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In the Presence of the Enemy (Inspector Lynley #8)

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4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,376 Ratings  ·  271 Reviews
The eighth novel in the best-selling Inspector Lynley mystery series.
Hardcover
Published September 1st 2004 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 02, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Fans
Of the eight Lynley novels I've read, I'd rank this third, after the first, A Great Deliverance and the third, Well-Schooled in Murder. Not that I felt that way through Part One, which is almost another book I'd rate much lower--for two reasons. First, that first part involves only that Tiresome Three (tm) Simon and Deborah St. James and Lady Helen Clyde. So not my favorite George characters. Second, and worse, they engage in utterly stupid behavior that's a pet peeve of mine in amateur detectiv ...more
Catherine
Oct 22, 2010 Catherine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: natania, england, 2010
Well.

I think perhaps I would have enjoyed this book more had it been half the length. George does ramble on interminably about her character's inner thoughts, at no particularly great gain to the plot, and the idea of show-not-tell isn't high on her agenda. The women in the book are a rum bunch - I enjoyed the police detective, but the correlation between career woman and badly-dressed-virgin is predictable and so old hat as to be ridiculous. No less ridiculous were the other key female charact
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
Poor little Charlotte Bowen. She's 10 years old, but her mother, Eve Bowen, Undersecretary of State for the Home Office, is a narcissistic conservative politician who always thinks 'it's all about her.' Charlotte is kidnapped, but despite all of the evidence mommy dearest thinks her one-week ex-fling, Dennis Luxford, the far left newspaper The Source editor-in-chief, is pulling a con of some type.

When they met eleven years ago, both were newspaper reporters. Now, they each married other people
...more
Lobstergirl
Jul 30, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Judy Woodruff
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Slim Dunlap
Commendably twisty and well-plotted, with none of the awkward cameos from the lower classes that we often have to endure from George. I particularly enjoyed the falling-out between Lynley, Helen, St. James and Deborah as Lynley attacks them ("you three cretins"), deservedly. And Helen calls Lynley "you rotten little pharisee." Later in the book the murdered child's mother's "underpants clung damply to her crotch like an inebriate's palm." Colorful! You won't get that from Agatha Christie.
jo
this is a well written, well paced, well developed mystery. elizabeth george sure likes to pack her stories with language (details details details), but since i like my books to go on and on, and her going on and on is well done, i am not complaining, at all.

okay, now that i got that out of the way let me talk about women and mysteries. men and mysteries, too. the latter first. i learned today (here) that the millennium trilogy, of which i read only the first installment, a book that struck me
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Jamie Collins
Sep 23, 2010 Jamie Collins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good contemporary British murder mystery from Elizabeth George. This time around we get child abductions and blackmail, a cold-hearted Tory MP who's more worried about her career than her missing child, and a Labour party tabloid publisher who's worried that his (8-yr-old) son isn't manly enough.

The author still cheats by giving you the point of view of the murderer, making him or her seem innocent, but otherwise the mystery was very well done.

We have more baby drama from the St. James's
...more
Merry
Apr 13, 2013 Merry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Once again, Elizabeth George does it! She has written a great murder mystery that keeps you guessing (at least, I was) to almost the very end. I also liked it because Sargeant Barbara Havers played a key role, and she's always a favorite of mine.

The two main characters, the parents of a child who has been kidnapped, are so despicable you love to hate them. The mother, a Tory politician, is so caught up in her own self-worth, that she won't give in to the kidnapper's demands so as not to ruin he
...more
RJ
Sep 03, 2013 RJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A cracking second half of the book makes up a bit for a slow moving first 250 pages. The characters of Simon, Helen and Deborah tend to put me to sleep, and they are prominent early on. When Lynley and Havers appear and the investigation proceeds the author hits her stride.

The character of Eve Bowen seems too harsh and is hard to buy into. The depiction of the tabloid newspaper rings true. George describes the pastoral canal area of Wiltshire beautifully, and I've never been to England let alone
...more
C.J. Prince
Jan 16, 2012 C.J. Prince rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book pushed me right over the edge of my comfort zone and yet I could not put it down and read far into the night and shunned daytime distractions until yes, now I have finished it. Generally, I go for mystery lite. This is deep, complex, twisted, engaging and impossible to guess what intrigue is just around the corner.

