A Place of Hiding

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Overview

An isolated beach on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel is the scene of the murder of Guy Brouard, one of Guernsey’s wealthiest inhabitants and its main benefactor. Forced as a child to flee the Nazis in Paris, Brouard was engaged in his latest project when he died: a museum in honor of those who resisted the German occupation of the island during World War II.

It is from this period of time that his murderer may well have come. But there are others on Guernsey with ...

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2004 Mass-market paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. 800 p. Contains: Illustrations.

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Overview

An isolated beach on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel is the scene of the murder of Guy Brouard, one of Guernsey’s wealthiest inhabitants and its main benefactor. Forced as a child to flee the Nazis in Paris, Brouard was engaged in his latest project when he died: a museum in honor of those who resisted the German occupation of the island during World War II.

It is from this period of time that his murderer may well have come. But there are others on Guernsey with reason to want Guy Brouard dead: his wives, his business associates, his current mistress, the underprivileged teenagers he mentored—any of whom might have harbored a secret motive for murder. As family and friends gather for the reading of the will, Deborah and Simon St. James find that seemingly everyone on the history-haunted island has something to hide. And behind all the lies and alibis, a killer is lurking. In order to bring this person to justice, the St. James must delve into Guernsey’s dark history—both past and present—and into the troubled psyche of someone who may have exacted retribution for the most unspeakable crime of all.

In A Place of Hiding, bestselling novelist Elizabeth George marks new territory in the darker landscapes of human relationships. She tells a gripping, suspenseful story of betrayal and devotion, war and remembrance, love and loss...and the higher truths to which we must all ultimately answer.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

