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A Banquet of Consequences: A Lynley Novel Hardcover – October 27, 2015
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Praise for A Banquet of Consequences
“George’s mystery unfolds with great psychological depth, finely drawn characters and gorgeous portraits of the English countryside. . . . [George] is an essential writer of popular fiction today.”
—The Washington Post
—The Seattle Times
“Undoubtedly one of Ms. George’s best mysteries, original in concept and fascinating in the breadth of its characters.”
—The Washington Times
“As absorbing as her first book in this acclaimed series. . . . [George is] one of the reigning queens of the genre.”
—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Praise for Elizabeth George
"Elizabeth George is a superstar of the crime-fiction world, British Inspector Division. Deservedly so: Her tales always provide nuanced character studies and insights into social issues along with their intricate mysteries."
—The Seattle Times
"It’s tough to resist the pull of [George’s] storytelling once hooked."
"Ms. George can do it all, with style to spare."
—The Wall Street Journal
"George's . . . ability to continually enhance the portraits of Lynley, Havers, and other recurring characters while generating fully fleshed new ones for each novel is nothing less than superlative, and her atmospheric prose, complete with lovely and detailed descriptions of her setting, combines to add literary gravitas to her work . . . A worthy addition to her portfolio and one that simultaneously disturbs and satisfies."
"[Lynley is] one of the great character portraits in contemporary crime fiction."
—The Boston Globe
About the Author
Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of nineteen psychological suspense novels, three young adult novels, one book of nonfiction, and two short-story collections. Her work has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha awards, as well as several other prestigious prizes. She lives in Washington State.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book goes back to the tried and true formula of being about an actual crime. Clare Abbott, a renowned feminist writer, is found dead in her hotel suite while on a speaking tour. At first it is thought to be a heart attack but after further investigation it turns out she was poisoned. Attention turns to her assistant ,Caroline Goldacre, and she is quite a piece of work. Caroline has one of the most dysfunctional families around. One son commits suicide and her employer builds a monument for him. What is the relationship between these two women?
Havers is still walking a thin line with her boss, Isabelle Ardery, who desperately wants her gone. With the real threat of transfer hanging over her head, Havers must walk a very disciplined line and that is so hard for her. Dorthea Harriman, the department secretary, tries to befriend her and this is hysterical. Harriman is such a fashion plate and Havers is, well, not. Harriman tries to take her shopping and then they try speed dating which is funny. It's Havers taste in clothes that brings her in touch with Claire Abbott, the murder victim.
Lynley meanwhile is continuing his relationship with Daidre, the zoo veterinarian. I think this thread is still a troubling part of the book. It just doesn't fit and I find the relationship awkward. It is just so unlikely. I don't know why George keeps trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. No matter how many times you pound that peg, you just can't make it work. It doesn't work. Stop it.
I have a lot of time invested in this series. I have read all the books as they come out. They require an investment of time as they are all over 550 pages. I have stuck to it through the very rough times when it appeared George had lost control of the series. I am glad it's back on track with a very readable book. The plot was interesting. The characters were interesting. Havers was back in form. Now if she could only stop trying to force the Lynley relationship, things would be great. Even so, I can recommend this book to all those readers who have stuck with George. It is possible to read this as a stand alone and enjoy it but for long standing fans, it is a breath of fresh air.
A Banquet of Consequences is flawless, as Elizabeth George has gone back to her roots and written a complex, and nuanced character driven book that is both plausible and heartfelt. This time around, George takes her time developing her characters. There is the psychological undercurrent of a highly dysfunctional family, however, nothing is over-the-top and there is a plethora of clues and intelligent plotting.
The story alternates between London and Dorset and begins 39 months before a murder, then 2 months before, 6 weeks before and finally in the here and now. William Goldacre, is trying to win back the affections of his girlfriend Lily Foster after another one of his emotional breakdowns has waylaid their 10 month relationship. This will not happen, as William in despair commits suicide by jumping from a cliff. William has an older brother Charlie, who is a psychologist and is devastated by his brother’s death. His inability to help his brother has caused a fissure within his own marriage to his wife India and they are now estranged. The brother’s mother, Caroline, has a strong and domineering personality and does not play well with others, causing strife wherever she goes. Caroline has secured a position as an assistant for a well-respected feminist lecturer/writer, Clare. Caroline is jealous of the relationship Clare has with her friend and editor, Rory. Caroline's second husband is having an affair with one of his employees. As the story unfolds all of their dark secrets and motivations come to light after Clare is found poisoned. One of Elizabeth George’s greatest strengths is her spot-on observation of people and their psychological states. All the pieces come together and the ending made perfect sense with the story staying taut and surprising.
Detective Inspector Thomas Lynely is on the case in London. Lynely appeared to be going through the motions after the murder of his beloved wife Helen and perhaps his inertia and erratic behavior will remain a thing from the past. His partner, the incomparable Barbara Havers is trying to strike a compromise with her true self and the role that Detective Superintendent Isabelle Arderly is insisting she play. While Havers has always had flashes of brilliance as a homicide detective, her inability to follow the rules has her in jeopardy of being transferred to Berwick-upon-Tweed if she steps out of line again. Thomas Lynley once again pleads Havers’ case to their superior and she is partnered with Detective Sergeant Nkata Winston to handle the Dorset investigation. The dynamics between Lynley and Havers has always been only of the stronger aspects of the series and their banter includes some delightful moments of needed levity. Lynley is courting Daidre the veterinarian and their relationship is reminiscent of his earlier relationship with his departed wife Helen. Daidre is not ready to make a full commitment to the aristocratic Thomas Lynley.
Like the best of Elizabeth George, these character are fated by their past mistakes, temperament and character flaws. All is forgiven, A Banquet of Consequences is a keeper