(Nevada Barr ups the amps and pushes me out of my comfort zone but after reading all but her last book, I cannot not read what will happen next. So, it is with Elizabeth Geor
...more
Andrea
Nov 08, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Back to Elizabeth George a wonderful writer even if I do have to keep a dictionary at my side. This American writer from Orange County, CA. bases her novels on mysteries in an about the British Isles and Dectective Inspector Thomas Lynley, a.k.a. 8th Earl of Asherton . This is not an author for those intimidated by words of seven or more letters.

"In the Presence of the Enemy is a brilliantly insightful and haunting novel of ideals corrupted by self-interest, of the sins of parents visited upon
...more
Joanne
Nov 03, 2011 Joanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Inspector Linley series novel starts off a very slow, and at times, seems endless, but it is worth finishing. Tabloid editor Dennis Luxford receives a post instructing him to acknowledge his first-born, whom has been kidnapped. If not, she will be killed. But she is the daughter of Even Bowen, member of Parliment and junior primte minister. Eve refuses to acquiesce, and 10 year old Lottie's body is found in Wiltshire, about 90 minutes from where she was taken.

Inspector Thomas Linley is put
...more
Jim
Jan 21, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
My wife knows that I enjoy British detective mysteries and recommended this one to me. I am glad that she did! The plot is innovative and complex, with a wide range of believable characters and detailed descriptions of all phases of the investigation. It gives particular insight into two unwholesome professions, politics and tabloid journalism and the people who choose them as careers. I have never before seen a ransom demand like the one proposed here. Most importantly, this book does what a go ...more
Raymond
In the Presence of the Enemy deserves a least another half star. One of the pleasures of this book is that Simon St. James, childhood friend and forensic scientist, his wife Deborah and Lady Helen Clyde have about half of the of the story to themselves.

The plot moves well, and even if you think you know who did it about three quarters through the book, the writing compels you to go on to the end.

Another enjoyable feature of the book is that Havers gets to head her own arm of the investigation.
...more
Ace
Jan 21, 2013 Ace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An ambitious politician's daughter has been kidnapped. The only ransom demand - the truth of the daughter's parentage must be printed on the front page of the newspaper her natural father edits. The politician assumes the natural father, someone at the opposite end of the political spectrum, is behind the kidnapping, his sole aim to discredit her and ruin her career. And, naturally, she fears police involvement would bring out the media wolves, so she forbids it. Lynley and Havers come into this ...more
icaro
dopo alti e bassi ecco una storia discreta: sempre un po' troppo lunga ma non male. Limitate, per fortuna, le inevitabili manfrine esistenziali del manipolo di protagonisti fissi



[audiolibro]
Mary Helene
Nov 19, 2011 Mary Helene rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary Helene by: Whatcom Reads
Shelves: mysteries
This is the Whatcom Reads choice for this year - the whole county reading one book. I was thrilled to have a woman author and a mystery chosen for this year, but I was disappointed in the text itself. The characters obviously have histories I know nothing about. The premise seems unlikely to me on several counts - would the public really care that much about who fathered your ten year old child? The killer himself - it all seems a little over the top. What I did like: an indictment (subtle thoug ...more
Satinder Hawkins
Holy cow! This was just about as perfect a mystery as I've read this year.
Kerri
Sep 14, 2009 Kerri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was disappointed in this particular book in the Lynley series. I thought the beginning was highly improbable and probably illegal. After Inspector Lynley got involved the pace picked up and I started to enjoy the book more until the storyline with Sgt Havers. I thought it was a bit of a cheap shot after all the care the author has taken to develop her character to put her in this situation. Overall the writing was good and I enjoyed the book as I have all the others but this has definitely bee ...more
Debbie
Oct 07, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent thriller! George keeps you turning the page right up to the end!
Sandy
Jul 11, 2012 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books in the Inspector Lynley series. As usual, I could not identify the criminal until the end of the book - there's always a surprise twist! Sergeant Havers took the lead for much of the book and she's probably my favorite character. I like the core of characters in the series and that George alternates the lead between different ones of them. A "hard to put down" book.
Joy
Jan 10, 2016 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is the Inspector Lynley series, #8 out of 13. If you are interested the first in the series is, A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1) Here is a quote that caught my attention; page 385, “Giving His human creations the ability to love had to be the Divinity’s most ingenious act of self-amusement, Lynley thought. Let them fall for each other and then drive each other mad, He must have schemed. What a bloody good laugh it will be to watch the chaos that ensues when I get the man-woman chemi ...more
Ed
Feb 17, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#8 in the Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley & Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers series.

