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A Great Deliverance Paperback – May 1 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (May 1 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553278029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553278026
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 10.6 x 17.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Fackler on Dec 6 2002
Format: Paperback
I had heard about Elizabeth George, but had never read anything by her until one day at the bookstore when I was looking for something new. I picked this one since it was the first in the series, and thought I would give it a go.
I had not finished half of it before I was on the phone with my husband at work, demanding that he go to the bookstore ASAP and buy me the next two, because there was no way I could finish this and have to wait to read more.
Beautifully written, suspensful, and utterly absorbing. Elizabeth George is amazing!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 15 2006
Format: Paperback
"Who knows what darkness lies in the hearts of men? Only the Shadow knows." That opening from the old radio show came to mind as I reread this book about the almost unspeakable evils that people do to one another.

First published in 1988, A Great Deliverance is the first book in the distinguished series featuring Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, the English detective duo who have delighted so many readers since then. I first read this book many years ago and was impressed at the time by the careful character development. Little did I know that that character development would make the subsequent series such a remarkable delight. Rereading the book now, I must say that I don't remember a first book in a detective series that did nearly so much to establish the backgrounds, thought processes, influences and loves of the lead characters. I'm much more impressed than the first time.

As the story opens, Father Hart is on a pilgrimage to Scotland Yard to help heal a rift among those who have been investigating the beheading of a local farmer. While most detectives would feel that finding the farmer's daughter, Roberta Teys, next to the body as she confesses that she's guilty would be enough evidence, Father Hart believes that Roberta is innocent. Thus, Scotland Yard enters the case. Havers is dispatched to haul Lynley back from a wedding he's attending, and the reader is soon enmeshed in "what might have been" thoughts concerning the lives of both Lynley and Havers.

Lynley is the golden boy, the eighth earl of Asherton, who doesn't even need to work . . . but who sees work as his obligation. Havers is a loose cannon of emotions, instincts and prejudice . . . but who's brilliantly and doggedly determined to find the answers to any crime.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. M. Tucker on Jan. 31 2004
Format: Paperback
It's been nearly five years since I read this and it still sits vividly in my mind. If the word 'epic' ever applied to a mystery novel, this author wrote it. Ms. George's ability to make the reader see the world from the viewpoints of her creations surprises and delights. Her characters are wonderful, deep and broad and full of personality as well as personality quirks. Even the ones to whom you may feel antipathy in the beginning win you over in the end. The book combines the 'cosy' and hard-edged mystery styles beautifully. The descriptions are delicious, almost enough to make you lick the pages. Treat yourself to this one and to her succeeding novels starring Lynley and Havers. Eminently satisfying.
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Aug. 2 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a plot thick book with plenty of fascinating characters. It is a good idea to read this novel first to get a solid background of the characters. If you love rich and complex characters you will be delighted. This novel is beautifully written, has a lot of suspense and is utterly absorbing. The author leaves a message that goes far beyond a murder mystery.
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Format: Audio Cassette
This story is both something which sends chills down your spine when you hear the tale of the infant smothered in Keldale Abbey, and as you go deeper and deeper into the story and slowly discover not only the details of the murder--that is to say, who did it, how, and why. Do not miss this selection!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By PurpleKhads on March 4 2003
Format: Paperback
The first in this superb mystery series, A Great Deliverance introduces most of the major characters that inhabit Elizabeth George's later books.
George's characters are clearly well fleshed out - care is taken in giving them distinct and memorable personalities. Both DI Lynley and DS Barbara Havers leave strong first impressions - him for being charming and composed, Havers for being just the opposite. The affable Simon St. James makes his first appearance, along with his lovely new wife Deborah. Also, Lady Helen Clyde rounds off the list of characters that readers grow to love in later books.
In this mystery, when Roberta Teys is found clutching her dead father's decapitated body in quiet Keldale, DI Lynley, the eight earl of Asherton, is called in to investigate. Much to her distaste, DS Havers is assigned to work alongside him. They must, however, work together in order to unravel the mystery. They find themselves digging into the past and uncovering hidden family secrets and later enlisting the aid of the St. James'.
Both Havers and Lynley are forced to confront personal demons and come to terms with their own failings before they can resolve the matter. They manage to put aside misconceptions of each other, and take a positive step towards the friendship that characterizes the rest of the series.
After reaching its climax, the mystery ends neatly, with all the loose ends tied together satisfactorily.
Along the way, the book gives tantalizing hints into the relationships between the characters, ensuring that you simply have to read the next book in the series, if only to see the development of these relationships.
All in all, a great beginning to what is later a great series - A Great Deliverance is a must read for all mystery fans!
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