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A Suitable Vengeance Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 1992


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (Feb. 1 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553295608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553295603
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #370,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

At the heart of George's ( Payment in Blood ) darkly vibrant modern English mystery lie love, requited and not; and injuries of the kind that only intimates--parents, siblings, lovers, close friends--or perhaps one's own treacherous ego can inflict. Thomas Lynley, eighth earl of Asherton and a detective inspector of New Scotland Yard, brings his fiancee Deborah Cotton to Cornwall to meet his widowed mother. Accompanying them are Lynley's best friend, forensic scientist Simon St. James; St. James's sister Sidney; her boyfriend Justin Brooke; Lady Helen Clyde, St. James's partner and former lover; and Deborah's father, St. James's valet. Unexpected events of the weekend include a violent fight between Sidney and Justin, the appearance of Lynley's cocaine-addicted brother, the brutal murder of the village newspaper editor, and Justin's death on the cliffs. Lynley and St. James attempt to trace motives and alibis among guests and villagers while each is deeply enmeshed in personal pain: Lynley's over his estrangement from his mother since his father's death many years before, and St. James's over his unspoken--and, he believes, unspeakable--love for Deborah. The resolution of the accumulating murders involves different kinds of illegal drugs and centers around the activities of a young London woman whose true identity surprises everyone. Even more intricate than George's deftly handled plot, however, are the paths etched by her anguished, memorable characters, as they struggle with the secrets of their hearts.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

YA-- A beautifully written novel that will hold YAs' attention. The family home of Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, Eighth Earl of Ashenton, becomes a hotbed of suspicion instead of the scene of a lovely engagement party when a murder in a nearby village brings buried feelings to the surface. For those who demand more of their murder mysteries than a slam-bang whodunit, George provides deeply drawn characters along with page-turning excitement. The principals take readers into their innermost feelings even as they themselves are denying those feelings, and the story's complexities are just as intricate as the characters themselves. Family ties, love connections, friendships, denial, goodness and greed, humility and arrogance, drugs, and even transvestite action all weave their way through the plot and through the murders. Competent readers should have no trouble with the Briticisms or sometimes difficult style. The excellent descriptive writing and fascinating twists make A Suitable Vengeance well worth the extra effort expended.
- Bunni Union, Young Adult Services, Geauga West Library, OH
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Schwartz on June 19 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I absolutely love Elizabeth George's writing and her characters. This book was interesting because it told us about the earlier life of Lynley, St. James, Lady Helen and Deb. We got bits and pieces of the whole situation in her previous books, but never the whole story. It helps explain a number of things and different character traits and undercurrents from previous books. And Ms. George can write! Her novels are so much more complex than simple little "who-dunits". The story takes the reader along on Ms. George's own little Magic Carpet ride, and nothing exists for us except Lynley and his friends. We even get a short preliminary look at Barbara Havers in this book. She is by far my favourite character, and I miss her absence, but realize that she wasn't part of Lynley's life during the time setting of this book. I look forward now to continuing with the storyline in subsequent books, and feel that I have a better understanding now of why Tommy thinks and acts the way he does.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Dec 6 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Suitable Vengeance is a back story for the Lynley-Havers series that enriches the following books in the series by exposing the nature of Lynley's upbringing and his relationships with his family, his friend Simon Allcourt-St. James and the two beguiling women who intrigue him, Deborah Cotter and Lady Helen Clyde. In providing much rich perspective, this is clearly a five-star effort.

Ms. George also feels the need to put in a murder mystery. But that part of the book is a lower priority and shuffles off in the background while chests and bosoms heave in the drawing room. The mystery has more than it's share of red herrings and will keep you truly puzzled by what in the world is going on in several places (especially the opening). As I read the mystery, I often felt like I could have described myself as "Clueless in Gaza."

Lynley is engaged to be married to Deborah Cotter, the daughter of Simon's gentleman's gentleman. Simon has always been attracted to her as well, but has kept his distance. Deborah has been away in the United States for several years which is where her romance with Lynley bloomed during brief visits by Lynley. Lynley plans to bring Deborah and her father and old friends, Simon and Lady Helen, to a weekend party to meet his mother at the family's country estate in Cornwall. The backdrop is tense. Lynley doesn't like to play his role as lord of the manor and he seems to want to avoid his mother. What a way to start a marriage!

Circumstances soon impinge on the weekend plans when a local man is found dead in his home while his tiny baby cries on. Lynley is completely undone by having people he knows be part of a homicide, and he acts with uncharacteristic negligence like a normal citizen rather than a DI.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Louis M. Perdue on Feb. 19 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this fourth book in the Lynley/Havers series (although Havers appears only very briefly). In an earlier book, you are clued in that Thomas had feelings for Deborah earlier in time. In this book, you will receive the details regarding how Deborah ended up marrying Simon rather than Thomas. As well, the mystery of Lynley's past is unveiled. I was appreciative of George's writing, as I have been with the previous three books and, just as much, appreciated the history provided as I had been curious as to that storyline.
Looking forward to beginning the 5th in the series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Emma Kaufmann on April 21 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The most interesting thing about this book is not the murder plot but the wonderfully repressed and English longings that Deborah and St James have towards eachother and how their feverish lust for eachother heats up towards the end. I sometimes wonder why George writes mystery books - her plots tend to be pretty thin, relying heavily on coincidence. What she does so terrifically is write about human emotion, love, hate and all the shades in between.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 1 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my favorite George novel of the 4 I've read so far.

It keeps you in suspense throughout and adds new twists, turns and characters as it goes along. It also has a variety of unusual topics (I won't ruin the surprise for you). I enjoyed St. James' increased visibility and Lynley's character and history are explained in more detail. St. James' sister is a great kook. Deborah's character and conflicts are very touching (ok, ok, maybe more so for women).

I just wish I'd started reading her novels in chronological order because the characters have become very interesting but some of the surprises lose their impact when read out of order.

Overall a great read!
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By RachelWalker on Feb. 23 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Admittedly it was interesting to have an excursion back into their pasts. But this is not the best of the bunch so far. Elizabeth george is great at coming up with interesting characters and Agatha Christie-ish plots. But this one lacked something...i can't quite put my finger on it. I did enjoy it very much, but it wasn't really as good as some of her others. At times it was a bit overcomplicated. and it was a bit overlong. We don't even get to hear one line spoken from the dead man, even when his demise comes about 100 pages in. So you can't really feel for him at all, and because george gives the impression that he was an unpleasant man, we don't care as much as we might about his death had we formed some sort of connection with him. Also, the drugs side of it....i know i'm being naive here, but it didn't really seem to fit with the setting. That's a totally stupid thing to say, but it just didn't seem to sit right with me.
Nevertheless, this is a good detective novel from a writer who can create great characters, and never fails to deliver some elegant prose. Worth a read, yes, but not quite as good as some of the others.
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