“Elizabeth George reigns as queen of the mystery genre. The Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifyingly complex and impassioned mystery series now being published.” —Entertainment Weekly
One of the most acclaimed entries in Elizabeth George’s New York Times bestselling Inspector Lynley series—a masterfully structured, multilayered jigsaw puzzle of a mystery rich with intrigue and atmosphere
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 welcomes his return; they don’t trust their new department chief, Isabelle Ardery, whose off-putting manner leaves them on edge. Lynley may be the sole person who can see beneath his superior officer's hard-as-nails exterior to a hidden—and compelling—vulnerability.
While Lynley works in London, his former colleagues Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata follow the murder trail south to the New Forest—a beautiful and strange place where animals roam free, the long-lost art of thatching is very much alive, and outsiders are suspect. What they don't know is that more than one dark secret lurks within the secluded woodlands, and that their investigation will lead them to an outcome that is both tragic and shocking.
British stage actor John Lee proves an excellent match for George's long and very convoluted new crime novel. A richly detailed murder mystery with more subplots than a soap opera, the story follows a trio of New Scotland Yarders series favorites Det. Insp. Thomas Lynley, Sgt. Barbara Havers, and a newcomer, their boss, temporary department chief Isabelle Ardery as they investigate the slaying of a young woman in a London cemetery. Plus, George adds chapters referring to the actual 1993 torture and murder of toddler James Bulger to the mix. Lee possesses the concentration necessary to keep everything straight and maintain at least a fair amount of tension for 26 hours; his is less a narration than a bravura vocal performance. Using dead-on accents, he becomes each of the characters, be they British swells like Lynley and his friends, working-class like Havers, East Indian, Irish, African, young, old, male, female, straight, gay, and everything in between. He even manages to make the token American sound authentic. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 1).