#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Punishment She Deserves Elizabeth George has millions of fans following her Inspector Lynley series. As USA Today put it, "It's tough to resist George's storytelling, once hooked." With Believing the Lie, she's poised to hook countless more.
Inspector Thomas Lynley is mystified when he's sent undercover to investigate the death of Ian Cresswell at the request of the man's uncle, the wealthy and influential Bernard Fairclough. The death has been ruled an accidental drowning, and nothing on the surface indicates otherwise. But when Lynley enlists the help of his friends Simon and Deborah St. James, the trio's digging soon reveals that the Fairclough clan is awash in secrets, lies, and motives.
Deborah's investigation of the prime suspect--Bernard's prodigal son Nicholas, a recovering drug addict--leads her to Nicholas's wife, a woman with whom she feels a kinship, a woman as fiercely protective as she is beautiful. Lynley and Simon delve for information from the rest of the family, including the victim's bitter ex-wife and the man he left her for, and Bernard himself. As the investigation escalates, the Fairclough family's veneer cracks, with deception and self-delusion threatening to destroy everyone from the Fairclough patriarch to Tim, the troubled son Ian left behind.
Lord Bernard Fairclough, a wealthy industrialist, asks Det. Insp. Thomas Lynley to secretly delve into the accidental death of his gay nephew, Ian Cresswell, in bestseller George's less than satisfying 17th novel featuring the Scotland Yard policeman (after 2010's This Body of Death). Det. Sgt. Barbara Havers and other series regulars help Lynley try to unspool a tangled web of drug addiction and recovery, gay marriage, extramarital affairs, egg donation, and online sexual predators. As usual in George's work, the process of detection reveals more about those doing the detecting than the mystery itself. Some of the subplots such as Havers's attempts to spruce up her appearance lead to dead ends. Zed Benjamin, a bumbling rookie journalist, offers some farcical moments to lighten up the general gloom. Statements of the obvious ("Deborah hated being at odds with her husband") and platitudes for unbearably painful situations will annoy some, while others will see the denouement from a mile off.
Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George
Elizabeth George has written another interesting page turner. However, I can't help but remember back to the earlier Inspector Lynley books - the wonderful character development of this thoughtful and kind man, the developing love relationship between Lynley and Helen, and his appreciative and accepting team-up with Barbara Havers. In this new book George seems to have felt that she needed to include all kinds of sexual arrangements and dialogue to interest the reader. She included everything from nymphomania and marital affairs to homosexuality, identity gender disorder and child pornography. I missed the educated, high classed, well-bred inspector who preferred solving crimes to an indolent life of luxury. There is an ample amount of human motivation and behavior to make a good story without having to haul out so much of the seamier side of life! Actually this book was less about Inspector Lynley and more about a number of disturbed and not very admirable characters!
I agree wholly with the first reviewer. I can't add anything will only add that I, too am a huge fan and will wait hopefully for yet another Linley book that hearkens back to "nobler" times.
Another literary success
As always, Elizabeth George manages to introduce characters so individually real that one almost expects to run into them unexpectedly and to know them as if long time acquaintances. The continuing background drama of Tommy, Barbara, Deborah, and St. James provides a familiarity that makes it hard to wait for the next book to unfold. Each challenge awaiting these four seems so uniquely different that it is hard to imagine what she will think of next. Yet the situations are believable -- but never predictable.
Another winner and one that is highly recommended.