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A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley #11)

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3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  6,114 ratings  ·  243 reviews
When Eugenie Davies is killed by a driver on a quiet London street, her death is clearly no accident. Someone struck her with a car and then deliberately ran over her body before driving off, leaving nothing behind but questions.
What brought Eugenie Davies to London on a rainy autumn night? Why was she carrying the name of the man who found her body? Who among the many ac
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Paperback, 1009 pages
Published August 27th 2002 by Bantam (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Karo
I've read all of Elizabeth George's Thomas Lynley/Barbara Havers series, and I must say that this is the weakest of the bunch. One of the aspects that I've always enjoyed in this mystery series is the attention that the author paid to the lives of the two main characters. In A Traitor to Memory, that seems to have flown by the wayside, and Havers and Lynley are given rather slipshod treatment. The small sections devoted to their private lives seem perfunctory and forced.

In addition, I felt that
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Lobstergirl
Jul 08, 2012 Lobstergirl rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Deng Xiaoping
An inexplicable book, filled with inexplicable characters, unforgivably long. I still don't know what happened on the last page, yet I'm grateful George didn't expend any more pages yapping on in explanation. 1,009 was quite enough. I think I know who the killer was, but I don't understand why a character who is not actually psychotic would destroy the Guarneri violin of the man she's trying to repair a relationship with and think this is acceptable. I don't get why everyone in a book published ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
I think ‘A Traitor to Memory’ was an interesting book to read. It dissects a dysfunctional family which rotates around two human suns made important by family dynamics, a son and an obsessive father.

First is the musical prodigy, Gideon Davies, who is a minor sensation in classical music circles, a favored child and now adult whose career everyone in the Davies’ world must support.

The father, Richard Davies, forces the entire family into a supplementary role behind Gideon’s talent in every way.
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Kellie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie
The writing is really good, as I've come to expect from George, but this is not one of my favorites in this series. The characterizations were as well done as usual, although I was a little disappointed that the lady in the opening chapter, a morbidly obese anorgasmic sex therapist, was not a main character. I didn't care much about the characters that were the focus of the mystery (I got thoroughly sick of Gideon's diary) and the denouement was less satisfying than usual. The author continues t ...more
Ray
I want to fall in love with Elizabeth George. With dozens of books under her belt, she'd be the perfect author to go back to time and again for a good read. But I am losing faith. This is the 3rd book of hers I have read and and it was the worst so far. I like a long book. But length should either result in deep character development or ridiculous/funny/detailed description. Unfortunately George uses length just to repeat the same few ideas/plot points over and over. So it gets really boring.

I a
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Kathy Davie
Eleventh in the Inspector Lynley mystery series based in London at Scotland Yard and revolving around policemen.


My Take
This is a gawd awful depressing story but an essential read if you prefer to follow your characters chronologically. There is so much in here that you need to know. I think.

I had a hard time reading this story. It was well-written [I do have a few quibbles about the timeline George followed, see below]; but, its topic was so incredibly tragic. Such a waste. Such an argument fo
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Carol
‘A Traitor to Memory,’ by Elizabeth George is a compelling, fascinating book. It’s a long book – over 1000 pages long – but the writing is strong, the plot well-conceived, and the characters well developed. Holding ‘A Traitor to Memory’ together is the story of Gideon, a violin virtuoso, and originally a child prodigy. We read his journal entries, written to his psychiatrist, and learn with Gideon about the tragedy in his family’s past.

One way to describe Elizabeth George’s writing is research,
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Alicia
This one was harder for me to read of her books. There was no resolution in the end, not that there really could be, but it was emotionally draining. I also found the format - switching between the narrative and the diary distracting.
Toni Osborne
Book 11 in the Inspector Lynley series

"A traitor to Memory" is a complex novel, large in scope and one that encompasses the psyches of many of its characters. Unlike the previous novels, Lynley and Harvers take a back seat to let Gideon be the star.