USA Today
A Place of Hiding is one of George's best. There are two qualities that set her apart from others in this genre: Her plots are excellent — complex but patterned with clues and revelations that are true to the story. The stories are alternately told from the viewpoints of all the main characters, including the victim, which provides a window into their psyche without unmasking the murderer. — Susan Kelly
The Washington Post
George's plotting is sure-handed, but her greatest strength lies in characterization. She has the gift of which Anthony Trollope was perhaps the foremost exemplar in English: giving full, self-justifying due to every character, including, in this case, a disappointed local architect who had been led to believe he would design the museum, and Brouard's cancer-ridden sister, who isn't sure she can both fight to uphold his wishes and cope with her own looming death … As a mystery novel -- no, as a novel pure and simple -- A Place of Hiding is entertainment of a high order. — Dennis Drabelle
Publishers Weekly
Fans disappointed by George's atypical story collection, I, Richard (2002), will be relieved to find the bestselling transatlantic author back at the top of her form. This exquisitely plotted mystery bursts with well-developed characters, notably forensic scientist Simon St. James and his photographer wife, Deborah. Lured by the free airline tickets and the $5,000 fee, China River, an old friend of Deborah's, and her half-brother, Cherokee (their mother was into the hippie counterculture), agree to fly from sunny California to rainy England to deliver a package containing architectural drawings to Guy Brouard, a rich landholder on the Channel island of Guernsey. The drawings are for a museum Brouard plans to build on the island honoring those who resisted the WWII German occupation. When the philandering philanthropist gets murdered and the police arrest China, Cherokee turns to Simon and Deborah for help. Curiously, for all the victim's wealth, no one seems to benefit from his death. The theme of hiding-of hopes, of the past, of secret places-underpins this intricate story about friendship, anger, loyalty and betrayal. Comic touches provide some relief as the suspense builds to an unexpected and explosive climax. With her flair for language, George reinforces her reputation as one of today's finest mystery writers. (July 29) Forecast: The broadcast this summer of four new mystery episodes on PBS featuring George's Inspector Lynley, who makes a cameo appearance in A Place of Hiding, may help lengthen the novel's run on bestseller lists. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Although this is the 12th title in George's "Thomas Lynley" series, Scotland Yard detective Lynley and his partner, Barbara Havers, play very small roles here as forensic scientist Simon St. James and his wife, Deborah, step into the spotlight. China River and her brother, Cherokee, are hired to deliver blueprints for a museum that millionaire Guy Brouard plans to build on the island of Guernsey, in the English Channel. When Guy is found dead, and China is accused of killing him, Cherokee goes to London to seek the assistance of China's old friend, Deborah. Soon Simon and Deborah are investigating the murder, discovering that several other people, including Guy's children, have motives. While plenty of plot twists and turns will keep readers glued to the page until the climactic end, there are almost too many distracting subplots, including a second murder that is never investigated or mentioned again after it happens. George also devotes a lot of space to analyzing Simon and Deborah's relationship, and, unfortunately, Deborah comes off as too childlike, while Simon is very domineering. Nevertheless, George's latest is an enjoyable read and is recommended for most public libraries, especially those with a George following.-Carrie A. Herrmann, Boone Cty. P.L., Union, KY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Who'd want to murder Jewish WWII survivor Guy Brouard, a man devoted to his cancer-stricken sister Ruth, and the wealthiest resident on the isle of Guernsey? Well, let's see. Several ex-wives and discarded mistresses; a father whose nubile daughter he debauched; his disagreeable middle-aged son Adrian; an architect he promised work and then shunned; a war hero and his son who planned a war museum in partnership with him but were actually his gulls. The person the police have put in jail, Californian China River, visiting the island with her brother Cherokee, who'd been hired to deliver a package to Brouard, is the only suspect with no apparent motive. But eyewitnesses insist they saw her follow Brouard to the beach. Was it really China inside that hooded cloak? When Cherokee rushes to London to ask China's old friend Deborah St. James for help, Deborah, convinced that China could never commit murder, insists on returning to Guernsey with him, accompanied by Simon, her forensic scientist husband, who's not nearly as convinced. And now what began as a simple whodunit turns into an anatomy of lies stretching from a WWII quisling and the provenance of an Old Master painting to teenage hormones and the desperate longing for a surfboard. George (I, Richard, 2002, etc.) never met a sentence she didn't want to expand or an ending she didn't want to douse in melodrama. But her latest extravaganza may make you think twice about telling even a little white lie. Agent: Robert Gottlieb/Trident Media
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553582376
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/3/2004
  • Series: Inspector Lynley Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 880
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth George’s first novel, A Great Deliverance, was honored with the Anthony and Agatha Best First Novel Awards and received the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. Her third novel, Well-Schooled in Murder, was awarded the prestigious German prize for suspense fiction, the MIMI. A Suitable Vengeance, For the Sake of Elena, Missing Joseph, Playing for the Ashes, In the Presence of the Enemy, Deception on His Mind, In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, A Traitor to Memory, and I, Richard were international bestsellers. Elizabeth George divides her time between Huntington Beach, California, and London. Her novels are currently being dramatized by the BBC.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt

November 10, 2:45 p.m.

MONTECITO, CALIFORNIA

Santa Ana winds were no friends of photography, but that was something you could not tell an egomaniacal architect who believed his entire reputation rested upon capturing for posterity--and for Architectural Digest--fifty-two thousand square feet of unfinished hillside sprawl today. You couldn't even try to tell him that. Because when you finally found the location after making what felt like two dozen wrong turns, you were already late, he was already ticked off, and the arid wind was already throwing up so much dust that all you wanted to do was get out of there as fast as possible, which wasn't going to be possible if you argued with him over whether you were going to take the pictures in the first place. So you took them, never mind the dust, never mind the tumbleweeds that seemed to have been imported by a special-effects team to make several million dollars' worth of California ocean-view real estate look like Barstow in August, and never mind the fact that the grit got under your contact lenses and the air made your skin feel like peach pits and your hair like burnt hay. The job was everything; the job was all. And since China River supported herself by doing the job, she did it.

