This Body of Death (Inspector Lynley Series #16)
  • This Body of Death (Inspector Lynley Series #16)
  • This Body of Death (Inspector Lynley Series #16)

This Body of Death (Inspector Lynley Series #16)

3.8 193
by Elizabeth George
     
 

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New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George is back with a spellbinding tale of mystery and murder featuring Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley.

On compassionate leave after the murder of his wife, Thomas Lynley is called back to Scotland Yard when the body of a woman is found stabbed and abandoned in an isolated London cemetery. His

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George is back with a spellbinding tale of mystery and murder featuring Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley.

On compassionate leave after the murder of his wife, Thomas Lynley is called back to Scotland Yard when the body of a woman is found stabbed and abandoned in an isolated London cemetery. His former team doesn't trust the leadership of their new department chief, Isabelle Ardery, whose management style seems to rub everyone the wrong way. In fact, Lynley may be the sole person who can see beneath his superior officer's hard-as-nails exterior to a hidden and possibly attractive vulnerability.

While Lynley works in London, his former colleagues Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata follow the murder trail south to the New Forest. There they discover a beautiful and strange place where animals roam free, the long-lost art of thatching is very much alive, and outsiders are not entirely welcome. What they don't know is that more than one dark secret lurks among the trees, and that their investigation will lead them to an outcome that is both tragic and shocking.

A multilayered jigsaw puzzle of a story skillfully structured to keep readers guessing until the very end, This Body of Death is a magnificent achievement from a writer at the peak of her powers.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Tragedy blights lives in a dozen different ways. Grieving widower Thomas Lynley (Careless in Red, 2008, etc.) returns to New Scotland Yard to assist temporary Acting Superintendent Isabelle Ardery, who is acerbic, volatile and an alcoholic in denial. This potent cocktail hardly helps her relationship with her ex, her sons and Lynley's old staff, or produces sound judgments regarding the investigation of Jemima Hastings's murder. Jemima, who dealt with the death of her parents by leaping into love every chance she got, whether or not the man cared for her, had recently ended a relationship with Hampshire thatcher Gordon Jossie, although her usual pattern had been to stay until she was dumped. What caused the rift? Jossie, now intimately involved with a woman named Gina, has two dark secrets, one horrific, the other promising a financial windfall if he takes advantage of it. Did these secrets lead him to murder Jemima? Isabelle considers a schizophrenic musician her prime suspect for the killing. But with the help of Barbara Havers, who's crotchety about Lynley's growing attachment to Isabelle, Lynley digs away at Jemima's neighbors in her London rooming house, where venality collides with tragedy. Dark, unrelenting and powerful, though it would have been even finer without the schizophrenic ramblings, the descriptions of every shop along the High Street, the primer on thatching, the plight of New Forest ponies and Isabelle's constant retreats to the ladies' room for a swig of vodka and a breath mint.
Publishers Weekly
Bestseller George's richly rewarding 16th novel to feature Det. Insp. Thomas Lynley (after Careless in Red) offers an intricate plot that will satisfy even jaded fans of psychological suspense. Aggressively career-minded Isabelle Ardery, the new acting superintendent of London's Metropolitan Police, boldly manages to lure Lynley, who's been grieving over his wife's murder, back from Cornwall to look into a murder case. The body of Jemima Hastings, a young woman recently relocated from Hampshire, has turned up in a London cemetery. With suspects in both locales and numerous leads to follow and interviews to conduct, Ardery succeeds in raising the hackles of Det. Sgt. Barbara Havers, Det. Insp. John Stewart, and other members of the investigating team. George tantalizes with glimpses of a horrific earlier murder case; showcases Lynley at his shrewdest, most diplomatic best; and confounds readers with a complex array of evidence, motives, and possible solutions. 6-city author tour. (May)
Romantic Times
“George’s dense plotting style and complex characterization are on full display as Lynley and Havers, working separately, try to uncover the truth.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“This Body of Death is wonderful.”
Washington Times
“This is the kind of mystery that Elizabeth George does best….Ms. George has done a brilliant job…and this is probably her best mystery in years.”
Seattle Times
“Captivating…the writer’s insights into social and emotional issues make her work deeply rewarding.”
Oklahoman
“A spellbinding tale of mystery and murder.”
Richmond Times Dispatch
“A rich, unsettling work.”
New York Journal of Books
“A hauntingly memorable experience.”
Sullivan County Democrat (NY)
“[George’s] Inspector Lynley novels are very substantial psychological thrillers, big, deeply intelligent, rich in characterization...and atmospheric as a walk on the moors with a faithful bloodhound.”
Iron Mountain Daily News (MI)
“An intricate mystery.”
Daily American (PA)
“Elizabeth George writes exceptional mysteries, with intelligent, complex plots and well-developed characters....Her pace is skillful.”
Oklahoman on This Body of Death
“A spellbinding tale of mystery and murder.”
New York Journal of Books on This Body of Death
“A hauntingly memorable experience.”
Sullivan County Democrat (NY) on This Body of Death
“[George’s] Inspector Lynley novels are very substantial psychological thrillers, big, deeply intelligent, rich in characterization...and atmospheric as a walk on the moors with a faithful bloodhound.”
Romantic Times on This Body of Death
“George’s dense plotting style and complex characterization are on full display as Lynley and Havers, working separately, try to uncover the truth.”
Daily American (PA) on This Body of Death
“Elizabeth George writes exceptional mysteries, with intelligent, complex plots and well-developed characters....Her pace is skillful.”
Richmond Times Dispatch on This Body of Death
“A rich, unsettling work.”
Iron Mountain Daily News (MI) on This Body of Death
“An intricate mystery.”
San Francisco Chronicle on This Body of Death
“This Body of Death is wonderful.”
Seattle Times on This Body of Death
“Captivating…the writer’s insights into social and emotional issues make her work deeply rewarding.”
Washington Times on This Body of Death
“This is the kind of mystery that Elizabeth George does best….Ms. George has done a brilliant job…and this is probably her best mystery in years.”
Entertainment Weekly on This Body of Death
“George has once again delivered a thick, knotty, densely plotted mystery. As always, it isn’t a book to tear through in an hour, but one to read slowly, over many sittings, and savor.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061160882
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/20/2010
Series:
Inspector Lynley Series, #16
Pages:
692
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.70(d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen novels of psychological suspense, one book of nonfiction, and two short story collections. Her work has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha awards, the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, and the MIMI, Germany's prestigious prize for suspense fiction. She lives in Washington State.

