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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
Format:Audio Cassette
I have been an Elizabeth George fan since first purchasing''In The Presence Of The Enemy''on tape early last summer, so you can imagine my delight when I listened to''In Pursuit Of The Proper Sinner''. This is a magnificent mystery which easily lives up to its title, and for any Lynley and Havers fans out there, this is a must-have for your collection! Miss George has my heartiest applause!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Engaging Tale May 7 2011
By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Book 10, in the Inspector Lynley's mystery series

Elizabeth George hasn't lost her touch and her work continues to be amazing. She is one of the true masters at spinning webs of intrigue. A swift pace and an engaging protagonist had a stimulating effect on my imagination; it was quite exhilarating trying to guess the next move. This is a mind-absorbing fiction, as powerful and provocative as all the previous ones.

This intricate plot and complex tale has D.I. Thomas Lynley on the scene of a grisly crime, in which a young man and woman have been brutally murdered and their bodies found in the wilds of Calder Moor. The case is also a sensitive one, it happens that one of the victims is, Nicola Maiden, the daughter of a former undercover officer and one of Lynley`s past mentors.

D.C. Winston Nkata is his lead assistant on the case. His usual partner, Barbara Harvers, has been demoted to Detective Constable for an incident the previous summer and ever since, both have suffered from a strained relationship. Although in the dog house for over stepping her boundaries, Barbara is determined, she is a woman of strong character and not the type to sit on the sideline. With this in mind, she clandestinely starts her own investigation, hoping to prove to Lynley that her renegade attitude can bring positive results and be an asset to his team....When Lynley found out what she was up to, my first reaction was can he take the grrr out of the tiger and get her to follow orders....

As they dig deeper into the life of the two victims, a disturbing pattern emerges, suspects are plentiful, nothing is as it seems and everyone appears to be concealing something. The tension grows as each layer of deceit is peeled away, the result created an intense mystery populated with great characters.

I found myself totally engaged till the end, it is a large book but I enjoyed every moment spent with it.
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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 In Pursuit of a Good Read July 5 2003
By ugagirl
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 Barbara Havers. While a double murder provides a clever, intriguing read, the conflict between Lynley and Havers provides the best character development yet for these two. Along those lines, I strongly suggest you read Deception on the Mind before this book as its outcome plays a key role in this novel. Can't wait for her newest book, which comes out July 29!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars She does it Again! Jan. 7 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Elizabeth George is a wonderful writer-she grabs hold of you and doesn't let go, even after you have closed the book. This, along with A Great Deliverance and Deception on His Mind, is one of my favorites of hers.
The book twists and turns at breakneck speed. The characters are, as always, wonderfully written (and while I agree with others that Lynley's neuroses are getting a little tiring, I found it necessary in this book for him to be dealing with what he was dealing with).
Altogether, this is a marvelous mystery. I was completely engrossed, and came to feel, as I always do, that Havers and Lynley are people I know well, and I am a fly on the wall eagerly hunting for the same clues they are (although I have to admit, I got the "picture at games" clue almost immediately after we discovered what the oak was used for.)
If you like mystery/suspense, don't miss Elizabeth George.
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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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Most recent customer reviews
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Only spoilt by one annoying habit
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... Read more
Published on July 25 2002 by Laurence Lazarus
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. 10 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 warts and all...
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... Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2001 by evelyn johnston
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. 18 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 9 2001 by Beverley Strong
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