But she wasn't happy. When she completed the work, a patina of grime lay on her clothes and against her skin, and the only thing she wanted--other than a tall glass of the coldest water she could find and a long soak in a very cool tub--was to be out of there: off the hillside and closer to the beach. So she said, "That's it, then. I'll have proofs for you to choose from the day after tomorrow. One o'clock? Your office? Good. I'll be there," and she strode off without giving the man a chance to reply. She didn't much care about his reaction to her abrupt departure, either.

She drove back down the hillside in her ancient Plymouth, along a smoothly paved road, potholes being permanently banned in Montecito. The route took her past houses of the Santa Barbara super-rich who lived their shielded privileged lives behind electronic gates, where they swam in designer swimming pools and toweled themselves off afterwards on terrycloth as thick and white as a Colorado snow bank. She braked occasionally for Mexican gardeners who sweated behind those protective walls and for teenage girls on horseback who bounced along in tight-fitting blue jeans and skimpy T-shirts. The hair on these girls swung in the sunlight. On every last one of them it was long and straight and shiny like something lit it from within. Their skin was flawless and their teeth were perfect, too. And not a single one of them carried an ounce of unwanted flesh anywhere. But then, why would they? Weight wouldn't have had the moral fortitude to linger upon them any longer than the time it took them to stand on the bathroom scale, get hysterical, and fling themselves at the toilet afterwards.

They were so pathetic, China thought. The whole coddled, undernourished crowd of them. And what was worse for the little twits: Their mothers probably looked exactly like them, doing their part to be role models for a lifetime of personal trainers, plastic surgery, shopping excursions, daily massages, weekly manicures, and regular sessions with a shrink. There was nothing like having a gold-plated meal ticket, courtesy of some idiot whose only requirement of his women was zeroed in on the looks department.

Whenever China had to come to Montecito, she couldn't wait to get out of Montecito, and today was no different. If anything, today the wind and the heat made the urgency to put this place behind her worse than normal, like something gnawing at her mood. Which was bad enough already. An overall uneasiness had been sitting on her shoulders since the moment her alarm had rung early that morning.

Nothing else had rung. That was the problem. Upon waking, she'd made that automatic three-hour leap in time to ten-a.m.-in-Manhattan-so-why-hasn't-he-called, and while the hours passed till the one at which she had to leave for her appointment in Montecito, she'd mostly watched the phone and stewed, something that was easy enough to do since it was nearly eighty degrees by nine a.m.

She'd tried to occupy herself. She'd watered the entire front yard by hand and she'd done the same to the back, right down to the grass. She'd talked over the fence to Anita Garcia--Hey, girl, is this weather killing you? Man oh man, it's destroying me--and sympathised with her neighbour's degree of water retention in this last month of her pregnancy. She'd washed the Plymouth and dried it as she went, managing to stay one step ahead of the dust that wanted to adhere to it and turn into mud. And she leaped inside the house twice when the phone rang, only to find those unctuous, obnoxious telephone solicitors on the line, the kind who always wanted to know what kind of day you were having before they launched into their spiels about changing your long-distance telephone company which would, of course, also change your life. Finally, she'd had to leave for Montecito. But not before she picked up the phone one last time to make sure she had a dial tone and not before she double-checked her answering machine to make sure it would take a message.

All the time she hated herself for not being able just to dismiss him. But that had been the problem for years. Thirteen of them. God. How she hated love.

Her cell phone was the phone that finally did the ringing towards the end of her drive home to the beach. Not five minutes away from the uneven lump of sidewalk that marked the concrete path to her own front door, it chimed on the passenger seat and China grabbed it up to hear Matt's voice.

"Hey, good-looking." He sounded cheerful.

"Hey yourself." She hated the instant relief she felt, like she'd been uncorked of carbonated anxiety. She said nothing else.

He read that easily. "Pissed?"

Nothing from her end. Let him hang, she thought.

"I guess I've blown my wad with this one."

