Twenty-eight-year old virtuoso violinist Gideon Davies has lost his memory of music and his ability to play the instrument he mastered as a five-year-old prodigy. One fateful night he lifted his violin to play in a Beethoven trio . . . and everything in his mind related to music was gone. Gideon suffers from a form of amnesia, the cure for which is an examination of what he can remember. And what he can remember is little enough until his mind is triggered by the weeping of a woman and a single name: Sonia.
Then, one rainy evening, Gideon's mother Eugenie travels to London for a mysterious appointment. But before she is able to reach her destination, a car swoops out of nowhere and kills her in the street.
In pursuing Eugenie's killer, Lynley and Havers come to know a group of people whose lives are inextricably connected by a long-ago death, a trial, and a prison sentence handed down as retribution for a crime no one has spoken of for twenty years.
Classical music, cybersex and vehicular homicide figure prominently in this sprawling epic, the latest in the bestselling Thomas Lynley series that has won George an enviable following on both sides of the Atlantic. This can only add to her growing reputation as doyenne of English mystery novelists. When Eugenie Davies is killed on a London street struck by a car, then viciously mangled as the driver backs over her Detective Inspector Lynley investigates. The suspects include J.W. Pichley, aka TongueMan, a cyber-rou with a penchant for older women; Katja Wolff, convicted murderess of Davies's infant daughter; and Major Ted Wiley, a bookstore proprietor in love with Davies. Inevitably, the trail leads to the dead woman's son, Gideon, a former child prodigy on the violin, now a renowned virtuoso suddenly and inexplicably unable to play a single note. Lynley and his longtime partners, Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata, unravel the mystery in their inimitable fashion, as the narrative turns backward, ever backward, in search of clues. Although some plot developments are initially confusing due to the book's occasionally non-linear style, the author's handling of narrative is consistently inventive. There are some amusing character sketches (including the skewering of an American Valley Girl to whom classical music is as foreign as Sanskrit) and some particularly moving moments. Faithful readers of George's previous mysteries should find this the most ambitious of the lot.