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A Place of Hiding [Hardcover]

Elizabeth George
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 29 2003 George, Elizabeth
An isolated beach on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel is the scene of the murder of Guy Brouard, one of Guernsey’s wealthiest inhabitants and its main benefactor. Forced as a child to flee the Nazis in Paris, Brouard was engaged in his latest project when he died: a museum in honor of those who resisted the German occupation of the island during World War II.

It is from this period of time that his murderer may well have come. But there are others on Guernsey with reason to want Guy Brouard dead: his wives, his business associates, his current mistress, the underprivileged teenagers he mentored—any of whom might have harbored a secret motive for murder. As family and friends gather for the reading of the will, Deborah and Simon St. James find that seemingly everyone on the history-haunted island has something to hide. And behind all the lies and alibis, a killer is lurking. In order to bring this person to justice, the St. James must delve into Guernsey’s dark history—both past and present—and into the troubled psyche of someone who may have exacted retribution for the most unspeakable crime of all.

In A Place of Hiding, bestselling novelist Elizabeth George marks new territory in the darker landscapes of human relationships. She tells a gripping, suspenseful story of betrayal and devotion, war and remembrance, love and loss...and the higher truths to which we must all ultimately answer.

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From Amazon

In this latest from bestseller Elizabeth George, China River, recuperating from a failed love affair, agrees to accompany her ne'er-do-well brother Cherokee to the Channel Islands to hand-deliver a set of architectural drawings to an expatriate millionaire whose plans to fund a museum commemorating the war-time exploits of his Guernsey neighbors comes a cropper after he's found dead under suspicious circumstances. George spins an intricate and lively plot that spotlights the efforts of series regulars Deborah and Simon St. John to help Deborah's old friends free themselves; in the process, she introduces a fascinating cast of secondary characters, many of whom had much more obvious motives to wish Guy Brouard dead than the California siblings who seem tailor-made for a frame-up. A fine addition to George's ouevre, this thirteenth outing in her popular series will delight her fans. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Fans disappointed by George's atypical story collection, I, Richard (2002), will be relieved to find the bestselling transatlantic author back at the top of her form. This exquisitely plotted mystery bursts with well-developed characters, notably forensic scientist Simon St. James and his photographer wife, Deborah. Lured by the free airline tickets and the $5,000 fee, China River, an old friend of Deborah's, and her half-brother, Cherokee (their mother was into the hippie counterculture), agree to fly from sunny California to rainy England to deliver a package containing architectural drawings to Guy Brouard, a rich landholder on the Channel island of Guernsey. The drawings are for a museum Brouard plans to build on the island honoring those who resisted the WWII German occupation. When the philandering philanthropist gets murdered and the police arrest China, Cherokee turns to Simon and Deborah for help. Curiously, for all the victim's wealth, no one seems to benefit from his death. The theme of hiding-of hopes, of the past, of secret places-underpins this intricate story about friendship, anger, loyalty and betrayal. Comic touches provide some relief as the suspense builds to an unexpected and explosive climax. With her flair for language, George reinforces her reputation as one of today's finest mystery writers.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elizabeth George Does it Again! March 31 2004
By A Customer
Once again, Elizabeth George has written a taut mystery with rich, fully delineated characters. She is never afraid to explore the darker side of human relationships nor is she reticent about further examining the relationships of her established characters. In PLACE OF HIDING, we get a deeper look into the marriage of Deborah and Simon St. James. As always, George writes richly textured prose filled with beautifully descriptive passages and complex characters. I have yet to be disappointed by any of her novels and look forward to her next book with great anticipation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting, Robust-George Back in Form! Aug. 6 2003
Elizabeth George delivers another wonderful edition of her British mystery series.
This time, two characters-Simon Allcourt-James and his red haired, moody wife Deborah-who have always been supporting players, take center stage. The book pays tribute to George's many strengths in character development-any of the characters that she has written about over the years could easily become the focus of a book.
The plot: Cherokee River,a California friend from Deborah's past, shows up on the doorstep of the Allcourt-James' in London. His half-sister, China River (there mother was a child of the 60's), has been arrested in Guernsey on charges of murder. He enlists the help of the Allcourt-James' and their promise to travel to Guernsey.
The murder victim is Guy Brouard, a wealthy hotelier, who escaped the Nazis as a child. He lived with his sister Ruth in a mansion on Guernsey. His life was--and the book is--filled with an assortment of wives, mistresses, children, hangers-on, local friends. Plenty of evidence points to China: however, she is the only one who has no motive.
George's book explores human relationships and dynamics in a way unknown to most mystery authors. The passionate yet challenging marriage of Simon and Deborah--with her numerous insecurities (she can't bear children due to an abortion, her father is his servant)and his embarassment over his crippled legs--is explored in depth. The loyalty that Ruth, the murder victim's sister, feels to her brother-despite her knowledge of his weaknesses--is woven masterfully throughout the book. Several other family relationships are also presented and worked through in the pages.
Of course the mystery itself is great: plenty of twists and turns, a Nazi or two from the past, lots of atmosphere.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read Aug. 27 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read every one of George's novels and this one ranks with the best. Well developed characters, all with motive to kill. Though the book is lengthy, it by no means drags on. Ms. George writes with style and clarity and distinguishes herself from your run of the mill murder mystery writers where violence is the underlying theme.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sisters and Brothers Oct. 2 2003
Mystery stories derive fuel from resentment and other forms of insecurity. The setting is Guernsey. Guy Bouchard chokes to death on the sort of stone islanders use to ward off evil. A friend of Deborah St. James is charged with the murder. An assorted group of people is involved evidencing difficult relationships with the deceased. Still, he was a rich man and played the role of a sort of Santa Claus in Guernsey. He was not the sort to have enemies.
His sister, who had been something of a lifelong companion, is dying of cancer and has considerable pain. In fact, the dead man was swimming the morning of his death in order to help alleviate his anxiety over her condition. It would be hard to find the person who wished him ill. It would be hard to find a motive.
The island had been occupied by the Germans in World War II. A great deal of Nazi memorabilia has been discovered and there is a plan to create a museum for it. The decedent, though, made no provision for this in his will. His will is very surprising to everyone, his sister included. Something strange had been going on and his sister isn't sure what it is. She explains the Norman customary law to Simon St. James to explain the Guernsey laws of inheritance. The deceased had circumvented these.
Things are not what they seem. A son has to face the fact that his heroic-seeming father was a collaborator. The supposed plans for a museum are unsigned and are stock plans for a spa. The estate is missing a lot of the expected funds.
It turns out a sibling is untrustworthy and this suffices to set up everything else in this picture of misunderstandings. The plotting is wonderful. Elizabeth George is the best mystery writer. It is to be regretted that Inspector Lynley and some of the other regular characters play hardly any role in this adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
As the type of George fan who buys hardbacks because I can't wait for the paperback versions to come out, I don't need any encouragement to buy her latest. A Place of Hiding was a satisfying, fascinating read, and certainly well worth the rush I made to buy it early and savor the reading experience.
Even though Lynley only makes a cameo appearance and Havers doesn't appear at all, it really doesn't matter since the story is so bloody good.
Simon St. James, forensic specialist friend to Lynley whom we have met on previous cases, and his red-haired photographer wife Deborah who just so happens to be Lynley's former lover prior to marriage, lead the way in this mystery. Their marriage takes a roller coaster ride as they work together (and apart) to solve the puzzle.
But who is taking the lead on this mystery isn't really all that important. What leads the way in this story is the lush character portrayal both of the people and physical locale involved. Deborah and Simon come to the channel island of Guernsey to help free her American friend accused of murdering a local wealthy philanthropist. What is so fascinating about all the characters involved is how you discover them. They become 3-dimensional as you meet them in first person, then through the eyes of more characters. You think you know a character, then you meet him/her through another person's eyes and it sometimes takes a paragraph or two to identify who it is.
I'd like to see Lynley and Havers back for the next mystery. But, meanwhile, I was very happy to uncover the mysteries hiding in Guernsey in this latest installment of my favorite mystery writer.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars intricate, complex story
I enjoyed this story - it's complex plot challenged to the end, but the development and interplay of the characters, and their motivations, was very well done. Read more
Published 1 month ago by John Sobkowicz
5.0 out of 5 stars A Place of Hiding
Another very interesting, well developed story. I enjoyed this book - another of the many great stories written by Elizabeth George.
Published 18 months ago by Donna Holowaychuk
3.0 out of 5 stars Long-Winded
Book 12 in the Inspector Lynley series

