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review 2019-06-20 16:08
Prequel to Beginning of Series Offered No New Insights
A Suitable Vengeance - Elizabeth George

Image result for meh gif


Seriously you guys. I hard shrugged this book throughout. Why George decided to throw out a book that shows events that took place before the first book in the series baffles me. Also there's just a look at Havers and that's it. I cannot read a whole book following Lynley and St. James again. My head was done in. Also the casual way that everyone reacted when a character was almost raped just made my jaw drop. Also the plot line following who murdered several people and why was beyond convoluted. 

 

"A Suitable Vengeance" I think takes place at least 3 years before the start of "A Great Deliverance." In this we have some of the same characters we know today (Lynley, St. James, Lady Helen, and Deborah) but of course at different places in their lives. We see Lynley in a relationship and engaged. We know that St. James has feelings for her, but because of an accident leaving him disabled he is reluctant to be with her. Lynely asks Deborah and others to come to his family home, Howenstow, in order to formally propose to Deborah. Of course a murder takes place that leaves a lot of questions and then leads to the death of another person. Lynely and St. James start investigating when it appears their family members (Lynlely's brother and St. James's sister) may be involved in some way.

 

Lady Helen continues to be the best thing about this series. I ended up despising Deborah through this whole book pretty much. She's exhausting. Lynely seemed to just be there and most of the story hangs on St. James. I don't mind being in his POV for the most part, he seems to be constantly struggling to not show people what he is feeling. We get a brief glimpse of Havers and I was ticked. Seriously, you need Lynley and Havers together, you can see without her in his life and vice versa. I think if Havers had been on the scene you would have had someone on the scene to look at things that they all kept overlooking in their rush to protect others or lie to each other about the habits of the rich and titled. 


The writing was fine, the flow was off though. I just didn't follow much of what anything was going on and we kept having twists and people going well so this is what happened and then it would be, nope this is what really happened. I ceased caring after about the third or fourth revelation. 


The ending was just a letdown. I already know what happened with all of the parties in this story so I didn't care. The resolution to the murders had me going okay...that's super complicated. I felt like I needed a flow chart to understand how everyone and thing was linked together. 

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text 2019-06-19 19:40
Reading progress update: I've read 10%.
A Suitable Vengeance - Elizabeth George

Oh thank God. This appears to be a flashback.

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text 2019-06-19 19:34
Reading progress update: I've read 5%.
A Suitable Vengeance - Elizabeth George

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Oh cool so Deborah and Lynley are trash now? Cause that's what it seems like. 

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review 2019-06-13 15:32
The first Inspector Lynley
A Great Deliverance - Elizabeth George

OB's reviews of the first three books in the Inspector Lynley series have compelled me to reread them - I initially read them around the time of publication, which in the case of this book was 1988. I think that I probably read it in the early 1990's, maybe 1994 or so. I have a very distinct memory of reading one of the first entries into the series on a cruise ship balcony. I don't recall if I had picked up the book in one of those terrible cruise ship libraries that are the sad depository of musty Barbara Cartlands and poorly-written thrillers, or if it was one of the carefully curated stack of books I packed, long before the invention of the kindle meant that I could carry an entire library in my purse.

 

I forgot how good the beginning of this series is. This is really just an outstanding mystery - disturbing, emotionally resonant and horrifying. Tommy Lynley feels a little bit underdeveloped, but we're already getting deep into Barbara Havers, who is by far the best character in the series. In fact, tbh, George probably should have called it the DI Barbara Havers series.

 

I just placed a library hold on book 2. I can't remember when the books start to decline, but I do remember THAT BOOK. The one that all of you other series readers will also remember - where George goes completely off the fucking rails and takes a wrecking ball to everything that she has spent a dozen or so books building.

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review 2019-06-12 15:22
Almost a Favorite!
Well-Schooled in Murder - Elizabeth George

I really don't know what to say except this was a very well thought out mystery. Lynley and Havers shine in this one. The why behind the murder made me sad and what made me even more sad is that you see what other ugliness was going on at Bredgar Chambers. The only reason why I didn't favorite this one is that the Deborah and St. James sub-plot was beyond aggravating. 

 

 

"Well-Schooled in Murder" takes 2 months after the last book in the series. Lynley is still heart-broken that his proposal to Helen caused her to not only say no, but flee England to go traveling. I honestly don't blame her. Lynley has thrown himself into work which is causing Havers no end of exhaustion too. Havers is dealing with the health of her father getting worse and her mother becoming more unstable and unable to do anything without her there. When an old school friend of Lynley's asks for his help when a student goes missing, Lynely agrees because of their connection and also because he doesn't want to go home. He and Havers quickly realize though that the missing student (Matthew Whately) has been found and it appears he was tortured and then murdered before being dumped naked. Lynley and Havers zero in on the school though the Headmaster doesn't believe anyone there has anything to do with it.

 

Lynley is really good in this one. And I like he acknowledges his mistakes from the last case and is conscious he may be making apologizes for his former friend. However, he is quite good in reading people and situations. I like that he and Havers follow the case where it takes them and they both besides using the forensics that are available find out what they know just by talking to people and realizing what happened to Matthew. The biggest issue is finding out who did it though and I definitely got tripped up like 5 times. I would think one person did it and then quickly change my mind. We get a reveal and then several reveals and I maybe gasped. I didn't see the ending coming at all which I loved. 

 

The sub-plot with St. James and Deborah was beyond tone-deaf. I get this was written in 1989 so there are some allowances for that, but to not spoil for others, it was typical Soap Opera mess that I didn't appreciate. Deborah was acting like an idiot.

 

The characters we meet in this one are quite memorable. We have Whately's mother and father who are heartbroken over his death. A former military man who played chess with Matthew. Matthew's best friend/playmate who it sounds like may make future appearances if another character has a say in it. Also we have Lynley's old school friend, Corntel who I shuddered about. I think Lynley made a mistake there and I wonder if that is going to come back to haunt him. 

 

The writing was very good and think the flow was pitch perfect. 


The setting of the school instead of showing a place of higher learning showed a place of cruelty and secrets. 

 

The ending was very good though it leaves things up in the air with Lynley's future with Helen.

 

 

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