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This Body of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel (A Lynley Novel) Mass Market Paperback – January 25, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Bestseller George's richly rewarding 16th novel to feature Det. Insp. Thomas Lynley (after Careless in Red) offers an intricate plot that will satisfy even jaded fans of psychological suspense. Aggressively career-minded Isabelle Ardery, the new acting superintendent of London's Metropolitan Police, boldly manages to lure Lynley, who's been grieving over his wife's murder, back from Cornwall to look into a murder case. The body of Jemima Hastings, a young woman recently relocated from Hampshire, has turned up in a London cemetery. With suspects in both locales and numerous leads to follow and interviews to conduct, Ardery succeeds in raising the hackles of Det. Sgt. Barbara Havers, Det. Insp. John Stewart, and other members of the investigating team. George tantalizes with glimpses of a horrific earlier murder case; showcases Lynley at his shrewdest, most diplomatic best; and confounds readers with a complex array of evidence, motives, and possible solutions. 6-city author tour. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Rarely can a conventional mystery sustain itself over nearly 650 pages. Some P. D. James novels have been almost that long and have succeeded in maintaining suspense and holding the reader, but this latest from George—acclaimed crime writer and winner of the Anthony Award, Agatha Award, and France’s Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière—fails on both counts. There is a too-leisurely feel throughout, a sense that the author is luxuriating in extra space, and that’s not a good fit for suspense. Detective Inspector Lynley returns, still grieving the deaths of his wife and unborn child in Cornwall, but moving forward, assisting New Scotland Yard in an investigation involving a young woman whose body was found in a London cemetery. George intersects this plotline with a real-life case, the Bulger kidnapping, involving the harrowing kidnapping and murder of a toddler by three boys. Reimagining this case, with all the details a novelist can bring to bear, seems in bad taste at best. Except for Inspector Lynley, whose character is always intriguing, the two plots limp along, making little headway. In addition, the new love interest that George provides for Lynley seems contrived. This very bloated effort will interest only George’s longtime fans. --Connie Fletcher --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Other recurring abbreviations such as “I ‘spect” for “I expect”, "I s'pose" for "I suppose" and “’s bad” for “it’s bad”, to mention just some of many, created reading difficulty and distraction for me because of all the apostrophes and need for deciphering, and put me in mind of the dreadful hash Dick Van Dyke made of the Cockney accent in Mary Poppins. As this is the first Elizabeth George I’ve read, I’m not sure if she always writes dialogue in this way.
Apart from that, like many readers I wasn’t over-fussed by the character of Isabelle and couldn’t understand Lynley hopping into bed with her. If it was meant to show him as being vulnerable and vacillating because of his wife’s death, this didn’t square with the calm and competent way he approached police work. Other parts of the book strained credibility. For example, I doubt if a police briefing would be allowed to deteriorate to a stage where one participant hit another with so little comment or follow-up, and I did find the image of Isabelle knocking back vodka while crawling around her office floor quite farcical.
There’s also a lot that’s good and interesting in this quite long book although, as also noted by other reviewers, I do question George's (unattributed) use of the Jamie Bulger abduction and murder to provide background for her story.
Overall, I’ll be having a suspicious look inside the next Elizabeth George book I pick up before buying or borrowing it, as even if it provides a good read, I couldn’t handle those apostrophes in such numbers again.
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Stats: Published in 2010, print book is 692 pages, audio book is 21 discs/24 hours.Read more