This Body of Death by Elizabeth George – Review

by Gwen

Inspector Lynley is back in action after losing his pregnant wife to a random shooting in George’s last book. This time he has a new Acting Department Chief, Isabelle Ardrey, and the victim is a young woman brutalized near a chapel in a cemetery.

Do you ever watch PBS or BBCA? This is where I came to know Elizabeth George and her charming character Thomas Lynley. You see, Detective Inspector Lynley is not your run of the mill Inspector. Lynley, AKA Lord Linley, could be doing any other high ranking work in business, the government or even taking it easy and living the good life in London. Instead he chooses to be a cop. You have to admire him for that. Liking him is made even easier in the way that George describes him…..very good looking, very calm and charming.

The victim, Jemima Hastings had recently moved to London from Hampshire saying that she needed time/space to think. She left her boyfriend of two years, Gordon Jossie, whom everyone dislikes, but agrees that she is crazy in love with, behind. Always a bit man-mad, it doesn’t take long for her to find some new men in her life. Was it one of these new blokes that did it or did her old love, Jossie, track her down with those ‘have you seen her?’ postcards with her picture and his number that he left all over Covenant Garden with his number?

Woven in between the chapters is a type written report titled “Psychopathology, Guilt, and Innocence in the Matter of John Dresser” by Dorcas Galbraith, PhD. It discusses the events leading up to toddler John Dresser’s murder many years ago. The perpetrators were three 11 and 12 year old boys from glaringly dysfunctional families that kidnapped little John, took him to an abandoned building and brutally murdered him. It highlights the problems of sending to trial and sentencing of children who have murdered. (The old try them and sentence them as adults or juveniles debate) This report, placed in the middle of the current story seems to have no real place until you get to the sad and shocking end. It does build the suspense though, wondering where and when the pieces will fit together.

I always enjoy British mysteries and Elizabeth George is one of the best. They not only hold my attention but cause me to giggle every once in a while. We all speak English, but our idioms and mannerisms are so different that I laugh and often have to look up a word to see just what they mean. Ie. They kept talking about eating jacket potatoes and I had an image of a potato with a jacket on. It turns out that it what the Brits call baked potatoes and they are sold from street vendors wrapped in foil. Hence the jacket.

Just remember, not all bad guys stay bad and the same goes for the good guys, they don’t always stay good.
You owe it to yourself to take on a mystery from the other side of the pond, this one is perfect for a first swim.

This Body of Death, An Inspector Lynley Novel by Elizabeth George

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (April 20, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0061160881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061160882

Big thanks to Harper Collins for sending this to me!


13 Comments to “This Body of Death by Elizabeth George – Review”

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  2. I am half way through 'This Body of Death' and have read every Inspector Lynley book Elizabeth George has written. I patiently wait for each new novel to come out. I highly recommend going back and reading them all. You will love Lynley and all the other characters who appear in each book, especially DS Barbara Havers. These books are excellent.

  3. the description of the torture of the baby was gratuitous and served only to sensationalize the book. The entire book would not have suffered any lack of interest, message or substance without the details of the torture.

  4. I was disturbed by George’s descent into titillation in this, as well as by the supposedly grieving Lynley’s leap into bed with his alcoholic replacement. In addition, the book could use a solid edit. Way too much detail showing off her research but adding little to the plot or characterization.

  5. This is the best Elizabeth George novel I have read. Also, the longest. But, it was so good I did not want it to end. Just finished reading it tonite.
    Vicki of California

  6. It was fabulous!

    The book was a hot button issue in the UK though because the material was drawn from a real murder there that continues to divide people. 

  7. Not to be too picky, but . . . .

    In the first paragraph of your review are several egregious errors:  The new super’s name is “Ardery,” not “Ardey”; her official title is Acting Detective Superintendent”; as it is an appositive, a comma is needed after “Isabelle Ardery” to balance the one before the name; and she is presumably a “woman” not a “women.”  It also seems the murder occurs in a “shelter” off the chapel, not in it, as the building itself is sealed off.

    Doesn’t give me much faith in the quality of these reviews, though I always love Elizabeth George’s books.

  8. Thanks for helping me out. 

  9. Lord Asherton, not Lord Linley….the 8th earl of Asherton if I remember correctly….

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  11. Awesome read. I just passed this onto a buddy who was doing a little research on that. He just bought me lunch since I found it for him! Thus let me rephrase: Thank you for lunch!

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