(16) (Inspector Lynley)

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9780062068972: (16) (Inspector Lynley)

Elizabeth George's masterly new novel brings Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley back onto centre stage in an intricate crime drama.

While DI Thomas Lynley is still on compassionate leave after the murder of his wife, Isabelle Ardery is brought into the Met as his temporary replacement. The discovery of a body in a Stoke Newington cemetery offers Isabelle the chance to make her mark with a high profile murder investigation. Persuading Lynley back to work seems the best way to guarantee a result: Lynley's team is fiercely loyal to him and Isabelle needs them - and especially Barbara Havers - on side. The Met is twitchy: a series of PR disasters has undermined its confidence. Isabelle knows that she'll be operating under the unforgiving scrutiny of the media, so is quick - perhaps too quick - to pin the murder on a convenient suspect. The murder trail leads Lynley and Havers to the New Forest, and the eventual resolution of the case. Its roots are in a long-ago act of violence that has poisoned subsequent generations and its outcome is both tragic and shocking.

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Review:

Elizabeth George has long been one of the most prolific of crime writers, and this American practitioner (who chooses to set her fiction in Great Britain, a country of which she is inordinately fond) has managed to finesse her already considerable sales by cracking the lucrative television market. Her uppercrust copper, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, is a firm TV favourite (as incarnated by the actor Nathaniel Parker in the long-running Inspector Lynley Mysteries). But as her new novel, This Body of Death, comprehensively proves, Elizabeth George aficionados need to pick up one of her books to get the real flavour of her achievement. The latest book is something of an epic in terms of George’s oeuvre, weighing in at nearly 600 pages, but George manages to justify the book's considerable length.

Thomas Lynley is on compassionate leave after the savage murder of his wife, and his replacement at the Met is Isabelle Ardery. A body has been discovered in an Islington Cemetery, and it is up to Isabelle to crack the case. She is particularly keen to do so, discerning that results in this area would be very good for her career. But the Met has been going through a very bad patch, and a series of well-publicised disasters have left the force in very bad odour. The media is studying the Met with forensic attention, and Isabelle cannot afford to fail. She realises that she needs Lynley's team (fiercely loyal to their boss, notably the highly capable Barbara Havers), and -- most of all -- she needs the still-grieving Thomas Lynley himself. But can he be persuaded to break off from his compassionate leave?

As usual, George demonstrates a consummate grasp of the kind of plotting so necessary for a novel such as this -- a fact that will come as absolutely no surprise to her army of admirers. And it is a canny trick in This Body of Death to keep Lynley offstage for a while, so that when he is brought back into the fray, his appearance is all the more welcome. That's not to say that Isabelle Ardrey is not characterised quite as vividly, and holds the stage almost as compellingly as George’s trademark copper. The author hates her fiction being described as ‘cosy’; sorry, Ms George, but it is -- though when it is as authoritatively delivered as it is here, such labels become irrelevant. --Barry Forshaw

Review:

"Richly rewarding...offers an intricate plot that will satisfy even jaded fans of psychological suspense."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) on This Body of Death

"[George's] Inspector Lynley novels are very substantial psychological thrillers, big, deeply intelligent, rich in characterization...and atmospheric as a walk on the moors with a faithful bloodhound."--Sullivan County Democrat (NY) on This Body of Death

"An intricate mystery."--Iron Mountain Daily News (MI) on This Body of Death

"Dark, unrelenting, and powerful."--Kirkus Reviews on This Body of Death

"This Body of Death is wonderful."--San Francisco Chronicle on This Body of Death

"George has once again delivered a thick, knotty, densely plotted mystery. As always, it isn't a book to tear through in an hour, but one to read slowly, over many sittings, and savor."--Entertainment Weekly on This Body of Death, "18 Books We Can't Wait to Read This Summer"

"This is the kind of mystery that Elizabeth George does best....Ms. George has done a brilliant job...and this is probably her best mystery in years."--Washington Times on This Body of Death

"George's dense plotting style and complex characterization are on full display as Lynley and Havers, working separately, try to uncover the truth."--Romantic Times on This Body of Death

"A rich, unsettling work."--Richmond Times Dispatch on This Body of Death

"Captivating...the writer's insights into social and emotional issues make her work deeply rewarding."--Seattle Times on This Body of Death

"Elizabeth George writes exceptional mysteries, with intelligent, complex plots and well-developed characters....Her pace is skillful."--Daily American (PA) on This Body of Death

"A spellbinding tale of mystery and murder."--Oklahoman on This Body of Death

"A hauntingly memorable experience."--New York Journal of Books on This Body of Death

Richly rewarding offers an intricate plot that will satisfy even jaded fans of psychological suspense. --Publishers Weekly (starred review) on This Body of Death"

Dark, unrelenting, and powerful. --Kirkus Reviews on This Body of Death"

George has once again delivered a thick, knotty, densely plotted mystery. As always, it isn t a book to tear through in an hour, but one to read slowly, over many sittings, and savor. --Entertainment Weekly on This Body of Death, "18 Books We Can't Wait to Read This Summer""

A spellbinding tale of mystery and murder. --Oklahoman on This Body of Death"

George s dense plotting style and complex characterization are on full display as Lynley and Havers, working separately, try to uncover the truth. --Romantic Times on This Body of Death"

Elizabeth George writes exceptional mysteries, with intelligent, complex plots and well-developed characters....Her pace is skillful. --Daily American (PA) on This Body of Death"

A rich, unsettling work. --Richmond Times Dispatch on This Body of Death"

A hauntingly memorable experience. --New York Journal of Books on This Body of Death"

[George s] Inspector Lynley novels are very substantial psychological thrillers, big, deeply intelligent, rich in characterization...and atmospheric as a walk on the moors with a faithful bloodhound. --Sullivan County Democrat (NY) on This Body of Death"

This Body of Death is wonderful. --San Francisco Chronicle on This Body of Death"

Captivating the writer s insights into social and emotional issues make her work deeply rewarding. --Seattle Times on This Body of Death"

An intricate mystery. --Iron Mountain Daily News (MI) on This Body of Death"

This is the kind of mystery that Elizabeth George does best .Ms. George has done a brilliant job and this is probably her best mystery in years. --Washington Times on This Body of Death"

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