Believing the Lie – A Review

December 28, 2011 at 10:52 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

Title: Believing the Lie

Author: Elizabeth George

Publisher: Dutton, a member of Penguin group

Genre: mystery

Length: 610 pages

Buy Now!


Dutton Books, to my surprise and excitement, kindly provided me with a copy of Believing the Lie, Inspector Lynley’s 17th book appearance, just weeks before its official release date.  Despite this book being number seventeen in a series, and having never read any of George’s previous work, I often wondered which characters were reoccurring ones and which were unique to this title.  The work and the character development was so seamless, this was unclear until nearly toward the end.

“[…] Darling, secrets and silence caused all of this.  Lies caused this,” Inspector Lynley summarizes the novel of which he is supposedly the star.  It is refreshing to read a crime writer who gives you such a large cast of characters in such detail, its surprising to find that the lead inspector is more like the wood frame that holds a canvas together than the paint that creates the work of art itself.  He is ever in the middle of the action, but rarely the focus, he merely serves as the reason for the story’s existence in the first place.

George writes human tension beautifully.  More than a typical mystery, George has written a well crafted drama involving social issues surrounding homosexuals, transsexuals, and the families who love but fail to understand them.  During all this family drama, international culture issues, marital affairs, and even a child pornography ring, the biggest truth to be revealed of this murder mystery, is whether there has even been a murder at all.

Typically, when I read mysteries I take the cozy, less than 200 page ones for what I call “bubble bath books,” something I can read in one sitting in the tub.  As much as I love those (my cotton candy for the soul), I say with the highest compliment intended, George does not write bubble bath mysteries.  And quite different from those sorts of books, this one left me wondering: What Next?


  1. Ann said,

    I read an Elizabeth George book a few years ago and didn’t finish it. There was so much repetition of the London slang “innit” that I couldn’t get into the story.

    • anakalianwhims said,

      I didn’t feel overpowered by the British slang in this book. Quite honestly, there were times when I completely forgot the characters were British. I wonder if she received criticism for that and toned it down, or if it just wasn’t as part of the story. Many of the characters in this particular Lynley novel were not British by birth but had moved to the UK. I can see where someone might not finish her work, though. There were times when I thought, “Awesome writing, but I’m surprised the editor didn’t shave off these thirty pages.” It seemed unnecessarily long. Then again, without the length would you get the same level of character development? I’m not sure, I’d have to read more of her work to find out!

  2. Anakalian Whims said,

  3. When Readers Watch TV « Anakalian Whims said,

    […] the pitter patter of a swoony and inevitable love story, like reading Elizabeth George’s Believing the Lie but with a more cohesive and linear tale.  I am shockingly riveted with the characters, and most […]

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