"Where've you been?" she demanded. "I thought you were calling this morning. I waited at the house. I hate it when you do that, Matt. Why don't you get it? If you're not going to call, just say that in the first place and I can deal with it, okay? Why didn't you call?"

"Sorry. I meant to. I kept reminding myself all day."

"And . . . ?"

"It's not going to sound good, China."

"Try me."

"Okay. A real bitch of a cold front moved in last night. I had to spend half the morning trying to find a decent coat."

"You couldn't call from your cell while you were out?"

"Forgot to take it. I'm sorry. Like I said."

She could hear the ubiquitous background noises of Manhattan, the same noises she heard whenever he called from New York. The blare of horns reverberating through architectural canyons, jack hammers firing like heavy armaments against cement. But if he'd left his cell phone in the hotel, what was he doing on the street with it now?

"On my way to dinner," he told her. "Last meeting. Of the day, that is."

She'd pulled to the sidewalk at a vacant spot about thirty yards down the street from her house. She hated stopping because the air conditioning in her car was too weak to make much of a dent in the stifling interior so she was desperate to get out, but Matt's last remark made the heat suddenly less important and certainly far less noticeable. All her attention shifted to his meaning.

If nothing else, she'd learned to keep her mouth shut when he dropped one of his small verbal incendiary bombs. There'd been a time when she'd jump all over him at a remark like "Of the day, that is," to weed specifics out of his implications. But the years had taught her that silence served just as well as demands or accusations. It also gave her the upper hand once he finally admitted what he was trying to avoid saying.

It came in a rush. "Here's the situation. I've got to stay here another week. I've got a chance to talk to some people about a grant, and I need to see them."

"Matt. Come on."

"Wait, babe. Listen. These guys dumped a fortune on a filmmaker from NYU last year. They're looking for a project. Hear that? They're actually looking."

"How do you know?"

"That's what I was told."

"By who?"

"So I called them and I managed to get an appointment. But not till next Thursday. So I've got to stay."

"Goodbye Cambria, then."

"No, we'll do it. We just can't next week."

"Sure. Then when?"

"That's just it." The street sounds on the other end of the cell phone seemed to grow louder for a moment, as if he were throwing himself into the midst of them, forced off the sidewalk by the congestion of the city at the end of a workday.

She said, "Matt? Matt?" and knew a moment of irrational panic when she thought she'd lost him. Damn phones and damn signals, always fading in and out.

But he came back on the line and it was quieter. He'd ducked inside a restaurant, he said. "This is make or break for the film. China, this one's a festival winner. Sundance for sure, and you know what that can mean. I hate letting you down like this, but if I don't make a pitch to these people, I'm not going to be worth taking you anywhere. To Cambria. To Paris. Or to Kalamazoo. That's just how it is."

"Fine," she told him, but it was not and he would know that by the flat sound of her voice. It had been a month since he'd managed to carve two days away from pitch-meetings in LA and funding-scavenges across the rest of the country, and before that it had been six weeks while she cold-called potential clients for herself and he continued to pursue the horizon of his dream. "Sometimes," she said, "I wonder if you'll ever be able to put it together, Matt."

"I know. It seems like it takes forever to get a film going. And sometimes it does. You know the stories. Years in development and then--wham!--instant box office. But I want to do this. I need to do it. I'm just sorry it seems like we end up apart more than we're together."

China heard all this as she watched a toddler trundle along the sidewalk on his tricycle, trailed by his watchful mother and even more watchful German shepherd. The child came to a spot where the cement was uneven, lifted on an angle by the root of a tree, and his wheel rammed into the resulting eruption. He tried to move his pedals against it, but he could do nothing till Mom came to his aid. The sight of this filled China with unaccountable sadness.

Matt was waiting for her response. She tried to think of some new variation on expressing disappointment, but she could come up with nothing. So she said, "I wasn't really talking about putting together a film, Matt."

He said, "Oh."

