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A Traitor to Memory Mass Market Paperback – Aug 27 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1024 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (Aug. 27 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553582364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553582369
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.7 x 3.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 454 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #335,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Amazon

Families can be monstrous and their secrets dangerous, as New Scotland Yard detectives Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers have discovered. The pair are puzzled that the Hampstead police need their help investigating the vehicular murder of a middle-aged divorcée, until they find evidence that one of their own superiors once knew the dead lady very well indeed. But the circumstances of Eugenie Davies's murder appear to center on her children: Gideon, a famous violinist now undergoing psychoanalysis for his sudden inability to play, and the long-dead Sonia, a disabled baby whose drowning death was shrouded in secrecy for her virtuoso brother's sake--at the insistence of their father, Richard--but also trumpeted in the press as the infamous "nanny murder" of its day. The nanny, Katja Wolff, has recently been released from prison, having never spoken of the night Sonia drowned. Lynley, Havers, and their colleague Winston Nkata know that whatever secret Katja Wolff has been hiding must be the cause of Eugenie Davies's death, but before they can find out what it is, another deliberate hit-and-run occurs in their own backyard.

The suspects are many: Wolff; Eugenie's most recent suitor; her ne'er-do-well brother; Gideon's longtime mentor, who kept in contact with Eugenie in the years after she abandoned her husband and son; and a gentleman of many monikers who boarded with the family at the time of the drowning. Even Richard Davies, the dead woman's ex-husband, is under suspicion. But it's violinist Gideon Davies's quest into his family's past, undertaken to save his career, that sets the book's events in motion. His own telling of the story runs parallel to the author's own voice but is time-shifted. Along with the details of the police investigation, this paints a disturbing picture of what happens when the truth is obscured and a child's normal instincts sublimated.

A Traitor to Memory is massive, and it's hard not to spot a few flaws in a plot so complex. The dual narratives force abnormally slow reading, the motive for one murder and two near-murders is inexplicably glossed over, and many doughty Lynley/Havers fans will still wonder by the end what exactly happened in Sonia's bathroom. Yet Elizabeth George orchestrates the family-secrets theme like a maestro, and at least one of the second-chair players--such as Katja Wolff's beautiful, scarred lover Yasmine Edwards--may be a rising star in the series. George's fans will no doubt find this 11th entry in the series worthy of a standing ovation. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

