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Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Series #17)

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Overview

After writing sixteen Inspector Lynley novels, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George has millions of fans waiting for the next one. As USA Today put it, "It's tough to resist George's storytelling." With Believing the Lie, she's poised to hook countless more.

Inspector Thomas Lynley is mystified when he's sent undercover to investigate the death of Ian Cresswell at the request of the man's uncle, the wealthy and influential Bernard Fairclough. The death has been ...

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Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley Series #17)

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Overview

After writing sixteen Inspector Lynley novels, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George has millions of fans waiting for the next one. As USA Today put it, "It's tough to resist George's storytelling." With Believing the Lie, she's poised to hook countless more.

Inspector Thomas Lynley is mystified when he's sent undercover to investigate the death of Ian Cresswell at the request of the man's uncle, the wealthy and influential Bernard Fairclough. The death has been ruled an accidental drowning, and nothing on the surface indicates otherwise. But when Lynley enlists the help of his friends Simon and Deborah St. James, the trio's digging soon reveals that the Fairclough clan is awash in secrets, lies, and motives.

Deborah's investigation of the prime suspect—Bernard's prodigal son Nicholas, a recovering drug addict—leads her to Nicholas's wife, a woman with whom she feels a kinship, a woman as fiercely protective as she is beautiful. Lynley and Simon delve for information from the rest of the family, including the victim's bitter ex-wife and the man he left her for, and Bernard himself. As the investigation escalates, the Fairclough family's veneer cracks, with deception and self-delusion threatening to destroy everyone from the Fairclough patriarch to Tim, the troubled son Ian left behind.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Lord Bernard Fairclough, a wealthy industrialist, asks Det. Insp. Thomas Lynley to secretly delve into the accidental death of his gay nephew, Ian Cresswell, in bestseller George’s less than satisfying 17th novel featuring the Scotland Yard policeman (after 2010’s This Body of Death). Det. Sgt. Barbara Havers and other series regulars help Lynley try to unspool a tangled web of drug addiction and recovery, gay marriage, extramarital affairs, egg donation, and online sexual predators.As usual in George’s work, the process of detection reveals more about those doing the detecting than the mystery itself. Some of the subplots—such as Havers’s attempts to spruce up her appearance—lead to dead ends.Zed Benjamin, a bumbling rookie journalist, offers some farcical moments to lighten up the general gloom. Statements of the obvious (“Deborah hated being at odds with her husband”) and platitudes for unbearably painful situations will annoy some, while others will see the denouement from a mile off. Agent: Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
Why investigate an accidental drowning? Wealth hath its privileges, and one of them, Lord Fairclough finds, is bending New Scotland Yard to his will by arranging for a discreet inquiry into the accidental drowning of his nephew Ian Cresswell. So Inspector Thomas Lynley (The Body of Death, 2010, etc.) is dispatched incognito to the Lake District, where his task is to determine whether Fairclough's wastrel son Nicholas perhaps jimmied loose the boathouse stones on which Ian slipped to his death. The coroner thinks not, but Lynley has asked forensic specialist Simon St. James and his photographer wife Deborah to nose around just in case there's evidence of foul play to be found. Meanwhile, back in London, DS Havers is engaged in another sort of research on the morosely dysfunctional Faircloughs, which includes Fairclough's warring twin daughters Manette and Mignon; his nephew Ian's corrosively angry son Tim and sexually rapacious ex-wife Niamh; as well as the man Ian left his family for, the foreign-born Kaveh; and, of course, there's Fairclough's recovering junkie/alcoholic son Nicholas and his beautiful, secretive Argentine wife Alatea. Muddying the landscape is a tabloid reporter who's eager to save his job with a juicy sex scandal, even if he has to make one up. Pedophilia, homophilia, infidelity, illegitimacy and greed will come into play, but it is Deborah, consumed with her own infertility, who sets in motion the final tragedy. Pared-down George, weighing in at a svelte 600 pages, but still strewn with subplots, melodrama, melancholy, a wretchedly unhappy Havers and the impossibly heroic, impossibly nice Thomas Lynley.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451237699
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/31/2012
  • Series: Inspector Lynley Series , #17
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 156,134
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth George

Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen suspense novels, one book of nonfiction, two short-story collections, and has made a recent foray into young adult books. Her work has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha awards, as well as several other prestigious prizes.