Brief Biography

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

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This Body of Death 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 193 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On compassionate leave, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley remains in Cornwell still grieving the murder of his wife. However, Metropolitan Police acting Superintendent Isabelle Ardery wants to be London's top cop without the acting label. To do so, she needs Lynley to eliminate a potential impediment. Someone murdered Jemima Hastings; the Hampshire native was found dead in a London cemetery. Whereas Lynley's team detests Ardery, they investigate the case. Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and Detective Inspector John Stewart follow clues to New Forest where animals are welcome and people are not. Meanwhile Lynley returns to London to help solve the Hastings homicide. This is a terrific police procedural that reads more like a psychological suspense than a typical investigation story line. In London and in New Forest, suspects seem everywhere, which makes for a delightfully convoluted inquiry. Lynley is terrific as he grieves for his late spouse yet seems to understand his superior is much more than just an ambitions bi*ch. His team is also fascinating as everyone one of them loath Ardery as an aggressive SOB whose career supersedes case solving and compassion. The Body of Death is a great character driven English thriller. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you go back and look at Payment in Blood or one of the other early novels, you'll see what George has lost: a realization that we come back for the main characters and like to spend time with them. We do NOT care to spend time with the suspects and do not want to read hundreds of pages about their damaged lives. We want to be at the side of the detectives and see the case as they see it; one or more of them should be on virtually every page. George's recent books are more sociology than mystery, and she needs a good editor to rein her in; she has totally lost her way. The recent books are all overlong and boring. I am desperately trying to finish this one, skimming like crazy, pulling out the good scenes with Lynley, Ardery, Havers, St. James et al. I used to loan these books to friends, but I don't anymore...the last three have been a huge disappointment. Elizabeth George is not George Eliot, and mystery novels are not meant to be Victorian fiction. The plots should be simple and sharp, the detectives at center stage, the human interactions focused mainly on the characters we love. Think Stieg Larsson, Kate Atkinson, Louise Penny, PD James, Michael Connelly, John Sandford, Peter Robinson. Elizabeth, I hope you're reading this...you're writing your way to oblivion; Lynley and Havers deserve better.
whoizme88 More than 1 year ago
This book for me is not up to the level of Elizabeth George's series on Detective Inspector Lynley. Though the quality of writing is a bit off from the Lynley series it is a book that mystery readers will enjoy. Her quality is so high it is a little disappointing to read this one. She has different plots here and different characters, which are ok but not to the quality of the others, in my opinion. All in all a decent and good read. J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
1louise1 More than 1 year ago
The body of a young woman is found, gruesomely murdered in an old cemetery in London. Nothing much to go on as far as identification except that she has one blue eye and one brown eye. The case is handed off to Superintendent Isabelle Ardery, a recent transfer to New Scotland Yard, and who has a chip on her shoulder. On compassionate leave, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley remains in Cornwell still grieving the murder of his wife. Isabelle Ardery wants to be London's top cop. To do so, she needs Lynley to eliminate a potential problem. Even though Lynley's team detests Ardery, they investigate the case anyway. Thomas and Isabelle are emotionally at odds, and although they would seem to make an unlikely couple, the two manage to form a bond.and so on and so forth.ENJOYED! Others favorites of mine are: PERFECT, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, RAINWATER, and THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARIS CLUB
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I looked forward to this new Lynley book with great anticipation. I was not disappointed. The story evolved from the murder of a young woman from Hampshire in a London cemetery. Of course, along with the detectives we learned about her life, her friends, family and acquaintances in order for the crime to be solved. Once again, the supporting characters and details make interesting reading. I also enjoyed learning about life in the New Forest. This author always brings rich detail to her stories. Throughout the book, the author used a different typeface to insert the story of a horrific crime committed by three young boys against a toddler. The details appear to be taken right from the newspaper as they are similar to the James Bulger case, including the special dock created to allow the young defendants to see the proceedings. As usual the details of how the system worked in their apprehension, questionning and trial all appear to be accurate based on news accounts. I admit that during the read I sometimes felt these accounts were an intrusion but in the end it worked well in parallel to the story to provide necessary context to explain events in a creative way. While the subject of life after the commission of