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In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner [Mass Market Paperback]

Elizabeth George
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 31 2000
Calder Moor is a wild and deadly place: many have been trapped in the myriad limestone caves, lost in collapsed copper mines, injured on perilous gritstone ridges. But this time, when two bodies are discovered in the shadow of the ancient circle of stones known as Nine Sisters Henge, it is clearly not a case for Mountain Rescue. The corpses are those of a young man and woman. Each met death in a different fashion. Each died violently. To Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, brought in to investigate by special request, this grisly crime promises to be one of the toughest assignments of his career. For the unfortunate Nicola Maiden was the daughter of a former officer in an elite undercover unit, a man Lynley once regarded as a mentor. Now, as Lynley struggles to find out if Nicola's killer was an enemy of her father's or one she earned herself, a disgraced Barbara Havers, determined to redeem herself in the eyes of her longtime partner, crisscrosses London seeking information on the second murder victim. Yet the more dark secrets Lynley and Havers uncover, the more they learn that neither the victims nor the suspects are who they appear to be. And once again they come up against the icy realization that human relationships are often murderous...and that the blood that binds can also kill.

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From Amazon

The narrative talents of English stage actor Derek Jacobi are put to excellent use in this intriguing mystery of a double murder most foul. Author Elizabeth George presents her popular detectives Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers with one of their most grisly and difficult cases ever as they search for clues to a bloody crime while struggling to repair their own strained partnership. George's mystery bobs, weaves, twists, and turns from a packed West End theater through the sumptuous halls of a country manor and into the desolate reaches of the high country moors before revealing its delightfully wicked and suspenseful conclusion. Jacobi tackles the complex plot and diverse cast of characters with relish, working his theatrical skills into an outstanding performance. (Running time: 6 hours, 4 cassettes) --George Laney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Selfish children grow up to betray their parents in bestselling author George's (Deception on His Mind) latest suspense novel, which opens with David King-Ryder, a renowned Andrew Lloyd Webber-like British musical writer/producer, committing suicide on the eve of his successful comeback. How his untimely death ties in with a double homicide in the Derbyshire countryside showcases George's brilliance in concocting an intricate, swiftly paced tale that brings back the popular New Scotland Yard team of detectives Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers. Newly married Detective Inspector Lynley takes the case at the request of Andy Maiden, a former colleague who made his name as a notable undercover agent. Maiden's headstrong daughter Nicola is one of the murder victims, and when her choice to forgo a law career to become a professional dominatrix is painstakingly unearthed by the estimable detectives, Maiden, among others, becomes a prime suspect, as do Nicola's blue-blooded boyfriend, Julian Britton, and his jealous cousin, Samantha McCallin. George spices up the investigation with a side plot about Lynley and Havers's relationship, now complicated since Havers is facing demotion and disciplinary suspension for her insubordination during a previous assignment. When the redoubtable Havers links the second murder victim, Terry ColeAa struggling artist who turns out to be a get-rich-quick schemerAto the dead composer King-Ryder, Lynley dismisses his former partner's intuitive leaps and the two sleuths lock horns. George builds plausible motives for all of the suspects while simultaneously revealing the private lives of her admirable detectives with an engaging mix of subtlety and bravado. The multifaceted surprise ending to the taut, suspenseful plot is the juiciest plum in this can't-put-down novel. Agents, Robert Gottlieb, Marcy Posner, Stephanie Cabot of William Morris agency. Major ad/promo; author tour; BDD audio. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars My least favorite of the series thus far... March 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
But that is still a step above 99% of the mystery writers writing today. I don't know why I was a little disappointed in this entry in the long-running series.
One thing that bothered me was the fact that, while Inspector Lynley has always be insufferable with his thinking that he is always right, that attribute is kicked up a notch in the current circumstances. He finds Havers' actions at the end of the last book to be unexcusable and refuses to see her side of the story. While I can see him reacting in that way, it is exaggerated a bit much for my liking; he is an intelligent man, after all, and his actions are those of one with lesser intelligence.
Anyway, the writing is fine as always. I particularly like the parts dealing with Havers - she and Lynley are working on the same case in different parts of England so most of the book goes back & forth between London and the scene of the crime in the Peak District. I am particularly interested in seeing where the relationship between Havers and her neighbor, Azhar, is heading.
I already have the next in the series, A Traitor to Memory, and will be reading it soon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Odd Couple: Lynley and Havers Nov. 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Elizabeth George is an American who writes mystery novels set in England, thus encroaching on the sacred soil of Agatha Christie et al. As an American I can't judge how authentic her books may be to an English reader, but I detect in them an American expansiveness --- this one is 709 pages long.
"In Pursuit...." is about two murders on an English moor and the investigation to catch the killer or killers. The merit -- and the mystery -- in the story is which of two Scotland Yard detectives is pursuing the line of investigation that will lead to solving the case. Detective number one is Thomas Lynley -- elegant, privileged, earnest, respected, of noble heritage and the owner of a Bentley automobile which he loves almost as much as he loves his upper-crust wife. Detective number two is Barbara Havers, a dumpy, working-class slob with the personality of a bulldog and an appetite for pop tarts and cigarettes. She uses her t-shirt for a napkin and does not have a Bentley -- or a flourishing social life.
Lynley and Havers have different notions as to the motives and the perpetrators of the murders on the moors and they embark on parallel -- and competitive -- investigations. I didn't really care much about solving the mystery; rather I cared about who won the match between Lynley and Havers. Which one will you root for? A compilation of the answers to that question from English and American readers would be interesting.
George is a good plotter and pacer and a decent writer and this one kept my interest to the end despite its formidable length. George can be spoken of in the same breath as P.D. James, the reigning queen of British whodunits.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Only spoilt by one annoying habit July 25 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read a number of Elizabeth George's books. Many reviewers compare her to Ruth Rendell and P D James and she is certainly their equal in terms of characterization and plotting. Arguably, Lynley can be compared to Dalgleish and Wexford, my favourite, however, is Morse. Her research is thorough and her descriptions of names and places are phenomenal.
The way she weaves her plots are excellent and her pace rivets the reader. Her novels have been criticized for their length, but I don't notice the it with the way she dangles the suspense.
She even spells the English way. This, of course, may only be for the English and Canadian editions. I want to give her 5 stars, so what is holding me back.
She has an annoying habit of using the term "fag" and other slang expressions out of context with the quality of her writing. As an expat Brit I suppose I speak with some authority on this matter. Fag is old country jargon for a cigarette. Although that word does have a pejorative meaning elsewhere, it is still used as a colourful description for a cigarette in Britain and parts of the old empire. Its use is primarily colloquial and in Elizabeth George's books she uses it too often in her narrative. It looks out of place given the overall quality of her writing. She doesn't do it all the time, but it is enough to be annoying.
Other than that, anyone who is considering reading an Elizabeth George book should do so. I am surprised that the BBC hasn't started a series based on her characters yet. If they have, I am not aware of it. I have heard that the A and E network is considering a production.
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4.0 out of 5 stars warts and all... Oct. 26 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What a terific read and great excuse for leaving work undone. Hated to see it come to an end, even though the ending was eminently satisfying: just what most readers were hoping for and expecting. Must agree that George needs some British editing if she is concerned with authentic vocabulary and cultural background. It is amazing that we become to engrossed in her characters even while wanting to shake them senseless: would love to see Havers make enough money to have her teeth capped and go to Weight Watchers...of course then maybe she wouldn't be Havers anymore. And couldn't Hadiyyah just keep quiet for one minute, once? "Wouldn't be Hadiyyah," yes, I know. So we're entranced with them, warts and all. In earlier books I found the two couples to be tiresomely wrapped up in themselves, endlessly analyzing every word and gesture, forever agonizing over their psyches and relationships. They do seem to be growing up. So, I for one can hardly wait to read the next in this fascinating series, warts and all.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Engaging Tale
Book 10, in the Inspector Lynley's mystery series

