For the Sake of Elena Paperback – Apr 1 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley of New Scotland Yard investigates murder at Cambridge University as he continues his suit for the love of Lady Helen in George's ( A Suitable Vengeance ) latest well-crafted mystery. The high-born Lynley and his sergeant, Barbara Havers, whose personal dilemmas revolve around choosing adequate care for her increasingly senile mother, are sent to advise the Cambridge constabulary after student Elena Weaver, a long-distance runner and daughter of highly respected university history professor Anthony Weaver, is found battered to death near a running path. As the investigation reveals that Elena, who was deaf, was not at all the innocent naif her doting father imagined, Lynley comes to understand Lady Helen's deep-rooted questions about their relationship and their individual independence. Another murder occurs and assorted extracurricular passions among prominent academics are bared; George also explores such issues as whether deafness is a cultural stigma or a genuine handicap, the nature of family identity and betrayal, and the imperatives of the creative temperament. While elements of the plot are somewhat stretched, George's story never fails to engage. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo .
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
The fifth outing for Scotland Yard's Inspector Lynley (rich, sleek aristocrat) and Sergeant Havers (rough-edged, bitter plain- Jane)--this time called up to Cambridge to investigate the brutal murder of a sexy, unstable, deaf student. Who ambushed Elena Weaver during one of her usual early- morning runs and pummeled her to death? Suspects abound--especially once an autopsy reveals that Elena was pregnant. She had accused one teacher of sexual harassment, had been having an affair with another (married) one. She'd also been involved with a deaf-rights activist. Meanwhile, she was having stormy times with her overprotective father, a Cambridge don hoping for a major new appointment, and with her edgy stepmother. And is it just coincidence that the woman who finds Elena's body, an important local artist, was the sometime mistress of Elena's father? As usual, George lays on the psychosexual Sturm und Drang with a sure, if slightly heavy, hand; the dialogue occasionally thickens into awkward, stagy speeches. Also as usual, the sleuths contend with personal anguish: Havers must deal with a senile mum; Lynley continues his tediously drawn-out courtship of Lady Helen--an overwrought imitation of Lord Peter and Miss Vane. But, though uneven and puffy, this is George's best work since her debut (A Great Deliverance)--a generally absorbing job in the P.D. James manner, without the excesses and missteps of the other Lynley/Havers outings. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Elena was a student at St. Stephen's college, living a life of casual and intense physical and emotional relationships. One day while doing her morning run someone lying in wait along the route bludgeons her to death. The university turns to the New Scotland Yard, who assigns Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner detective Barbara Havers to solve the case. Entering the world of Cambridge University they sift through clues to Elena's elusive character to find her killer.
This mystery in my opinion was utterly absorbing one of Ms George best. The characters evoke a strong reaction; you are torn between liking and disliking them. They are very complex; each one has their weaknesses you can sympathize with. The story is well plotted absorbing you completely; you weave through a web of intrigues so intricate and subtle keeping you in suspense till the end. The author does a wonderful job capturing the inner world of college life and the role of well-meaning and loving individuals trying to meet the expectations of those they love.
On a secondary note, things are still left unresolved, one, is the confusion about Inspector Lynley's relationship with Lady Helen, he is ardently pursuing her, and second, Havers is still dealing with a dilemma on how to help her elderly mother. Both professional and private lives of the main characters are equally interesting and the author blends the two very well
~ * ~ Elena, a young college girl at Cambridge, has just been killed. She was deaf. This was more than a "handicap"- it became a battleground for her, between the students who wanted her to become part of the "Deaf"- not trying to "fit in" by reading lips, etc; and her father, who tried to minimize her deafness- asking her to fit in with his life. ~
~ * ~, Elizabeth George is always strong in characterizations. She fills her story with complex characters, each of whom have weaknesses that we can sympathize with, and their own selfish and unpleasant motives. The conflicts between the characters are so well plotted; we are drawn into the story completely.
~ * ~ Unlike most of her mysteries, I started to see the conclusion. Elizabeth George usually blinds us to the obvious. She can weave a web so intricate and subtle, that despite all the clues we encounter, we don't ever "see" the solution until it is too late
. ~ * ~ My personal favorite of the Lynley/Havers series are" A Suitable Vengeance" which focuses on the early history of Lynley, Deborah and Simon; and "Deception on His Mind ", which focuses on Sergeant Barbara Havers, and an investigation which forces her to take a stand.
~ * ~
the writing is good, the characters are great and interesting, the plot is probably her ebst so far, but could well have done with a bit more development.
The way she deals with deafness was quite good, very unpatronising, but if she wanted it to become more of a theme, she should have spent a little more time with the Deaf people assosciated with the story, instead of just glancing over them as she seemed to.
But there is one point where she comes miserably unstuck.
Right at the beginning...the first chapter even. The writer is told the golden rule "never lie to your readers"....which, in this novel, was something Elizabeth george definitely does.
I am trying to think of ways to describe her flawm whilst at the same time not telling you who did it. Let's just say...the way a certain person acts at the start definitely works against the fact that they turn out to be the murderer. It's wrong psychology...the way the characters had acted, when we find out they were the murderer, is just nonsense.
However, in all other aspects, this is a great great book. In this series, it is second only to A Traitor to Memory.
It has one of the best motives of any crime novels i've ever read. some people have said it's very unbelieable and would not have given rise to the sort of feelings shown in the killing of Elena. But those people just do not understand....when i read what Tony Weaver was made to do, i was horrified. Being a "creator" (albeit of a differnt type of art) myself, i can well understand what drove the killer to do the deed.
This is a marvellous book in the fact that by the end of it, almost all your opinions of the characters have compeltely reversed.Read more ›
George specializes in giving us the thoughts of the characters and in this way drives the story forward. This novel is no different as we seem to slowly approach the heart of the story in a circular, closing motion. The insights into deafness and the many ways everyone reacts to it are simply phenomenal. This is a difficult book to read with a slight touch of amorality but in this case, the story and the writing appears "correct". Once again, the reader is slowly drawn into the web, entering yet another of George's mysterious and quixotic worlds. A winner
Most recent customer reviews
I think Elizabeth George just gets better and better. Her books, at least for me are very difficult to put down or turn off on my kindle. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jill Macintyre
This book examines a number of important inter-personal themes and brings to resolution some issues that have been brewing for several books. Read morePublished 13 months ago by GeoEng51
I love novels that do character development well. In the typical English murder mystery, the victim is usually a bloodless body which quickly disappears from the story after dying. Read morePublished on Dec 6 2008 by Donald Mitchell
...all of which would have been OK if the plot had been able to keep one's interest: it doesn't. Elizabeth George's characters are a dysfunctional and improbable bunch, not one of... Read morePublished on Oct. 4 2003 by A reader
I'm finally calling it quits with this series. Only a devoted Harlequin fan would find the interminable Tommy-Helen, Simon-Deborah, Barbara-parents soap opera to be tolerable,... Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2003 by dbphoenix
There's much to like in this, the fifth book published of the Lynley/Havers series. Anglophiles will throughly enjoy the details of college life in Cambridge. Read morePublished on July 20 2001 by Carol Peterson Hennekens