Ten-year-old Charlotte, daughter of Conservative MP Eve Bowen, is abducted after leaving a weekly music lesson not far from her London home. Dennis Luxford, editor for a tabloid-style, decidedly anti-Conservative newspaper, receives a message threatening Charlotte unless he acknowledges her paternity. Bowen, a rising star in the Home Office, chooses to avoid using the police, knowing that disclosure of her
...more
Karen
Sep 05, 2014 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
# 8 in the detective Linley series.
The first of the story's 3 sections features Simon St. James, Lady Helen and Deborah. This was a little slow for my taste, and the trio aren't my favorite characters. The second and third parts of the book make up a bit for the first 250 pages. When Lynley and Havers appear, beginning in the second part, the story line and dialogue improve. I found the relationship between Helen and Linley more believable in this book than in previous books in the series.
The Ev
...more
Judy
Feb 10, 2010 Judy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth George crafts intricate plots involving human relations at their darkest and most intimate. My head is still spinning from this last one. In the final pages, I couldn't put it down. Be prepared for the long haul when you open one of her books. I never did see the complete PBS series featuring Tommy Lynley & his cohorts.
Agnes Ross
May 28, 2015 Agnes Ross rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An Inspector Lynley of Scotland Yard--kidnapping and murder. For the person who wants to know the why behind human atrocities, a masterful study of the human character's frailties and interpersonal influences. The character studies portray the beasts in us or the magnificence and triumphs of the human animal.
Chris
May 29, 2009 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Improbable, impossible and too many stereotypes for my taste. I am certain the following books will be better as I love this author, these characters, and especially the woman who suggested this series to me.
Lewis Weinstein
A great series. It's really incredible how a woman from California can write so convincingly about Scotland Yard and England. She explains how in the excellent writer's book Write Away.
T. Robert
This is the first book I have read by Elizabeth George and I was impressed on how she creates suspense. But this comes at the cost of what I find is drawing out scenes in more detail than my patience allows. I suppose it could be called a "literary style" because I would agree that she is an excellent writer. But at time it was too much and I skipped ahead of some passages. For example, when a police Detective Inspector cheecks in to a country bed-and-breakfast to begin an investigation, George ...more
Jan
Oct 06, 2015 Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first time I have read a book by Elizabeth George, and I finally had to go get the dictionary to keep nearby. She does have quite the vocabulary, but I got irritated about the fourth or fifth time she used the word "perspicacity." Other than that, the book was a great page turner that left quite a few chores undone in my house. Now I have to begin at the beginning of her series, and start with A Great Deliverance, so I can be introduced to her main characters properly. I don't think ...more
Katie Bee
Picked this up for a dollar at a library sale.

Suspenseful, lots going on. I found the characters stereotyped and unsympathetic, however, with the bereaved parents - Bowen and Luxford - bordering on monstrous. And the killer's identity was frustrating, in that it wasn't guessable until (x) & then was immediately obvious. I like tracing threads and trying to figure things out, and George's tactics felt like cheating.

Note: The murdered girl has a great deal of POV narration in the first half of
...more
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Elizabeth George's novels 2 29 Dec 16, 2014 06:17PM  
  • In a Dark House (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #10)
  • A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, #10)
  • The Old Contemptibles (Richard Jury, #11)
  • Service of All the Dead (Inspector Morse, #4)
1402383
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Elizabeth George is an American author of mystery novels set in Great Britain. Eleven of her novels, featuring her character Inspector Lynley, have been adapted for television by the BBC as The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

She was born in Warren, Ohio, but moved to the S
...more
More about Elizabeth George...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Lynley (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1)
  • Payment in Blood (Inspector Lynley, #2)
  • Well-Schooled in Murder (Inspector Lynley, #3)
  • A Suitable Vengeance (Inspector Lynley, #4)
  • For the Sake of Elena (Inspector Lynley, #5)
  • Missing Joseph (Inspector Lynley, #6)
  • Playing for the Ashes (Inspector Lynley, #7)
  • Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley, #9)
  • In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (Inspector Lynley, #10)
  • A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)

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