Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Elizabeth George

By Lynn Willoughby

The Punishment She Deserves: A Lynley Novel~ Elizabeth George

I don’t read a lot of thrillers, but have always enjoyed the novels of Elizabeth George.  They are convoluted, with many intricate details and almost impossible to figure out the conclusion.  This book did not disappoint.
Ian Druitt is a respected Deacon of the Church of England.  He is arrested, then left alone in the local police station.  When the police arrive to take him to jail in another town, they find him dead.  His death is declared a suicide, but his influential father believes otherwise.
When Barbara Havers is sent from New Scotland Yard to investigate, the local police do not welcome her.  But as she digs into the lives of the seemingly ordinary residents of Ludlow – mostly elderly retirees, or college students, she finds there are many skeletons in many closets.
Like all of George’s books, this is very complex story.  The characters are well defined, well nuanced and with real personalities.  As we get to know them better, it seems that everyone tells lies, everyone has something to hide and relationships that seem suspicious.  The author is so adept at weaving her story that I had no idea who had committed which crime, or what anyone really had for a motive.  This is George’s specialty.
The plot does have some lighter moments.  My imagination of Havers tap dancing was all kinds of crazy.  And when the recital actually takes place, I was laughing out loud – not something that usually happens in a crime novel.
If you have never read George’s work, start with an earlier book – as many of the characters are in all her books.  I highly recommend anything by this author.
  •  A Great Deliverance
  •  Playing for the Ashes
…………………..and many others

Who Knew?

During World War ll the Nazis embarked on a systematic genocide of the Romani people (or gypsies).  They were marked for extermination and often sentenced to forced labour. Mostly, they were shot on sight.

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