I will be brief in my summary; this story is intricate and over 1000 pages, it includes hidden agendas, secrets in the closet and a fair amount of danger.

It opens with the death of Eugenie Davis in a deliberate hit and run "accident". Superintendent M
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Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Yet another very big book from Elizabeth George. It must take her all year to write one book, because it takes me all week to read it. This one is the mystery of Eugenie Davies, who is killed by a hit and run driver one rainy night after arriving in London, seeking out what turns out to me a man from her past and also the person who discovers her body on the roadside. Her son, a famous violinist, has meanwhile had a complete loss of his ability to play and is attending a therapist to try and get ...more
Skip Maloney
This, as noted in another entry here, was a discovery. Found at daughter-in-law's house and taken up without much faith in the fact that I'd actually finish the 719-page hardcover. But I did and it's led me back to the first of the Inspector Lynley mysteries, with a lot of catching up to do.
Ms. George is a very lush writer. Her details are very . . well, detailed and she has a way of making you see, hear, feel and sometimes even taste what her character's are seeing, hearing, feeling. There's a
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Deb
A twenty-year old crime is the key to this installment of the Inspector Lynley series. Eugenie Davies is the victim of a hit-and-run, and when Lynley and Havers investigate they find a trail that leads to Malcolm Webberly and the bathtub drowning of Sonia Davies, a Down Syndrome child. The story is told in two parts: the real-time narrative of the police investigation, and the journals of famous violinist Gideon Davies, Sonia's brother. Gideon's journals are the result of his visits with a psych ...more
Monique
So finished this lengthy English mystery about a crime that overlaps twenty years and implicates everyone involved..Its kinda confusing, kinda annoying (with the descriptions of England/London and the spellings "tire" spelled like "tyre") will kinda throw you for a loop so will the changes in narration and character --just when you are getting involved and interested or a character makes a breakthrough the chapter is over and you have to get down with a new character's life and situation..For a ...more
Tom
This is a huge book at over 1000 pages. In small script, no less. I love Elizabeth George. I love her prose and her literacy. She respects her characters and the page, and it shows. But if you're going to go for a 1000 page book, it better be dang good. And it's a good, not great, chapter in her Lynley series. It could've been edited down by 250 pages and it would have been great. While I love anything she writes, the first half just didn't go anywhere for me. Or went there very slowly. Still, t ...more
J. Ewbank
I have enjoyed Elizabeth George's books. They have been a little uneven but this particular book is a good read for me. I enjoy the fact that she carries many of the characters from one book to the other and the characters grow on you. They become like old friends as you read from one book to the other.

This one is an excellent read and is about one of the main characters, Detective Inspector thomas Lynley, though other normal characters are found in the book also.

