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Thursday, August 12, 2010

This Body of Death by Elizabeth George

 This Body of Death is George's most recent Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, who has recently returned from Cornwall.  I wasn't that pleased with the last two in this series, but this one I did enjoy. 

Lynley is back and so is Barbara Havers.  Although I did think Havers was unusually acquiescent in (new character and Acting Superintendent) Isabelle Ardery's demand that she dress more professionally, I enjoyed Haver's attempts to do so with the help of another favorite character, nine-year-old Hadiyyah.  Despite the fact that Haddiyah is unusually precocious for her years, I love their interaction.

George intersperses pages from a paper on juvenile justice throughout the novel.  In the beginning, one wonders when and how these pages will be drawn into the plot (especially as I remembered an actual case that was in the news years ago).  Eventually, it becomes clear.

I wasn't crazy about the Isabelle Ardery character; Lynley seemed to ignore things he should have acted on.  Her character in a role of such importance bothered me.  I did like Yolanda the psychic and wouldn't mind hearing from her again.  I also liked the information about the New Forest ponies and about the Agisters.

After two books in the series that I didn't care much for, it was really nice to settle down and into the complexity of an Elizabeth George mystery.  It is long, but completely involving. 

Fiction.  Crime/Mystery/Police Procedural.  2010.  689 pages.


  1. Since I just checked out "This Body of Death" and started reading it I was glad to read your positive review. I am only about 4 chapters into the book and I too am a bit confused about the "juvenile justice" entries.

    So much of George's writing is like needlepoint. Small stitches that are frustrating until the big picture emerges.

    I could not believe Havers sat still for the dressing down Ardery gave her about her dress and general appearance.

  2. I used to love Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series, but then Helen died and the stories became a bit too violent for me. But your review makes me want to check this one out from the library.

    I'm half-way through Citizens of London. I was recently in London so reading the book while there added to my enjoyment.

  3. Chancy - Aren't the pages from the report chilling? I remember the case this was based on.

    :0 Havers took that dressing down pretty mildly, didn't she? Still, I do wish she'd see the dentist! :)

    Kim - I had a hard time getting over Helen. It seemed so unnecessary, and I was pretty annoyed with George about that.

    I'm so glad someone else is reading Citizens of London. It was eye-opening in a number of ways.

  4. I am glad you enjoyed this one, Jenclair. I have only read one Elizabeth George novel (For the Sake of Elena) and really want to go back and start from the beginning. I bought a copy of this one at the Festival of Books last spring and had the author sign it. I guess I have quite a bit of catching up to do before I get to it.

  5. So glad to hear you enjoyed this. I liked the last one, but will be very happy now that things are back to some normalcy. George's plots are always a little complicated but in the end she always manages to tie them together. I have this one waiting for me to read and now can't wait to start.

  6. LF - Lucky you, Wendy, to get a signed copy of one of her books! Elizabeth George has long been a favorite of mine, and I'd love to have seen her in person!

    Danielle - She does have complicated plots, but they do always pull the threads together. The reviews are mixed on this one, but I liked it so much better than the last two!