Elizabeth George’s latest Inspector Lynley novel, unpredictable as always

inspector lynley novel: Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George

I’ve enjoyed most of Elizabeth George‘s sixteen previous novels about the life and career of Thomas Lynley, an hereditary earl from Cornwall who has risen to the post of Detective Inspector in Scotland Yard. Like all of George’s characters, Lynley is finely drawn and three-dimensional—likeable, without being the sort of person you’d expect to pal around with. Her settings, usually picturesque corners of rural England, are engaging in their own right. George clearly does her homework—she’s American, after all—so that her books are popular in the UK, not just the U.S.


Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley #17) by Elizabeth George

@@@@ (4 out of 5)


Maybe what I most enjoy about Elizabeth George’s writing is the utter unpredictability of her stories. She consciously avoids working in the old Agatha Christie mode of murder tales. For example, consider this passage from Believing the Lie:

“For an utterly mad moment Lynley thought the woman was actually confessing to murdering her husband’s nephew. The setting, after all, was perfect for it, in the best tradition of more than one hundred years of tea-in-the-vicarage and murder-in-the-library paperback novels sold in railway stations. He couldn’t imagine why she might be confessing, but he’d also never been able to understand why the characters in those novels sat quietyly in the drawing room or the sitting room or the library while a detective laid out all the clues leading to the guilt of one of them. No one ever demanded a solicitor in the midst of the detective’s maundering. He’d never been able to sort that one out.”

This latest Inspector Lynley novel is “a rollercoaster of a story”

So, if you pick up a copy of Believing the Lie, prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of a story, resplendent with more than its share of surprises. When Inspector Lynley is despatched to Cumbria to look into the murder of the nephew of a rich and powerful man, you might expect a straightforward tale of crime and punishment. What you’ll get instead is a complex tale of intrigue, adultery, family secrets, betrayal, and a host of other themes involving a wealthy manufacturing family, a tabloid reporter, a stunning Argentine woman, Lynley’s friends Deborah and Simon, and, of course, Lynley’s interior dialogue about his murdered wife. You’ll also witness the untimely deaths of two people. But don’t expect anything to go the way you think it will. This latest Inspector Lynley novel is a thoroughly worthy addition to a venerable series.

For additional reading

You might also enjoy my posts:

For an abundance of great mystery stories, go to Top 20 suspenseful detective novels (plus 200 more). And if you’re looking for exciting historical novels, check out Top 10 historical mysteries and thrillers reviewed here (plus 100 others).

And you can always find my most popular reviews, and the most recent ones, plus a guide to this whole site, on the Home Page.

Spread The Word!
The best books I’ve read so far this year | Mal Warwick's Blog on Books - 8 years ago

[…] Believing the Lie, by Elizabeth George. Elizabeth George’s latest Inspector Lynley novel, unpredictable as always. […]

My most-visited reviews | Mal Warwick's Blog on Books - 7 years ago

[…] 10. A review of Believing the Lie, by Elizabeth George. The latest installment in the running saga of hereditary earl and Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley, picking up the tale after a long hiatus following the murder of his wife. […]

My 21 favorite mystery and thriller writers | Mal Warwick's Blog on Books - 7 years ago

[…] Believing the Lie, by Elizabeth George […]

Comments are closed