Biography

Elizabeth George was happy that her first novel was rejected.

Scratch that. She's happy now. At the time, it wasn't her best day. But the notes from her editor helped her realize that she had written the wrong book and chosen the wrong leading man. She threw out her Agatha-Christie/drawing-room-whodunit model in favor of a more modern police procedural set in the world of Scotland Yard. She promoted a minor character to her leading man, the handsome, aristocratic, Bentley-driving Thomas Lynley. And she invented a partner for him, the blue-collar, foul-mouthed, messy Barbara Havers.

"I was very lucky when the first one was rejected, because the editor explained to me why," George told the Los Angeles Times in 1999. "I had written a very Agatha Christie-esque book and she said that wasn't the way it was done. The modern crime novel doesn't have the detective call everyone into the library. It must deal with more topical crimes and the motives must be more psychological because the things you kill for are different now. Things like getting rid of a spouse who won't divorce you, or hiding an illegitimate child, or blackmail over a family scandal -- those are no longer realistic motivations."

And so, in A Great Deliverance, her first published novel, she opens with the decapitated body of a farmer, his blood-splattered daughter holding an ax, the horrified clergyman who happens on to the crime scene, and a rat feasting on the remains. Nope, not in Agatha Christie territory anymore.

George began writing as child when her mother gave her an old 1939 typewriter. When she graduated from high school, she graduated to an electric typewriter. But not until she graduated to a home computer (purchased by her husband in the 1983), did she actually try her hand at a novel. At the time, she was a schoolteacher and had been since 1974. But with the computer in front of her, she has said, it was put-up-or-shut-up time. She finished her first manuscript in 1983. But her first book wasn't published for five more years.

Though the Lynley/Havers novels are set in England -- as are the tales in her first book of short stories, 2002's I, Richard -- George is a Yank, born in Ohio and raised in Southern California. Maintaining a flat in London's South Kensington as a home base for research, George has been an Anglophile since a trip as a teenager to the United Kingdom, where she ultimately found that a British setting better served the fiction that she wanted to write. "The English tradition offers the great tapestry novel," she told Publishers Weekly in 1996, "where you have the emotional aspect of a detective's personal life, the circumstances of the crime and, most important, the atmosphere of the English countryside that functions as another character."

Readers have made her books standard features on the bestseller lists, and critics have noted the psychologically deft motives of her characters and her detailed, well-researched plotting. "A behemoth, staggering in depth and breadth, A Traitor to Memory leaves you simultaneously satisfied and longing for more. It's simply a supreme pleasure to spend time engrossed in this intense, well-written novel," the Miami Herald said in 2001. The Washington Post called 1990's Well-Schooled in Murder " a bewitching book, exasperatingly clever, and with a complex plot that must be peeled layer by layer like an onion." The Los Angeles Times once called her "the California author who does Britain as well as P.D. James." And in 1996, Entertainment Weekly placed George's eighth novel, In the Presence of the Enemy in their fiction top ten list of the year, where she kept company with John Updike, Frank McCourt, Stephen King, and Jon Krakauer.

In her mind, each book begins with the killer, the victim and the motive. She travels to London and stays at her flat there to research locales. And she writes long profiles about what drives her characters psychologically. The kick for the reader isn't necessarily whodunit but why they dun it.

"I don't mind if they know who the killer is," she has said. "I'm happy to surprise them with the psychology behind the crime. I'm interested in the dark side of man. I'm interested in taboos, and murder is the greatest taboo. Characters are fascinating in their extremity not in their happiness."

