The last Elizabeth George I read disappointed me. I felt sort of let down. Came to this one with a bit of trepidation and was hoping against hope that I'd love it. So glad I got over the initial hesitation and picked this up.
As someone said in a review this author likes dysfunctional families. They are definitely not what they seem though on the surface everything seems fine. I thought that was a bit harsh because I think all families have their eccentricities and quirks which everyone has got used to - to the point that they are not quirks or eccentricities to them!
We have an accident - a boating accident on the wharf itself and the head of the family somehow feels that it is not quite an accident despite very competent coroners ruling it as one. Inspector Lynley is called in but going over the head of his superintendent leaving her with no idea of what he is upto. Does not make him very popular with his boss this one. Lynley's hands are tied as the orders come right from the top, to go in sort of incognito as it were, no Havers at hand no no one to help out with the plodding work of detection. Lynley is not comfortable with the situation but he ropes in his friends Simon and Deborah to help.
In Cumbria each detective seems to be going on a separate path. Deborah is having to deal with particular demons of her own and this blinds her to the facts in front of her and sends her not only haring off in different directions but also causes in turn the death of someone which could have been easily avoided. Lynley himself seems perturbed by the turn of events as the family that called him in to investigate has not been truthful with him from the start (they never are). Everyone is covering up family secrets and no one wants to be the one to unravel family skeletons.
The plot is twisty and complicated. The characters are all interesting because they are so varied and unexpected. The detectives are still the suave Lynley, the bumbling but efficient (paradox if ever there was one) Havers and the interfering but good intention ed Deborah. I personally wanted to wring Deborah's neck but it is not to be. She will be there in the next book I know!
I have been reading a fair amount of books set in the English countryside of different periods and this was a change from that. True its still England but being a murder/mystery added to the change.
Today is a public holiday and we are being lazy. For me it is more reading!