a crime isn't new to this author or in general, the fact that she weaves it into the story of familiar characters makes it perhaps more successful than either Ruth Rendell or P.D. James. The book reintroduces Isabella Ardery into the mix. She was trying out for Webberley's old position. Her tryout was remarkably unsuccessful though she is given a second chance with Lynley's intervention and his promise to return full time. If not for the efforts of Havers, Lynley and the other detectives, it is unlikely the case would have been solved as Ardery's performance as the "guv" was so poor. She was depicted in a poor light as a unit leader. She was dismissive of her detectives' suggestions, disdainful and argumentative. It is not credible that she would be given another opportunity to lead the unit even if though it keeps her in the picture as a romantic interest for Lynley. It was clear that Lynley was much more suited to the role and one wonders if Ardery could perform successfully without his help. It was interesting to see Lynley in action with an attractive female co-worker because, of course, his approach to late night discussion and dinner to discuss the case reminded me of Havers disdain for his reputation for that exact behavior with attractive co-workers when they were first partnered together. I did miss their partnership on this case and if there are future installments, I hope that they will work together again. It seems likely since if Ardery is to be the boss I would assume she would act less the case detective in the future. I enjoyed the interaction between Lynley, St. James and Deb. It struck the right note of long time friends. Ardery's perception that they communicated in short hand was a good view of a newcomer's perspective of an established relationship. I also am interested to see where we go next in Havers life with the return of Hadiyyah's mother. I can't help but assume that Havers closest friends will have less time for her now. It seemed that her home with its proximity to her friends home had become a welcome place for her. I admit to feeling sad that she will once again be alone and her relationship with Azhar is not likely to develop.
Elishka More than 1 year ago
Will someone please get a decent editor for Ms George? Oh, wait, these are the same people who advised her to pen "What Came Before He Shot Her," a woefully depressing and plodding tale that didn't need to be told in the first place. And here we have many of the same characters again: (1) children of impoverished circumstances and even worse parents who end up being bullies (at the least) and criminals at the worst; (2) at least one sadistic SOB who uses sex as a weapon of control; (3) at least one promiscuous young woman who started her sexual exploits early on due to a great trauma; (4) political games in the upper echelons of New Scotland Yarn; (5) a female rising to a management position who is devoid of emotion because she's conscientious of being in "a man's world" -- and no surprise that she's not liked by anyone; (6) several other "colorful" characters whose stories are told ad nauseum before we even need to hear them, and whose background turns out to be mostly irrelevant; (7) sexual exploits of any number of adults which have little or nothing to do with the story, (8) minutiae about a particular occupation -- roof thatching in this book, surfing in "Careless in Red" -- which has little to do with the plot in the end . . . the list is too long to reiterate. Suffice it to say that it takes entirely too long to get to the meat of this story which is merely that Lynley is back at work a mere five months after his wife's death. The earlier novels in the Lynley/Havers series were interesting to read because there was a need to develop the central characters against the background of the various mysteries that need to be solved. As readers we are are five years away from the shocking death of Lynley's wife ("With No One as Witness" was released in 2005); we deserve a story that goes beyond this amateurish rehash of characters and social commentary. If Elizabeth George doesn't have anywhere to go with her main characters, then she should leave off writing about them. Here's the plot: A girl is found dead in a North London cemetary. The interim superintendant convinces Lynley to return to the team. The interim superintendant, in an effort to look good for the job, makes an early arrest of the wrong person. Lynley, Havers, Nkata, St. James (the usual squad) solve the crime by their usual cooperative work. While numerous suspects are proposed and lots of people are interviewed, the rest of the story is just a bunch of characters we've read about previously and they don't add much to the overall story. It's a yawn.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wasnt the same man. Angst only goes so far in modern novels and some series just dont make it back except for the die hard reader m.a.@sparta
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is another good book from George, but a little too wordy. Could have easily knocked out at least 150 pages and lost nothing in either suspense or plot. I had a little trouble believing in some of the characters in this book...not a problem I've had before with her other Linley stories. I mistakenly ordered the large print edition...easy to read but impossible to take anywhere!
Donna-Read More than 1 year ago