Elizabeth George hasn't lost her touch and her work continues to be amazing. Read more
Published on May 7 2011 by Toni Osborne
4.0 out of 5 stars In Pursuit of a Good Read
Elizabeth George fans will love this book, but it may be a bit difficult for those who are not acquainted with this mystery series and her main characters, Thomas Lynley and... Read more
Published on July 5 2003 by ugagirl
5.0 out of 5 stars She does it Again!
Elizabeth George is a wonderful writer-she grabs hold of you and doesn't let go, even after you have closed the book. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2003 by S. Fackler
3.0 out of 5 stars It Never Ends
I considered giving this book more stars, since the quality of the writing is superb. It's a real pleasure to just enjoy that aspect of Ms. George's work. Read more
Published on Oct. 20 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent novel
In this book you see how the police are investigating a woman's dead and they thought she was murderer by his profession (prostitution) because everybody wanted her for himself... Read more
Published on April 30 2002 by Jorge Frid
5.0 out of 5 stars Love
So happy I was when reading Deception on his mind that when I knew Elizabeth George had written In Pursuit of a Proper Sinner I thought finally some exicitement and love in... Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2002 by Shalla Takurpersad
5.0 out of 5 stars She keeps getting better
Her books are long and complex, with story threads interweaving and running all over the place -- but they pull you in so quickly that you want to read them all at one sitting. Read more
Published on Nov. 3 2001 by Nikatnyte
4.0 out of 5 stars An exhausting, yet interesting read
I have read several mysteries by Elizabeth George and while I sometimes balk at the long winded narratives and similar Oedipal plots, I keep returning for more. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2001 by DorParkr
4.0 out of 5 stars Involved but grabs you!
As I don't read mysteries as a rule,I wasn't aware that this was part of a long series and went into it with an open mind. Read more
Published on July 8 2001 by Beverley Strong
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