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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: 17.6 x 10.7 x 3.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #392,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In George's deftly plotted, highly atmospheric bestseller, forensic analyst Simon St. James investigates the death of an English vicar.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A totally satisfying mystery experience."—Denver Post

"[George] proves that the classiest crime writers are true novelists."—The New York Times

"Layered, intricate...deftly plotted, highly atmospheric."—Publishers Weekly

"Perhaps Ms. George's most satisfying puzzle yet...this rich, intricate novel is a perfect choice for anyone in the market for first-rate summer fiction."—The Sun, Baltimore

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

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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By A Customer on Oct. 28 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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
~ * ~ This is definitely one of Elizabeth George's best novels. It features the winning combination of Inspector Thomas Lynley and Sergeant Barbara Havers. Happily for fans of the series, Lynley's forensic scientist friend Simon, and his wife Deborah have prominent roles in the story. They are working through a very difficult time in their marriage.
~ * ~Deborah meets an interesting clergyman, and decides they should stop and visit him on a small trip they are taking, but they find he had just died of (? accidental) poisoning. ~
~ * ~, Elizabeth George strength in characterization is evident here: she fills her story with complex characters, each of whom have weaknesses that we can sympathize with. The conflicts between the characters are so well plotted; we are drawn into the story completely.
~ * ~ As always, the ending is surprising. Elizabeth George 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.
~ * ~
However, "Missing Joseph" is definitely a powerfully absorbing and suspenseful read, and a great sample of the Lynley/Havers team and their friends. Definitely a 5 star ***** read, I recommend it highly for mystery lovers.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been working my way through Elizabeth George's Havers and Lynley series, and I seem to enjoy each book more than the last. This book is a masterpiece. It's the finest piece of fiction that you can find, and it has a mystery too! Ms. George's plots have the trademark of seeming to be apparently simple at the beginning, and as the reader delves into the story, she peels away layer after layer of personal history of her main characters, and the ones that just appear in this particular installment. This unravelling continues until the end when the mystery is solved and all the characters inner torments are revealed. Her writing is hypnotic, unforgettable, and totally addicting. This book is no different, but somehow I felt it was even deeper than some of the previous ones I've read. For one thing Ms. George examines Human sexuality in more detail than she has in other books. The emotion in this one seems rawer and more real too. In this book we don't see as much of Havers as we usually do, and that's a loss, since she's so great, but Lynley is totally awesome here, so it makes up for it somewhat. Elizabeth George is a true artist and is fast becoming a real favourite of mine.
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