Then there was nothing more to discuss because she knew that he would stay in New York to keep the appointment he'd fought so hard to get and she would have to fend for herself, another date broken, another wrench thrown in the works of the great Life Plan.

She said, "Well, good luck with your meeting."

He said, "We'll talk. All week. All right? You okay with this, China?"

"What choice do I have?" she asked him and said goodbye.

She hated herself for ending their conversation like that, but she was hot, miserable, dispirited, depressed . . . Call it what you wanted to call it. In any event, she had nothing more to give.

She loathed the part of herself that was unsure of the future, and most of the time she could keep that side of her character subdued. When it got away from her and gained dominance in her life like an overconfident guide into chaos, it never led to anything good. It reduced her to adhering to a belief in the importance of the sort of womanhood she had long detested, one defined by having a man at any cost, lassoing him into marriage, and plugging up his life with babies ASAP. She would not go there, she told herself repeatedly. But a fraction of her wanted it anyway.

This led her to asking questions, making demands, and turning her attention to an us instead of keeping it focused on a me. When that occurred, what flared up between her and the man in question--who had always been Matt--was a replay of the debate they'd been having for five years now. This was a circular polemic on the subject of marriage that had so far achieved the same result: his obvious reluctance--as if she actually needed to see it and hear it--followed by her furious recriminations, which were then followed by a break-up initiated by whoever felt most exasperated with the differences that cropped up between them.

Those same differences kept bringing them back together, though. For they charged the relationship with an undeniable excitement that so far neither one of them had found with anyone else. He had probably tried. China knew that. But she had not. She didn't need to. She'd known for years that Matthew Whitecomb was right for her.

China had arrived at this conclusion yet again by the time she reached her bungalow: one thousand square feet of 1920 architecture that had once served as the weekend getaway of an Angeleno. It sat among other similar cottages on a street lined with palm trees, close enough to the beach to reap the benefit of the ocean breeze, far enough from the water to be affordable.

It was definitely humble, comprising five small rooms--if you counted the bathroom--and only nine windows, with a wide front porch and a rectangle of lawn in the front and the back. A picket fence fronted the property, shedding flakes of white paint into the flowerbeds and onto the sidewalk, and it was to the gate in this fence that China lumbered with her photography equipment once she ended her conversation with Matt.

The heat beat down, only less marginally intense than it had been on the hillside, but the wind wasn't as fierce. The palm fronds rattled like old bones in the trees, and where lavender lantana grew against the front fence, it hung listlessly in the bright sunlight, with flowers like purple asterisks, growing out of ground that was thoroughly parched this afternoon, as if it hadn't been watered this morning.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A6. Great as usual!

    China River and her brother Cherokee tender a deal to friend photographer Deborah St. James and her spouse forensic scientist Simon. If the couple travels from their home in Montecito, California to deliver a package of architectural drawings to Guy Brouard on the English Channel Island of Guernsey, she will pay both fares and a five-thousand-dollar fee. Christmas in England sounds quite good to the St. James so they readily agree.<P> The drawings are for a museum that Guy plans to construct to commemorate those who resisted the Nazis during the German occupation of the island. However, upon arriving at Guernsey, Deborah and Simon find the recipient of their package dead, a victim of murder. Most interesting is the lack of a solid motive, as no one seems to hate Brouard though he womanized and no one gains from his death. Still the nosy Americans investigate when China is arrested for the crime.<P> PLACE OF HIDING is a superb investigative tale due to the extraordinarily powerful cast on both sides of the Atlantic. The who-done-it is cleverly devised to keep the audience guessing, but clearly the key players such as China, her brother, the St. James couple, and Brouard and his spouse make the tale work. The locale adds depth and a bit of World War II perspective to a strong contemporary mystery that by George shows the talent of this author when she is on her game as she is here.<P> Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2014

    Love Simon Allcourt-St. James....can barely tolerate his wife De

    Love Simon Allcourt-St. James....can barely tolerate his wife Deborah. Could she possibly be more tiresome????

