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Missing Joseph Mass Market Paperback – May 1 1994


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (May 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553566040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553566048
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #250,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3.8 out of 5 stars
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I checked this book out from my local library recently, and I have had a giant question mark hanging over my head, signifying my confusion as to where, exactly, the plot of this book is going. I have enjoyed the rest of her work, but this is the first Elizabeth George mystery which actually disappointed me, because it read more like a Jackie Collins novel than anything else!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Deborah St. James's chance meeting with Vicar Robin Sage in London inspires her to visit him, two months later, in Winslough, Lancashire. Her plan is scrapped when Deborah learns that Sage died from an accidental poisoning a month earlier. The more she and her husband, Simon, learn about his death and the goings on in Winslough, the more they wonder if Sage's death really was an accident. Simon asks his friend, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley to launch an enquiry, but will the people of Winslough cooperate?

Missing Joseph is a compelling study in relationships. Not only are Simon and Thomas experiencing some strain with their significant others, but certain Winslough residents are also suffering through the ups and downs of love. Lynley has to understand these relationships before he can get to the bottom of what really happened to Sage. Needless to say, it isn't easy, which is partly what is so fascinating about this book. The plot is not complicated and the suspect list isn't overly long, however, it takes 567 pages to tell the story because the relationships within this story are definitely complex. Author Elizabeth George beautifully describes feel the anguish of her characters, and throws the whole concept of justice and happy endings into question. It's a great book that works well as a stand alone in this highly acclaimed series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I classify mystery writers into three categories. First there is Sue Grafton and her alphabet series, always a casual, enjoyable read without a lot of thinking. Moving up, we get to Patrician Cornwell and her excellent, sometimes great works which are darker and slightly more complex. Finally at the top there is Elizabeth George, the Titaness of Mystery, whose books reed of erudition, superb crafting, intelligence and studies of the human nature second to none.
The eerie opening, so fitting yet foreboding, leads into a complex tale of murder and mayhem. The same cast is back again though my favorite character, Havers, is not a major figure this time around. Despite the incredible writing it is the final synthesis of the various plots that makes the whole affair worthwhile. In other words, her literary abilites are highlighted by her technical abilities.
What can I say except run to your local bookstore and snatch this up?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an excellent, deeply atmospheric novel. The supporting characters are developed in a great deal of detail and they are given the chance to reveal themselves slowly and to help the reader sink into the story, which has many layers and is closely tied to a physical sense to place.
This is fundamentally a novel about love and parenthood. The Deborah and Simon story blends very successfully with the murder investigation here, and this is also a fairly deep study of the dynamics of sex and love. It wil stay with you for a long time.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Missing Joseph is the first Elizabeth George book that I've read. I do plan to read others, particularly in the Lynley/Havers series. It is more densely written than the typical mystery, with a dark mood and complex characterization. I found Lynley, an earl who works as a New Scotland Yard detective, to be the most intriguing character. There were several intricately woven plotlines, but they were not difficult to follow. However, I did find it a little difficult to keep up with the characters and their relationships, having not read the previous books in the series.
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By A Customer on Oct. 29 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Missing Joseph," like Elizabeth George's previous Lynley mysteries, has both strengths and weaknesses. On the one hand, her novels are engrossing, the plots are densely written, well thought out and very contemporary. On the other hand, her cast of characters which appear in each book, (Lynley & Havers - the professionals from Scotland Yard - assisted by "amateurs" St. James & Lady Helen) are neither particularly appealing nor very believable. "Missing Joseph" is less melodramatic than some of the earlier novels, but there is still an overwrought feel to it, part of which is due to the introspective nature of nearly all of the characters and their over-complicated relationships. There is also a depressing atmosphere in each of George's novels, as if a writer has to be depressing in order to be serious. Ruth Rendell, who I think Elizabeth George has studied very closely, is a much better writer, but even gloomier. Finally, there is also an almost gratuitously trashy element in each of Ms. George's novels - her sexual scenes are written in a very tacky way and she inserts occasional obscenities in the most surprising and inappropriate places. Some scenes read like they were lifted from a bad romance novel. Her word choices also sometimes border on the absurd ("turgent" is a good example from early on in "Missing Joseph"). Why force the reader to the dictionary, especially when you need an unabridged edition (which most people don't own) for a definition? There are too many other irritating mannerisms in Elizabeth George's writing to point out here (e.g. too often her British settings and language do not sound genuine, as if she is overdoing it). Despite these complaints, if you like excess handwringing, which I admit I occasionally do, then a Elizabeth George novel is a good place to find it.
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