The first Elizabeth George book I read was "Playing for the Ashes". A devastating story. I decided that, skilled as the book was, the Lynley books were not a series I would enjoy.
But being me, I eventually forgot the names, enough to pick up a different Elizabeth George, one not quite so bleak. Still, it's rare that a George book has a happy ending: these are grim tales of the worst of people.
Havers is my main reason for liking the books. They're well-written, engrossing, but I've never really warmed to Lynley and on the whole I don't like books that leave me feeling down. But Havers, almost impossibly shambolic, always taking two steps back for every step forward, keeps me hooked. I doubt that George will ever allow Havers to achieve anything more than fleeting moments of happiness, but I live in hope.
"This Body of Death" is a damn long book. Since I'd untangled most of the motives and explanations about halfway through, I suspect that it could have reached its conclusion a little more quickly, but it still held my attention far more than other things I've been reading lately (for some reason I'd bought some fluffy paranormal cosy murder mysteries, and they just haven't been working for me).
Not my favourite Lynley novel, but still worth reading.
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