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In the Presence of the Enemy
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About the Author

Elizabeth George's first novel, A Great Deliverance, was honored with the Anthony and Agatha Best First Novel Awards and received the Grand Prix de Litt rature Polici re. Her third novel, Well-Schooled in Murder, was awarded the prestigious German prize for suspense fiction, the MIMI. A Suitable Vengeance, For the Sake of Elena, Missing Joseph, Playing for the Ashes, In the Presence of the Enemy, Deception on His Mind, In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, A Traitor to Memory, and I, Richard were international bestsellers. Elizabeth George divides her time between Huntington Beach, California, and London. Her novels are currently being dramatized by the BBC.

Reviews

This story of secrets begins with a blackmail note addressed to the publisher of a sleazy London tabloid. A ten-year-old girl has been kidnapped, and the publisher must publicly admit that he is the girl's father or she will be killed. This disclosure will cause chaos in his life and embarrass the child's mother, an ambitious Member of Parliament. The blackmail attempt is the first thread of a great tangle of long-held secrets. By the time Scotland Yard investigators Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers show up to sort things out, the scope of the tragedy is massive and horrible. Reader Derek Jacobi gives each character in George's (Missing Joseph, Audio Reviews, LJ 2/15/94) large cast a clear voice, moving the listener smoothly through the complex twists of the plot. The production is a "lite" abridgment‘four cassettes instead of two‘so the pacing and atmosphere of the novel are preserved. Highly recommended for mystery collections.‘Barbara Valle, El Paso P.L., Tex.

After seven outings (the last was Playing for the Ashes), upper-crust Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his stubby, working-class sergeant, Barbara Havers, have formed a comfortable working relationship, which George plays to perfection here. Ten-year-old Charlotte, daughter of Conservative MP Eve Bowen, is abducted after leaving a weekly music lesson not far from her London home. Dennis Luxford, editor for a tabloid-style, decidedly anti-Conservative newspaper, receives a message threatening Charlotte unless he acknowledges her paternity. Bowen, a rising star in the Home Office, chooses to avoid using the police, knowing that disclosure of her brief, long-ago fling with Luxford will ruin her politically. She agrees with Luxford to ask forensic scientist Simon St. James and his assistant Lady Helen (who is Lynley's lover) to investigate undercover. But soon a murder draws in Scotland Yard, allowing Lynley and Havers to lead a complicated investigation to its electrifying and astonishing conclusion. This absorbing tale, in which retribution for the sins of the parents is exacted from-and by-their children, raises questions of parental love and responsibility on several levels. George's fully developed characters will live with the readers long after the last page is turned. Mystery Guild selection; Literary Guild alternate; BDD Audio. (Mar.)

"Combining the eloquence of P.D. James with a story John Grisham would envy, George serves up a splendid, unsettling novel."--People

"Elizabeth George reigns as queen of the mystery genre....the Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifyingly complex and impassioned mystery series now being published."--Entertainment Weekly

"Rich...and addictively readable...elegant and unsettling, classy and caustic...a page-turner with unusual breadth and generous depth." --USA Today

"Elizabeth George only gets better...another superb British mystery."--Daily News, New York

"A masterpiece."--Winston-Salem Journal

"Tough, breathtaking."--Cosmopolitan

"A dazzler."--New Yorker

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