After a disappointing read in Believing the Lie, George's new novel brings her back with a bang. This one has it all, exotic locale, a situation that points fingers closer home to the main characters thereby flummoxing the reader. What else can the reader ask for?
George excels in using the crime thriller genre to her best advantage. It is not a simple case of who dunnit and why but how did the crime happen, the far flung repurcussions and the retribution. A bulky read, it sweeps through the traffic ridden london streets to the lush green countryside of Italy. Also, Barbara Havers here enjoys a dominant role while Lynley though pivotal, takes more of a backseat this time. I can't help gushing enough and well the tall praise isn't because it is a free copy as some may be led to believe. It was a library copy and this just proves time and again at how Elizabeth George is a master in this game.
I loved Barbara Havers' love to hate persona who does all the wrong things for the right reasons. That is what George is good at. Creating these layers where the end does not justify the means. The plot is an example of how desperation can cloud one's sensibilities forcing them to take rash decisions which prove detrimental.
The story takes off where Believing the lie ended with Hadiyaah's kidnapping. Barbara takes it personally and risks professional hara kiri to get the girl restored to her father, also her love interest. In the process, Barbara incurs the wrath of her superior Ardery who is determined to stall her. Lynley steps in as the liason officer after it is learnt that the girl could be in Italy. But events take a sinister turn as Barbara throws caution to the winds and desperately tries to get to the bottom of it all in a race against time in a foreign country.
- George's brilliant portrayal of kidnapping of a foreign national
- Her tight grip on how the tabloid journalism works
- The clash of cultures especially when it comes to communication
- A terrific plot which keeps the reader on the edge
- A beautiful setting to lay the story out
It is a bit of a bulky read but then George's novels are always elaborate, well set stories which work great as a standalone read even if you are unfamiliar with the regular characters.
A satiating read.