Good To Know

The original model for Lynley was Nigel Havers, the nobleman and hurdle-jumper in the film Chariots of Fire whose butler placed champagne flutes on the hurdles to keep him from knocking them over. She named Barbara Havers as an homage to the actor.

On page 900 of the rough draft for Deception on His Mind, George changed her mind about the identity of the killer.

George's ex-husband is her business manager.

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    1. Hometown:
      Seattle, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 26, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Warren, Ohio
    1. Education:
      A.A. Foothill Community College, 1969; B.A. University of California, Riverside, 1970; M.S. California State University
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 97 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(35)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 97 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Unworthy

    Read all Inspector Lynley series and viewed most of those on TV. This without a doubt is the very worst of all and could have (and should have) been writen by any beginning writer with a an agenda that had nothing to do with Inspector Lynley or the rest of the brilliant characters from the mind of Elizabeth George. After waiting several months for the release of this anticipated #16 I am extreamly disappointed and will never purchase another until well after it's release and after many reviews, all of which have to be excellent.

    15 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Disappointing

    As concluded by other reviewers, rich in parts. Sadly, I found it unbelievable to silly in several story lines. Tim's going to be all right because he has a family again? Not. And now Lynley has lost his lordly edge making him far less appealing. The best I can say about this book is I managed to slog through all of it. Fun to learn about pele towers though.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2012

    Awful

    Verbose, boring, mind numbing...couldnt even wade through it

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Thumbs down

    As a big George fan i am very disappointed. The story is way too complicated while missing her usual rich descriptive style. I don't think I can finish it.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Dull

    I thought this was not nearly as good as the other Inspector Lynley mysteries. It was too long and it went nowhere. Maybe Elizabeth George should have quit several novels ago.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2012

    Fell Flat

    Elizabeth George grabbed me right away with this book and kept me until the final 100 or so pages. Each of the story lines fell flat and were almost predictable -- a claim that can't be attached to any of her earlier books. Sadly, I had to force myself through a number of the final pages. I'm not sorry I read "Believing the Lie"; Elizabeth George is a superb writer and her characters are THE BEST. With this book, though, the story itself disappoints.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    I was disappointed

    I LOVE Elizabeth George. I have read the entire Lynley series and I have to say I am disapponted in this book. Lynley is not regal or even interesting, Debra is so annoying I disliked reading about her altogether in the book. The story was unbelievable in some places and endearing in others. Thank goodness for Havers, she make the book seem real although her portion was small.

    Elizabeth George has certainly written better and I look forward to the next book in this series in hopes that I will find a better book than this one.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Great

    I love Elizabeth George's books. I have read them all and would recommend them all.

    5 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2012

    Like most other posters, I am a Lynley fan always awaiting the n

    Like most other posters, I am a Lynley fan always awaiting the next release. While I mostly enjoyed this book there were disappointing elements. I was especially disappointed in the total lack of discussion between Simon, a scientist, and Deborah over the issue of surrogacy. If Deborah has a balanced translocation simple surrogacy would not work for her. I also was surprised that I saw the twist related to Aleta fairly early on. I also found it completely unbelievable that Daidre Trahair from Careless In Red was competing in a roller derby. That was totally out of character. Despite these inconsistencies, I mostly enjoyed the story.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2012

    This book might be the one that forces me to quit reading the se

    This book might be the one that forces me to quit reading the series; I've found it to be very depressing, and, although murder is not a happy topic, I keep hoping that someone somewhere has a glimmer happiness for a moment. 600 pages of tedious trails that lead nowhere. It's almost like watching buses go by, no purpose, just words. Endless pages about the about homosexual sex, Pedophilia, etc. As I just said about another book, what a waste of my reading time!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2012

    cannot recommed this book

    Were is the old Elizabeth George? the author whos early books had one reading in a very short time, as could not put down. The plots kept one guessing and reading, Lynley and Havers were great together. I have friends who will not read E G's books, ever since she killed off Lynleys wife. Well, they aren't mmissing much, this book was much too long. The plot was lame, and thank goodness I did not buy, but was a library rental. Which she would get back to shorter and more interesting books .

