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!