- File Size: 1638 KB
- Print Length: 704 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (March 20, 2018)
- Publication Date: March 20, 2018
- Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B073TKJ5S8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,814 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Punishment She Deserves: A Lynley Novel Kindle Edition
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“Rich with descriptive detail and emotional nuance. Several alternating plot threads unspool at length, all of which weave tightly together with pleasing inevitability. . . . What has been said before deserves repeating: From suspense to social commentary, from violence to pathos, from villainy to possible redemption, Ms. George can do it all, with style.”
—Wall Street Journal
“The Punishment She Deserves contains all the trademarks that have made George a grandee of the genre: an intricate and thoughtful plot (this one includes various forms of addiction and numerous examples of misguided parenting), a multiplicity of carefully conceived and richly executed characters and the continuing evolution of Lynley’s and Havers’ personas. No George novel—and especially not this effort—is one through which the reader should sprint. Instead, take time to reflect on the issues George raises—and to savor her genius.”
—The Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Meaty, psychologically probing . . . Lynley becomes, for a significant portion of the narrative, a kind of peripheral player, yielding the investigative center stage to his colleague, Detective Sgt. Barbara Havers. This is a canny and risky move on George’s part, and she makes it work through building Havers into a character who’s fascinating in large part for how different she is from Lynley; their personal contrasts fuel the novel.”
—The Christian Science Monitor
“In . . . George’s skillful telling, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers (working class, rumpled and smart) takes the lead probing death in a medieval market town; her boss, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley (aristocratic, cultured and smart), takes a back seat.”
—The Seattle Times (naming The Punishment She Deserves one of 2018’s best thrillers)
“Elizabeth George knows how to keep a reader turning the pages of her books. . . . George takes her time to delve into the complexities of community, relationship and truth, all while keeping the suspense turned up enough to keep the story in motion. Few mystery writers create a sense of place in the excellent way that George does her. Her characters, fully realized and multi-dimensional, move in the world she builds in a way that feels autonomous and true. Readers of the series and newcomers to George’s work alike will be thrilled with this impeccably crafted novel.”
“Elizabeth George has created journeys for Havers and Lynley before and this, yet again, falls among the ‘must reads’ in the suspense world. For new readers getting onboard and for those who have loved these characters for a while now, this book is one you do not want to miss.”
“Bold, invigorating, and entertaining . . . Readers coming to George for the first time will be just as enthralled and satisfied as longtime fans of the immensely rewarding series.”
—Mystery Scene Magazine
“George is an ascended master of the artfully tangled plot, elaborate without being overly busy; everyone who enters into the picture plays a part . . . Long but rewarding: trademark George, with elements of the classic procedural nicely joined to today’s headlines. Fans won’t be disappointed.”
“Bolstered by George’s polished prose, the twentieth Lynley mystery moves briskly along, showing the author at the peak of her powers.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“George tackles a number of emotionally charged social issues with sensitivity and grace. Exquisitely rendered characters and a powerful sense of place enhance the meticulously crafted mystery, which satisfies as a standalone while furthering the series arc.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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Much of the focus is on Lynley and Havers' boss, DCS Isabelle Ardery, as her alcoholism progresses. Anyone who has dealt with someone who is an addict/alcoholic will recognize the frustration and sense of helplessness that comes with trying to "talk sense" to a person so deeply in denial. George is either writing from experience or she's researched thoroughly, because these passages are difficult and very realistic. She also gives the reader a sense of what's going on in Ardery's mind as she is forced to face her demons and all she has lost to alcohol. This helps us sympathize with her some, but her abominably unfair treatment of our dears, Lynley and Havers, keeps her squarely in the villain category.
As always, the best bits are the "across class" interactions/conversations between Lynley and side-kick Havers! In this novel, the St. James' are not really present yet again. I've noticed that with the past several novels, George has concentrated mostly on Lynley and Havers, and left out (or killed off) the original "group" of characters. I'm guessing because of the TV series (which I do not watch).
My one criticism of "The Punishment She Deserves", is that most of the women characters (save Barbara Havers and Dee Harriman, of course) are pretty horrible; either self-destructive, or cold, or hard, or bitter, or controlling, or humorless, scolds! Isabelle (of course) but also Clover Freeman, Yasmina Lomax, Ding Donaldson, Rabiah Lomax, and Dr. Nancy Scannell. It's as if George must make "tough" women also unlikable, and I don't think that's necessary.
Still, I'll be first in line to read George's next offering! I'm hooked!
However, the synopsis promised appearances from characters we haven't seen for a while, like Simon and Deborah. Cramming a mention of them in the final pages was dissatisfying and insulting. My other issue was the bizarre and unfinished way the book ended. Tommy's high-handed behavior and Barbara's sheep-like acceptance of it turned them into characters I didn't recognize and the abrupt ending made it seem as if the author painted herself into a corner and turned off the light in the room hoping we wouldn't notice.
A popular and respected deacon, Ian Druitt, had been arrested under less than ‘official’ circumstances and ‘supposedly’ committed suicide under very awkward and suspicious circumstances while in police custody.
The affair reeked of unanswered questions, damaged reputations and a suspicion of a police cover-up.
Barbara Havers is to accompany Detective Chief Superintendent Isabelle Ardery to Ludlow to look into the matter and report back to the ‘pressured’ Assistant Commissioner, Sir David Hillier.
This is to be an official investigation and also a ‘trial by fire’ for Havers. Isabelle baits and humiliates Havers at every turn, but Barbara is on very good behavior (which is about time!!).
The plot is tense, detailed and full of intertwining subplots which do come together at the end.
The characters are also very detailed - interesting, flawed, alternately insightful, smart and self-destructive.
Barbara Havers redeems herself admirably with brilliant detecting and deduction in a bit more subdued manner (which I like). Inspector Lynley seems a bit more sharp, focused and deliberate than in previous titles.
Dorothea Harriman shines and I would like to see more of DS Winston Nkata.
Top international reviews
The other factor that I found distracting was the sheer number of literal errors. I could almost have believed that this book had never been proofread. Surely a publisher like Hodder can afford the services of a proofreader, especially for such a successful author? There were so many words missed out, words left in after editing, rogue words (Mr appeared randomly in the middle of one sentence) and spelling errors. All in all, it felt as if the book hadn't been properly developed or edited. This book was not up to the standard I've come to expect from George or her publisher.
If this is a sign of where book publishing is going in the UK, I'm very sad. I started my editorial career at Hodder and standards were high then. I hope the quality of this book is an anomaly, and not an indication of sinking standards.
George's tics are still here (Americanisms, irritating breaks into phonetics, bad London geography: Southall on the tube?) and Barbara Havers has become the star of the series over wooden, personality-free Lynley. The publisher's have let too many copy-editing errors through in the Kindle edition ... yet for all this, an engaging, complex investigation and some interesting character arcs.
A basically good story spoilt by the American habit of using 10 words where 2 would do!
Xcept, ‘n case, c’n, pro’lly! (Probably) ‘f (if)’n (and)
Abed!! abed, presumably meaning “in bed”
Firs ( first!)
Absolutely no one writes dialogue like this.
I used to quite enjoy her books but she has now really lost the plot.