HClassical music, cybersex and vehicular homicide figure prominently in this sprawling epic, the latest in the bestselling Thomas Lynley series that has won George an enviable following on both sides of the Atlantic. This can only add to her growing reputation as doyenne of English mystery novelists. When Eugenie Davies is killed on a London street struck by a car, then viciously mangled as the driver backs over her Detective Inspector Lynley investigates. The suspects include J.W. Pichley, aka TongueMan, a cyber-roue with a penchant for older women; Katja Wolff, convicted murderess of Davies's infant daughter; and Major Ted Wiley, a bookstore proprietor in love with Davies. Inevitably, the trail leads to the dead woman's son, Gideon, a former child prodigy on the violin, now a renowned virtuoso suddenly and inexplicably unable to play a single note. Lynley and his longtime partners, Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata, unravel the mystery in their inimitable fashion, as the narrative turns backward, ever backward, in search of clues. Although some plot developments are initially confusing due to the book's occasionally non-linear style, the author's handling of narrative is consistently inventive. There are some amusing character sketches (including the skewering of an American Valley Girl to whom classical music is as foreign as Sanskrit) and some particularly moving moments. Faithful readers of George's previous mysteries should find this the most ambitious of the lot. (July 3)Forecast: With the BBC adaptation of the first Lynley case, A Great Deliverance, due to premier on U.S. TV this fall, George stands to scale new heights in sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "lynkfri13" on Oct. 12 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
~ - ~
~ ~First, naturally, the lowdown for addicts of the Inspector Lynley/Sergeant Havers series: If you are a fan of Sergeant Barbara Havers, like I, you may be disappointed. She has a very small role in this story. However, we do come to know Inspector Lynley's other assistant, Winston Nkata, who does have an interesting and difficult role in the story. Tommy Lynley also, is facing some changes in his personal life.
This story focuses less on the detectives than many of the others in the series. Most of the story is seen through the eyes of a member of the family close to the crime. A young violinist, who has had a career as a prodigy, is suddenly unable to play. He is searching his soul and his memory for reasons for this block. He unearths much more than he expected, the history of a death in his family when he was just a child. Does he remember anything about it? Or are the faint memories that begin, and he clings to, as much fabrication as the stories he's been told? This becomes critical has murder strikes his family again, now in the present.
~ ~ This George mystery is much more focused on an individual close to the crime than the others in the series. In this respect, it is more like "Playing for the Ashes" than more recent novels.
While less focus on the detectives was a little disappointing to me as a Havers fan, this was still a fascinating story. As always, her strength is in showing the complexity of the best and worst of human motives. She fills her stories with people we would love to hate, if they weren't so uncomfortably human, and full of some of the same faults we could find in ourselves. All in all, an absorbing read. 5 stars *****!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker on Nov. 26 2001
Format: Hardcover
Wow!
was my final thought as I read the final line of Elizabeth George's latest novel. I have never read such a long book which seemed to pass so quickly. This book, in paperback, will be about 850 pages, and to this date will be the longest book I've read (but i Am only 15, so i have a lot more opportunity to enlarge upon that figure.) The 664 pages passed (i am referring to the English edition) as if in the flicker of an eyelid. i was expecting to be busy for at least a week while reading this book. It is her largest so far, tipping the scale at a massive page number, and God knows how many words. And every moment of it was pure pleasure. It is probably one of the best book's I've read this year.
Elizabeth george's writing continues to astound me. Her prose is so beautiful. It's complicated, yet infinitely understandable. Her characters are all drawn superbly, they're realistic, not always likeable, yet always interesting. I for one do get tired of the constant passages concerning the lives of Lyley, Havers, and the St James's, in many of her other novels. However, in this book she backs away from them, and concentrated much more on her other characters, and is clearly making Gideon Davies the star.
I found this book SO hard to put down. There were twists and turns a-plenty, and her psychological perception is so astute. The fact she has a psychology Ph.D is obvious. The psychlogy is better than that of Minette Walters books. (which is something i never thought I'd come to say)
It was such an interesting book, on every level. The psychology of the characters was fascinating (I'll try and stop using the "p" word now, ive used it about five times thus far) and just that fact kept me ploughing on, waiting for more of the personal revelations.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker on Nov. 26 2001
Format: Hardcover
Wow!
was my final thought as I read the final line of Elizabeth George's latest novel. I have never read such a long book which seemed to pass so quickly. This book, in paperback, will be about 850 pages, and to this date will be the longest book I've read (but i Am only 15, so i have a lot more opportunity to enlarge upon that figure.) The 664 pages passed (i am referring to the English edition) as if in the flicker of an eyelid. i was expecting to be busy for at least a week while reading this book. It is her largest so far, tipping the scale at a massive page number, and God knows how many words. And every moment of it was pure pleasure. It is probably one of the best book's I've read this year.
Elizabeth george's writing continues to astound me. Her prose is so beautiful. It's complicated, yet infinitely understandable. Her characters are all drawn superbly, they're realistic, not always likeable, yet always interesting. I for one do get tired of the constant passages concerning the lives of Lyley, Havers, and the St James's, in many of her other novels. However, in this book she backs away from them, and concentrated much more on her other characters, and is clearly making Gideon Davies the star.
I found this book SO hard to put down. There were twists and turns a-plenty, and her psychological perception is so astute. The fact she has a psychology Ph.D is obvious. The psychlogy is better than that of Minette Walters books. (which is something i never thought I'd come to say)
It was such an interesting book, on every level. The psychology of the characters was fascinating (I'll try and stop using the "p" word now, ive used it about five times thus far) and just that fact kept me ploughing on, waiting for more of the personal revelations.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

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