice of Olivia.
I do have some reservations about Olivia, however. Though we may be persuaded to grant her a fair amount of native intelligence, it is hard to think she would have been a devoted student. So her level of articulateness frequently seems implausible.
The "romance" of Lynley and Lady Helen ranges from cloying to tedious. Helen describes herself as "utterly useless," and proceeds to do nothing to dispel this impression. (Elsewhere in the series she is depicted more favorably.) The best Lynley can muster is the assurance that she "distracts" him from the demands of his occupation. Some compliment from an ardent lover! On the other hand, Havers is surely George's most inspired character creation and does much to leaven the proceedings.
Despite its flaws, Playing For the Ashes is absorbing and mostly quite well written.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
No one plots as well as Elizabeth George and her books are worth every penny for that alone. With the execption of Barbara Havers, though, I just don't like her characters and find them more than a little unbelievable. (I can usually overlook this, however, because the basic story is so darn good.) With this book, however, Ms. George veers into the wierd and the absurd. Olivia was so very disgusting that I could barely finish the book despite the engaging plot. George did do a fabulous job of intertwining the two stories but Olivia was just too much of a freak to feel any empathy for her or for her plight. Frankly, I wished she'd just drop dead. Olivia, that is. I'm probably one of the least prudish persons in the world, but there are things I prefer not to read about in an otherwise first-rate mystery. The softening of Olivia would have done a lot to improve this book and render it a true classic. I wish Ms. George would leave the sexually explicit themes to others, but I'll keep reading--her plots are simply the best.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The opening scene of Playing for the Ashes is a masterwork. The first of Elizabeth George's detective series I ever read, this book's opening riveted me to the pages from start to finish. George masterfully interlocks the plot twists and involves you immediately in the characters. You care for them. Empathise and sympathise with them. And quickly begin your own journey of trying to solve the puzzle. George is a master, however, and the answer is not so easily determined. Which makes the book all that more challenging and enjoyable. But, beware! This book was so good, I soon bought and devoured every prior and subsequent Elizabeth George mystery.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before reading this book, I had read all the previous books in the series, and loved them. As I began reading this novel, I was at first a little put-off by the sudden change in the author's style. With this novel, Ms. George had a adopted a new method of narration...the simultaneous telling of two stories. Both stories are completely compelling. However, the character Olivia quickly became one of the most vivid and well defined characters I've ever encountered in a novel of this type. The telling of her story left me stunned. On occasion I've had to remind myself that Olivia is a character in a novel and not a real person. Her impact on me was that great. In my opinion, the challenge now facing Ms. George is attempting to surpass with future novels, the heights she's attained with this one. I'm actually reluctant to read the subsequent novels. Playing for the Ashes has left some very big shoes to fill.
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