Mystery readers will enjoy this
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La Biblioteca
You can translate this review on: http://labibliotecadidrusie.blogspot.it/
Voto: 5/10
Altro libro che non mi ha colpito. l'ho trovato noioso e ho faticato ad arrivare in fondo.
Non che sia brutto, ma non vi ho riscontrato caratteristiche che lo rendano, non dico memorabile, ma almeno piacevole.
La storia non è particolarmente originale, inizia con un omicidio a cui ne segue un altro e iniziano pure i problemi.
Almeno nella mia edizione non ci sono riferimenti temporali chiari e si scopre solo alla fi
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Lisa
Elizabeth George has written some terrific books in the Inspector Lynley series, but this isn't one of them. The book alternates between long, first-person passages by a protagonist named Gideon Davies, who is writing his thoughts and memories to his therapist, and third-person passages telling of the efforts of others, including Thomas Lynley, Barbara Havers, and Winston Nkata, to solve the murders of people related in some way to Gideon, as well telling of other events and people in Gideon's l ...more
Jeni
Very good, but not my favorite in this series. It wasn't the length; I could read about Lynley & Havers forever. But the timeline was little hinky between the narrative and the journal by Gideon. So it was a little confusing about what had happened when. Kind of a convoluted story. But it did keep my interest. It was a little creepy.
Victoria
This 700+ page psychological mystery in the Inspector Lynley series has much going for it: strong recurring characters, interesting minor characters, complex plot, and excellent writing (more about George’s strong sense of dialog on my website: vweisfeld.com, 9-29-13 post). But rather too many rehashes of the potential murder suspects–and too much memory-groping by the main non-detective character, violinist Gideon Davies. Took a while to realize (my fault) that the interspersed entries from the ...more
Anne
It's a page turner, lots of interesting sub-stories, but the ending was very unsatisfying. The characters suddenly acted unbelievably out of character, there were too many questions left unanswered, and the final attempt at a twist was handled poorly.
mim
I may have to take a break from my binge reading of this series. I liked this book as it cleared up things for me, with back story as it were. I've already read book after this one so I know what's in store for the characters, which wasn't a bad thing, but there were a lot of story lines and characters that I had a hard time keeping everyone and everything in a line. I didn't guess the perpetrator until just before the reveal so that was good. Also, I had to keep reading it just because I wanted ...more
Paula
As an Elizabeth George fan, A Traitor to Memory did not disappoint with the usual intricately developed, multilevel plot and the familiar series' characters. Ms. George lives between Seattle and London; while her novels are set in England, she generally sneaks right-on observations about Americans in her narration. No doubt an attentive student of human nature, Ms. George's plots and characters always involve psychological intrigue, which keeps readers guessing to the very end. Sometimes an unex ...more
Aoife
Women: shrill and self-centered. Prison: makes you gay. Lesbians: make men angry. Shark: jumped.
Leslie Jem
this book was so bad that our book group brought it up at every single meeting thereafter...
Bev Taylor
a later d i lynley novel

gideon is a prodigy violinist who is now seeing a psychiatrist after being unable to play at a concert

but what has blocked him?

this goes back to a murder over 20 years ago and is then linked to later killings and attempts on life

this concentrates less on the crimes and more of the emotional minds of all the charcters involved

800 pages which i would it rather difficult to concentrate on for any length of time due to the volume of too much prose and not enough dialouge
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Donna
Eugenie Davies is struck by a car. This is no accident as The driver backed up and ran over her again. The driver then moved her to the side of the road but left her where she was certain to be found. A local resident noticed the body when he returned from a night out on the town. He called the police only to be treated as a suspect. The police were especially suspicious since he claimed not to know Eugenie despite her carrying his address on a slip of paper in her pocket.
Lynley and Havers wond
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Pat
Elizabeth George appears to be trying to stretch herself artistically, moving away from the traditional confines of the police procedural, toward a more broadly-based psychological thriller. This novel is the second of hers that IMO doesn't seem to fit into the "mystery/police procedural" genre; it's more of a "whydunit" than a "whodunit". (I didn't find the "who" to be much of a mystery in this one...)

If she wants to write psychological thrillers, however, I think her plots need to pick up the
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Massir Destin
Ex-enfant prodige, le violoniste Gideon Davies continue de donner des concerts dans le monde entier avec le même succès. Jusqu'au jour où, victime d'un trou noir, il ne peut plus jouer une note. Seule la psychanalyse pourrait le sauver. C'est en entamant son journal, en replongeant dans ses souvenirs qu'il pourra comprendre ce qui lui est arrivé. Retrouver ce qu'il a enfoui au fond de sa mémoire, comme la mort de sa sœur trisomique, assassinée vingt ans auparavant par sa nourrice, ou comme la di ...more
MaryAnn
Sep 11, 2008 MaryAnn rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Maybe a anglophile psychologist
Recommended to MaryAnn by: A friend
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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
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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)
  • In the Presence of the Enemy (Inspector Lynley, #8)
  • Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley, #9)
  • In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (Inspector Lynley, #10)
A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1) Well-Schooled in Murder (Inspector Lynley, #3) This Body of Death (Inspector Lynley, #16) Payment in Blood (Inspector Lynley, #2) Careless in Red (Inspector Lynley, #15)

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