Saturday, October 18, 2014

Audio Book Review: Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George

I have read or listened to all of the Inspector Lynley books, and I am delighted that I found the latest, Just One Evil Act, one of the best. It is still incredibly lengthy, which is why I prefer to listen to the unabridged Audible version, but the story is tense throughout. More than half of the novel takes place in Italy which also added to the interest for me.

As with all audio books, the narration is critical. The divine Davinia Porter narrates this novel and her performance is just wonderful. In my experience, if an audio book is narrated by either Davinia Porter or Juliet Stevenson, you simply can't go wrong.

Elizabeth George achieves a better balance in this novel, in my view, between the various ongoing characters' stories. Barbara Havers throws herself into endless amounts of hot water trying to rescue her neighbour's daughter from being kidnapped. The circumstances of the abduction are particularly complicated, as is the apparent guilt and innocence of all involved.

There is also some lovely story for Lynley as he attempts to work through the final stages of grief from his wife's death, and find love again. Of course he also spends much of his time trying to save Barbara from herself and their superiors at Scotland Yard.

I don't seem to be able to help myself with these Elizabeth George novels, even though I have found some of the more recent installments tedious and difficult to finish. There must be a lot to be said for feeling familiar with the characters, because these characters have kept drawing me back. I like where Lynley is going in his life now, he doesn't seem to be taking himself quite so seriously, nor is he quite so pompous. Barbara may be chastened by the fallout from the events of this novel, but I hope she too will be back for more.

There is no crime series quite like this one, and I feel that George has done well to not only keep the momentum going with these characters, but also to improve her story telling craft. I eagerly await where she takes the series next.

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