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2012

    Ok read

    I agree with the other reviewers, not up to the usual standards you expect from Elizabeth George. It was depressing, too many different story lines, just an ok read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    Not recomended

    I had looked forward to this latest Inspector Lynley book by Elizabeth George. I was very disappointed. It was about a highly dysfunctional family, and it was very boring. Inspector Lynley and Barbara Havers were relegated to second rate characters. I do not recommend this new book to anyone, if your looking for continuation in the Inspector Lynley/Barbara Havers series. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate it about a three. Apparently, Elizabeth George tried to do something different, and she miserably failed. I did read the whole book, but it was a struggle to get through it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2012

    I Love Elizabeth George

    I am at a loss to understand all the negative reviews. Is this the best Linley novel ever? Probably not. But I still managed to finish it in three days, and it held my interest throughout. It has a sad, plausible ending which left me longing for the next installment. That's what I call a successful book. The only criticism I have is that I find Deborah St. James to be annoyingly whiny. I can't imaging how cerebral Simon can stand her immaturity. Anyway, here's hoping the next book includes much more Barbara Havers and much less Deborah.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2012

    Favorite Author

    I have read all the Lynley novels and each has it's endearing moments with character growth......I've grown to love Barbara Havers the most. One can't help but love her and root for her to find love.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2012

    I loved this book! I enjoy Elizabeth George and her inspector L

    I loved this book! I enjoy Elizabeth George and her inspector Lynley
    series and I was so looking forward to reading her newest one. I picked
    it up at the library and before I read it I checked B and N for a quick
    review. I wiish I hadn't because many reviews were not good. For a few
    hours, as I began reading, I was influenced by the negative reviews. But
    the book won me over quickly. I finished it a few hours ago. At 608
    pages it took a bit longer to read but it was so worth it. All my
    favorite characters from past books were in it and they all fitted
    beautifully into the mystery. Even dead Helen had a few lines! The
    story was interesting with a surprise at the end that I am sure no one
    could ever see coming. Listen, if you've read previous inspector
    Lynley books before. You will truly enjoy this one. I tend to read books
    in the order they were written. I have skipped a few of George's earlier
    books and I am not reading the one where Helen dies, but I picked them
    up right after her death and they don't disappoint. Ignore all other
    reviews. Snuggle down and enjoy this one. You won't be sorry.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2012

    characters seem lost

    I've bought and read every Elizabth George book and been satisfied, but I'm about 1/3 of the way through this one and doubt I'll finish. Except for Havers (and she'e only made a tiny appearance so far) everyone including Lynley is plodding and depressed. Will wait for George's next to be available used or at the library before buying again. I'm hoping she doesn't go the way of former favorites of mine (like Patricia Cornwell) who I don't buy or read anymore.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Pure dreck !!!

    Interminable slogging to get through this pill. Save your money.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2013

    I've read all her books and I must say this is the first Lynley/

    I've read all her books and I must say this is the first Lynley/Havers novel that began with me struggling to stay with it. I'm usually engaged within the first 100 pages of any book but this one took a bit longer. I do have to say it was more than worth it once it got going and I got really engaged.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2013

    I use to love this writers books, however I will never read anot

    I use to love this writers books, however I will never read another of Elizabeth George's books.  She seemed to lost her stride and ability to tell a good tale when she killed (murdered) a primary character who was pregnant (Lynley's wife).  Totally unnecessary to the story and I wonder if she threw it in as a ploy to add shock (worked)? However by doing that  she also killed any desire I have to read another one of her books. So I didn't read this, and won't, but looking over the reviews, I'm not surprised.   

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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