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  • Posted July 28, 2012

    A must for fans of Elizabeth George

    Loved meeting again characters from the Inspector Lynley mysteries. The author takes us on twists and turns to the unexpected finish, but what a journey. This novel prompted interest in the status of the Channel Islands, and research into what may be common knowledge for Brits. But we Yanks love all things English. I have read all of the Lynley series and was very excited when I found this book. Eagerly awaiting more works by Ms George.

    Liz from Gaylord MI

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Long-Winded

    Book 12 in the Inspector Lynley series

    Ms. George has created a tale of human relationships, a story of betrayal and devotion. This mind bending who- done-it investigative suspense brings us to the Channel Island of Guernsey to solve the murder case of millionaire Guy Brouard.

    The story commences with China River and her brother Cherokee travelling from California to deliver architectural drawings to Guy Brouard, a rich philanthropist with eccentric ideas. Shortly after their arrival, Brouard is murdered and the police quickly target China as the prime suspect and arrest her. Cherokee goes to London to seek help from one of China's old schoolmates Deborah St-James. Deborah and her husband agree and leave for Guernsey to see what they can do to prove her innocence. As they poke around, they find the locals are very tight lipped; the skeletons in their past relating to WW11 Nazi occupation always seem to surface. They discover Brouard's death has a definite link to the past and many could gain from his demise, they feel the police have not expanded their suspect pool enough and are overlooking many important details.

    This complex mystery features Deborah and Simon St-James, two supporting characters often found in Ms. George's earlier novels. Once again, she has sidelined her normally main protagonists, Barbara Havers completely and Thomas Lynley has only a cameo role at the end of the story. I find the author is becoming long winded; too much detail and too many sub-characters can easily be overdone and turn into a drag. The plot is not as convoluted and is far better than the previous novel 'A Traitor to Memory' but I find it is still slow moving and plods along at times. Nevertheless I did like this novel and particularly had fun trying to guess who done it'I was totally off the mark till the very end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2005

    Great edition to the series

    I thought it was great. I've read all her previous 'Lynley' mysteries and this is as good as all the rest. The ONLY drawback was that the leads were Simon Allcourt-St. James and his wife Deborah. I don't like Deborah and she didn't endear me to her in this one at all. I'd much prefer Thomas and Barbara to be doing the investigating. Simon is fine but leave Deborah home next time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2004

    pathetic main character

    The ploy was enjoyable but not up to scratch as her previous novels were. The most irksome quality of the book was Deborah St. James. What a whiney, crabby and irritating character. She evoked no sympathy other than for her husband Simon for being stuck with her-yikes! It took the pleasure out of reading this mystery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2004

    Won't Want to Put Down

    I have seen so much development in style and characterization in this latest George novel. As with other of her novels, I embrace each character and situation in hopes that the ones I really like are not the 'bad guys'. In her usual twist and turn style, I felt the plot was thoroughly developed and not only could I not put it down, I didn't want to. It ranks on top along side Missing Joseph.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2004

    Took Forever to Finish

    I just kept plugging along waiting for this story to become interesting and it just never did. I have never experienced this with any other of George's 'Lindley/St. James' novels and I have read them all. This story just didn't have the chemistry of all the rest.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2003

    Suspending Disbelief...

