1 July 2011

Forgotten Book: A GREAT DELIVERANCE, Elizabeth George

This week's Friday's Forgotten book for the meme hosted by Patti Abbott on Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books is one that I read soon after it was published in 1988.

It probably a bit cheeky of me to select this novel as a "forgotten book" because of course it is where those who decide to read the Lynley series in order will start. But perhaps this post will serve to remind us of the great contribution Elizabeth George has made to crime fiction for over 20 years.

Blurb (from author's site)

A baby's cry echoes on lonely nights through Keldale Valley in Yorkshire. Three hundred years ago, when Cromwell's raiders swept through a village in this valley, not a living creature was to be found on its fog-shrouded streets. The entire population had taken refuge in Keldale Abbey. But then, as the legend goes, an infant began to cry-and the villages knew they had escaped Cromwell's ravages only to be betrayed by a babe. So they smothered the child to silence it.

To this day, the low, thin wail of an infant can be heard in Keldale's lush green valleys.

Now, into this pastoral web of old houses and older secrets comes New Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley. Accompanied by Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, Lynley has been sent to solve a particularly savage murder which has stunned the peaceful countryside. more

George's first novel, it was the winner of the Agatha and Anthony Awards for best first novel as well as France's Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere. It was nominated for both a Macavity and an Edgar, and was optioned for television by the BBC.

Review on this blog of CARELESS IN RED with references to earlier novels.

Writing a sustained series is always difficult and George has had her critics - some have been disappointed to discover she is an American, others have not liked the developments in Lynley's life as the series progresses.

However 2012 will see the publication of #17 which is a real achievement.
The full list from Fantastic Fiction
1. A Great Deliverance (1988)
2. Payment In Blood (1989)
3. Well-Schooled In Murder (1990)
4. A Suitable Vengeance (1990)
5. For The Sake of Elena (1992)
6. Missing Joseph (1993)
7. Playing For The Ashes (1994)
8. In The Presence Of The Enemy (1996)
9. Deception On His Mind (1997)
10. In Pursuit Of The Proper Sinner (1999)
11. A Traitor To Memory (2001)
12. A Place of Hiding (2003)
13. With No One as Witness (2005)
14. What Came Before He Shot Her (2006)
15. Careless in Red (2008)
16. This Body of Death (2010)
17. Believing the Lie (2012)


Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this. I wasn't sure what the next one in this series would be and when it would be out. It'll be interesting to see how it's received.

Todd Mason said...

You have to love reader bigotry. She's a Yank! She couldn't love Britain, thus...

Yvette said...

Good choice, Kerrie. I've read every book in the series except the unfortunately named and conceived, WHAT CAME BEFORE HE SHOT HER and of course, the new book coming up in 2012.

I love the series.

But I've often quibbled with some of Lynley's life choices, a character that, despite my quibbling, contines to fascinate me.

I dislike his wife and was not altogether unhappy when she was killed off.

I guess what I'm really saying is that I'm not happy with Lynley's taste in women. But that's my own personal 'thing' to work out. :)

I'm also not quite clear on why Barbara Havers continues to be such a sartorial disaster. You'd think a trip to a good hair dresser would take care of some of this. Ah well, perhaps it's best to leave her the way she is.

Though she was not well cast in the BBC show. She was too attractive and there was just too much chemistry between her and the actor playing Lynley. It always seemed to me as if the wife was kept intruding.

I think when Lynley's wife was killed off, many of us devoted watchers of the show expected Lynley and Havers to FINALLY get together (although we understood that this was not forthcoming in the books). I was very unhappy with how the series was just allowed to peter off.

Having said all this, I can't wait for the next book. :)


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