I've read all 15 of the Inspector Lynley Series and I thought this was a great read. I ignored all sorts of things I should be doing to read this in a few days. I agree with a couple of previous reviews that Helen should not have been killed in a previous book, but she was so if you like that other characters you'll still want to read the next in the series. The one thing I didn't like was the relationship with Lynley and Ardrey - just didn't seem like him. As some of the other reviewers noted I would also like more of Deborah and Simon St.James. All in all though I couldn't put it down.
LexiBird More than 1 year ago
This book is consistent with the series, but not one of my favorites. Linley comes across appropriately as a widower emerging from a state of mourning, and believably as the politically savvy and mildly reluctant inspector. Although Simon and Deborah St James make several appearances, their roles are minimal; I would love to see them add more complexity to the storylines, both professionally and socially. Havers remains a sad scapegoat for negative images--rather surprising from a woman author--but there are subtle indications that her deeper character may be emerging slowly. Visions of the countyside are pleasantly evoked, providing a nice contract to London. Overall, however, the elements are not terribly fulfilling: character development is very slow, both new and old characters are fussy and unlovable, and the storylines are mild and unfulfilling. Nice, long read, beautifully written grammatically, but uninspring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was somewhat disappointing in that it wasn't up to Elizabeth George's usual standards; however, that bar is set so high, even though this one doesn't measure up, it's still superior to most crime fiction out there. Some characters are disappointing...they behave uncharacteristically (Lyndley) or are poorly written (Isabelle, who flip-flops between trite writing and three-dimensional development. Not a consistently imagined character). Barbara Havers is the exception - she continues to grow (and delight) in nuanced fashion. The language in the book is also flawed - a few absolutely cliched metaphors that cause the reader to wince. The plot is dense and unfolds slowly enough that the reader will find that he/she can anticipate the next development and be pulled along the path of the mystery knowingly, but without resentment that it was too easy or hard to grasp. Slightly "tighter" writing could have helped the story keep a more sustained pace. BTW, I'm a fan who appreciates that in the past Ms. George has taken great risks with her characters. I don't blame her at all for events in past books that disappointed other readers. If anything, that sense of edgy I-didn't-see-that-coming suspense is totally lacking from this book, to its detriment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read most of this series and this one is no exception....they are all we'll-written and substantial mysteries. Elizabeth George is a superb writer.
Simone24 More than 1 year ago
I really like foreign novels. You must not skip a beat with her books. Things that don't seem important always are. She never ends her books the way you want or expect. All of the books in the Inspector Lynley series are great reads to me. They've made very good movies too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In a cold rain no central heating and warm beer but since beer is room temp which is forty degrees less than body heat will feel cool . even on tv series these are not bright or cherry but english noir without humor or classic settings
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
nsrn More than 1 year ago
There is not much that I enjoy more than hanging out with Tommy Lynley and Barbara Havers!!!
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Havenite More than 1 year ago
What a treat! I feel that I know the St. James family, Inspector Lynley and the Indian family as well as I know my own. Ms. George is simply an excellent study of real human beings. Of course, the mystery is great, too. But it is her writing and character development that especially thrills me.
BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
I received this novel as a gift. This is my first time reading sharing her work. Synopsis: The first case we hear about is the case of the murder of John Dresser. Three boys are accused of the crime. Pieces from this case are woven throughout the novel. The other case is the murder of Jemima Hastings. Acting Inspector Superintendent Isabelle Ardery has asked Thomas Lynley to help out in the investigation and help her work with his team. He consents to assist in the investigation that seems a little over Isabel’s head. Meredith Powell who is a friend of Jemima’s also conducts her own investigation focusing on Gordon Jossie and Gina Dickens. Gordon is one of Jemima’s exboyfriends who seems very suspicious. Who killed Jemima? Will inspector Lynley be able to help Isabelle? My Thoughts: When I first saw this novel I couldn’t believe how long it was. I feel that I should give you some background on the Inspector Lynley novels, and this is the sixteenth novel in the series. This series is set in London England in the Scotland Yard police force. Lynley is an Inspector but doesn’t really need to work because of his family’s wealth. The other location is Hampshire where Jemima Hastings used to live. This novel was a little on the long side for me. I had a hard time with staying interested. I felt like I needed a notebook to keep track of all of the characters. My favorite character was Barbara Havers. She is the partner of Inspector Linley with her own style. This character acted as comic relief throughout this novel. I think it would be highly doubtful that I would find it worth it to read another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not her best effort. Too long on extraneous detail and too short on plot.