This author of the Inspector Lynley crime novels has been around for 2 decades. I have read many of her books and always enjoy the working relationship and its problems between Lynley and Barbara Havers, his partner. So I was disappointed in this book as they were not really working together. Lynley is mostly in London and Havers in Dorset and Shropshire.
However, it is still a mystery with great psychological depth, as always. George’s characters are complex, her descriptions of the countryside are background for unspeakable horrors and of course, we do have Havers and Lynley to anchor the storyline.
Not one to retreat from the darker social issues, George leads us down several disturbing paths. As usual, the plots and characters are twisted together and difficult to separate. The characters “…were maddening in their nastiness and weakness…” The secrets they don’t share add up to disaster for so many people.
So we have suicide, abuse, rape, anonymous internet sex, feminism, murder, assault and downright wickedness.
Without spoiling this complex plot I will leave it there. And while there is much evil in this novel, it is also a novel about relationships – successful, hopeful or sweet, but seldom smooth.