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Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George
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Believing the Lie (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Elizabeth George

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7214813,038 (3.59)29
Member:librarianarpita
Title:Believing the Lie
Authors:Elizabeth George
Info:Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated (2012), Edition: 1St Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George (2012)

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About two-thirds of the way through the latest Inspector Lynley mystery I had a burning desire to ask the author two questions: If you're tired of writing mysteries, why not write something else? And, if you're tired of writing about Inspector Lynley, why not write about someone else? Because this novel is neither a mystery, nor is it very much about Thomas Lynley.

So, on that score, this book was a disappointment. There were other problems too, but Elizabeth George is a talented writer and it is always enjoyable to be in her company. So in the end, I gave this flawed book a three-star rating.

The plot, if it can be said there is one, in this 600 page story has been detailed extensively in other reviews, so I won't recap it here. What I will say though, is that there is at least two books worth of material included in this one volume, and to my mind, that is the book's greatest shortcoming. Although, George's skill at story-telling makes it easy to keep the multiple story-lines straight, I did wonder more than once why it was necessary to weave so many disparate subplots into one novel.

The book is about people who lie and the consequences of those lies. Everyone in this book is deceiving someone, whether it be themselves or someone else. And yes, the multiple deceptions do add a certain amount of gravitas to the the story. But really, I counted ten separate stories running through these pages, and while many intersect, some don't...so why include them? Of necessity, with ten tales to tell George developed some in greater depth than others. However this means that some potentially interesting characters ended up receiving short-shrift. An entire book could have, and probably should have been written about Alatea. Conversely, Zed should have been left on the cutting-room floor.

Another irritation was the frequent passages describing the Cumbrian coastline, that all tended to sound very much the same. Yes, I get it that there were a lot of birds flying through as they migrated to warmer climes. Do I need to be told this half-a-dozen times in nearly identical language? When a writer as good as Elizabeth George slips up like this, it's much more noticeable than when it is done by someone with less talent.

Finally, there's the question of Deborah. Would anyone with her intelligence and upbringing actually behave as she is made to do in this book? This is a major flaw in the story; so much so that I could not credit the outcome that results from her irrational behavior. In the end, I put this book down feeling unsatisfied, and Deborah's story-line was, in large part, the reason why.

Yes, there is much to enjoy here, but ultimately the book falls far short of George's better efforts. As mentioned at the beginning of this review, this is not a mystery, and Lynley's role is not central to the story's development. Therefore, you will probably enjoy the book more if you are not expecting, as I was, to to spend some quality time with Inspector Thomas Lynley as he unravels a perplexing mystery. ( )
  echasc | Oct 26, 2014 |
I just love Elizabeth George! This series never fails to engross and entertain me, and take me into a different world. I enjoyed this tale of the family in the Lake District, and how much the land itself played a part in the action. While there were a couple of improbable plot points (the main one being the motivation of the person who put all the action into motion), I still found this to be an entertaining and well-told story.

I look forward to the next installment in the series. ( )
  glade1 | Oct 23, 2014 |
This a wonderful read. But then, I love her books. It's full of surprises and wonderful character analysis, very different kind of story. ( )
  Barbara31542 | Sep 14, 2014 |
I enjoy multiple POVs in a book as it allows the reader to glimpse into the minds of all the characters, rather than focusing solely on the protagonist's point of view. I also like series that feature strong secondary characters. This delivered on both. ( )
  LEFraser | Jul 10, 2014 |
Read my review here: http://bit.ly/1nsvBYJ ( )
  elebama | May 10, 2014 |
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Epigraph
This life's five windows of the soutl
Distorts the Heavens from pole to pole,
And leads you to believe a lie
When you see with, not thro', the eye ...
William Blake
Dedication
In loving memory of Anthony Mott
brilliant raconteur
adored companion
always Antonio to me
First words
Zed Benjamin has never been called into the office of the editor before, and he found the experience simultaneously disconcerting and thrilling.
Quotations
Holly? Holly? What sort of name was that? Her former husband was going for a shrub?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Going undercover to investigate the death of a drowning victim at the request of the man's wealthy and influential uncle, Inspector Thomas Lynley uncovers dark secrets in his client's family.

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