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In the Presence of the Enemy Mass Market Paperback – May 5 1997


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (May 5 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553576089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553576085
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 10.7 x 17.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #251,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Audio Cassette
From the first paragraph to the last, ''In The Presence Of The Enemy''is as delicious as a well-done T-bone steak and as thrilling a ride as an amusement park roller coaster, given its author's delightfully detailed work and its climb to dizzying high points before coming to rest on cliff-hanger pauses and rapidly dropping into spine-tingling twists. Besides, with graduations and Father's Day here again, surely there's a dad or graduate on your gift list who has dropped hints about their being a mystery nut!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Luca on May 30 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ms. George is an intriguing writer. I kept coming back to this, even though I resented her obvious manipulations. One character, Eve Bowen, is portrayed as the most repellent mother who ever lived, a politician interested only in her own career and lacking the least shred of maternal instinct toward her child or affection for her patient, adoring husband. Nasty woman! Doesn't she deserve some comeuppance! Please. We would have got the message without the portrait being so deliberately one-sided, the consequences so utterly ruinous. On the other hand, another principal character, Dennis Luxford, turns out to be more rounded. Luxford is the editor of the sleaziest of tabloids, a former womanizer who has no idea how many illegitimate children he might have fathered, and who lives in horror that his legitimate son might be a sissy. (Luxford, you see, knows that he himself is attractive to men, though he's not "that way" himself, of course, yet it frightens him!) ... Pretty dispicable, huh? To her credit (and my surprise), Ms. George makes us like him. There are 500-plus pages of misdirection, and about 100 more of suspenseful unraveling. I read them all. Ms. George may play her readers false from time to time, but she is talented. If only she could use a lighter hand with her "bad" characters -- and refrain from so much pop psychology lavished on all of them.
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By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on Nov. 24 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book 8 in the Inspector Lynley series

Ms George knows how to sustain her readers' attention in tales that are not only suspenseful but finely crafted and delightfully intricate. With "In the Presence of the Enemy" she once more proves that she is one of the best classic British mystery novelist today.

The story opens with the kidnapping of young Charlotte Bowen. The kidnapper(s) demand her father, publisher Dennis Luxford to pay an unusual ransom, " Divulge on the front page of his newspaper that he has fathered a child in a loveless tryst with Eve Bowen ". But Eve, a high ranking influential member of parliament hesitates and refuses to go along with the demand. She believes that Dennis has engineered everything to discredit her and is so convinced it is a hoax she steadfastly refuses to involve the authorities.

The story advances at a rapid pace and the plot thickens when another child disappears. After realizing the determination of the kidnapper(s), Inspector Lynley and Detective Havers from Scotland Yard are called upon and brought up to speed. Following this duo as they piece clue after clue is a riveting experience, the writer plunges us into an adrenaline filled game of cat and mouse.

Ms George spoon feeds her readers tit-bits of information seemingly leading them down the garden path and at just the right time she jumps track and throws her readers completely off balance. Being unpredictable helps pique the readers interest even more.

Along with the main plot, interlaced are sub-plots involving Lynley's financé Helen who is wrestling with her own demons and making a small but important appearance is forensic scientist Simon and his wife Deborah. All the characters are believable although not all likeable but definitely all expertly drawn to keep us captivated. This is a suspense filled mystery from start to finish, one of Ms George's best.
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By J. Beauchesne on Aug. 18 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A great novel, with an unexpected ending. One of the best of Elizabeth George !
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When the daughter of a Tory MP is kidnapped, DI Thomas Lynley and his off-sider, DS Barbara Havers are eventually brought into the case. Eve Bowen, the politician, is initially reluctant to agree to the demands of the kidnapper who insists that the well known editor of a scandal sheet newspaper admits to being the father of Eve's illegitimate child. The plot thickens, involving police, the press and members of Parliament, with some very interestingly drawn characters whom Elizabeth George paints most convincingly. I loved this book and was unable to put it down, so much so that I can't wait to get more stories involving the main characters.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this book -- it took forever to listen to on cassette, and I was still sorry when it ended. But there were a few things that bugged me:
1. As another reviewer said, the perp sort of came out of left field. His or her motivations were explained after the identity was revealed, but it felt to me like one of those scenes in "Mission Impossible II" where the "good guys" kept pulling off their fake faces and turning out to be the bad guys.
2. The climax includes a scene that's almost identical to one in Payment in Blood (which happens to be the last one I read), where a woman, while alone with a man, receives a phone call informing her that the man is probably the murderer. It's a good suspense-builder, but not as effective the second time.
3. It was pretty obvious in the final confrontation who was going to save the day, though it was apparently intended as a surprise twist.
All that said, though, I thought this was really fine stuff. I thought the "temporary" characters (Eve Bowen, Dennis Luxford, their families, etc.) were very well drawn, and I enjoyed the further development of the recurring ones (Lynley, Havers, Simon, Deborah, and Helen). I do often hate Lynley and wonder why his friends put up with him, but he generally redeems himself eventually. And like the other reviewer, I agree that Barbara deserves at least a little happiness.
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