    ... perhaps a more apt title for this most recent in the DCI Lynley (mostly wisely offstage in this wordy embarrassment), Simon St. James, et al series. It required sheer willpower to read to the spectacularly unbelievable climax. Where is the real Ms. George? We want her back! While Ms. George is known for creating a very authentic sense of place and personality, A Place of Hiding's overly long, excruciatingly detailed descriptions of everything from Guernsey's warren of roads and lanes, to the excessive internal dialog of the all-too-many many red herrings detract from the plot -- a case of not being able to see the forest in following the author as she roots for literary truffles at the base of each and every tree... Most of Ms. George's readers are aware that while being an American (from Huntington Beach, CA), she does extensive research from her second home-base in London, and adopts a British writing style for this series. However, she may be taking things a bit too far drawing her American characters with a very British pen -- for all Ms. George's attempts to flesh them out, China and Cherokee (only-in-California names!) remain caricatures -- one-dimensional, far too given to dated West Coast slang, and just plain unbelievable, as are the motives and behavior attributed to them. And Simon and Deborah -- how much more fraught can this relationship get? I fear that many former fans are beyond caring...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2004

    A- effort from Excellent Writer

    Any story from this writer is worth reading. She is an exemplary literary talent. Yet, this effort, although highly praised by most critics, may not be her best work among her latter works.Her characters are fully developed. her plot complex, her exposition a bit detailed and slow, yet she manages to keep the reader's interest. She shows bits of genius in some of her dialogues of conflict between sub-plotted characters; Deb and St.James conflict over a ring, the Ouseleys father-son relationship in conflict over the museum, China and Cherokee's conflicting sibling relationship. All appropriately 'humanized' and carried into the main plot of Guy Brouard's death. Yet there are other sub-plotted conflict relationships that, although well characterized, seem less plot driven; Anais Abbott's and her daughter, self-centered Margeret and Adrian's mother-son conflict, or Cynthia and Henry's father-daughter conflict. What makes Ms. George's work so interesting is her flawless ability to tie all these subplots into a tight community that pulls the plot along effortlessly. The reader jumps from one scene to another gathering crumbs of information just as St. James and Deborah do on their quest to discover the truth about this stranger's untimely death.This mystery/suspense novel is worth taking the time to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2003

    Not the old 'E.G.' we knew and loved, no.

    A Place of Hiding by Elizabeth George. One Star. Elizabeth George still does some things very well. She knows how to provide emotional support for young female victims: 'Right now you want to grieve. The strength of your grieving marks the strength of your love. And letting grief go when the time comes to do it honors that love.' She knows how to tell a boy's story and to tug on the heart strings: 'Ol Fielder squatted. So did the vet. Paul reached out and stayed the doctor's hand. 'I've got the money.' he said to Mr. Knight so clearly, he might have been speaking the first words ever spoken between two people. 'I don't care what it costs me. Save my dog.' But golly this detective novel is a test of endurance. The first eighteen chapters are as boring as any eighteen chapters of any detective novel you are likely to read. The heroine is as self pitying as an-unhappy-but-well-off-woman can be when she is not adored by an audience for her vocation and her being. No, thankfully Deborah wasn't this in Ms. George's previous novels. The hero used to be in charge of his life. In this novel he can be out run, out fought, and out smarted or made to look ineffectual to himself by the heroine whenever she chooses. The killer is murdered early on. Who dunit? The novel is written like a soap. Every 4-8 pages the scene shifts. Perfect spot for commercials. Each character has an agenda. Anyone could have dunit but who did and did the murder have anything much to do with anything significant about the murdered man? Considering the current novel and her previous work, a book of short stories entitled 'I, Richard' it is my opinion that fans of Ms. George can no longer expect Ms. George to produce a great read or even a very good one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2003

    Guernsey is Interesting

    If you want to know a little about the Isle of Guernsey and it's 20th century history, this book may be of interest to you. Otherwise, George has over-peopled the plot and over-used her thesaurus. The plot is not credible, the characters misplaced and some characters are used who really aren't even necessary in the first place. The marital petulances of Deborah and Simon gets just a tad wearing and I'm beginning not to like either of them. As a George fan, I think I'll go back and read the first George novels again. This one just didn't cut it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2003

    Place this one in the romance section!

    Having read all of George's books, I continue to be disappointed by her recent efforts. Much time is spent in this book describing the relationship between Deborah and Simon. A lot of silly dialogue. George can do better!

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