Ms. George has created a tale of human relationships, a story of betrayal and devotion. Read more
Published on July 24 2011 by Toni Osborne
2.0 out of 5 stars Just what was the point here?
I have read all of Elizabeth George's novels after watching the BBC series based on them. This one was a real dud as far as I was concerned. Read more
Published on May 31 2004 by Susan Smith
1.0 out of 5 stars Barbara, where are you?
Worst novel of the lot. In this novel I was left wondering why Simon didn't uncerimoneously dump his tiresome twit of a wife (Deborah St. James). Read more
Published on May 24 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment!
I am an avid E. George fan, but this book was such a disappointment! There were so many elements that are uncharacteristic of her usual clever, taut action and dialogue. Read more
Published on May 21 2004 by Ann Derrick
3.0 out of 5 stars No more Deborah
A Place of Hiding was, as always with Elizabeth George novels, intriguing. The plot was well developed and the pace exciting. The mystery kept me guessing until near the end. Read more
Published on May 12 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Secrets
Cherokee Rivers talks his sister China into accompanying him to the island of Guernsey to hand deliver a parcel. Read more
Published on May 8 2004 by Beverley Strong
1.0 out of 5 stars Simon & Deborah Go Home!
Simon and Deborah have always been the least likeable characters in all of Elizabeth George's substantial mystery books. Read more
Published on April 24 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give it 3 1/2 stars...
I almost stopped several times, but I'm glad I kept slogging. I "discovered" George one summer about 10 years ago and read each book as it become available in the library --... Read more
Published on April 4 2004 by dorothynyc
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