Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)” as Want to Read:
A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley #11)

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,002 Ratings  ·  281 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
Paperback, 1009 pages
Published August 27th 2002 by Bantam (first published 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Traitor to Memory, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Traitor to Memory

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieAngels & Demons by Dan BrownRebecca by Daphne du MaurierIn Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Best Crime & Mystery Books
345th out of 5,428 books — 12,053 voters
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha ChristieThe Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleAnd Then There Were None by Agatha ChristieThe Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha ChristieThe Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Best British Crime/Mystery Fiction
68th out of 860 books — 997 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 09, 2012 Karo rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, british
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2012 Lobstergirl rated it it was ok
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.
Jamie Collins
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
Kathy Davie
Aug 04, 2014 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, i-own-this
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
Mar 14, 2012 Ray rated it it was ok
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
Skip Maloney
Apr 30, 2009 Skip Maloney rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 16, 2012 Carol rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
‘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,
Aug 29, 2010 Tom rated it liked it
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
Jul 27, 2015 Alicia rated it it was ok
Shelves: english
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.
Leslie Jem
this book was so bad that our book group brought it up at every single meeting thereafter...
Feb 01, 2015 Lisa rated it it was ok
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
Toni Osborne
Jun 30, 2011 Toni Osborne rated it it was ok
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
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Oct 07, 2012 Mary Gilligan-Nolan rated it really liked it
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
Nov 11, 2012 Deb rated it really liked it
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
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
J. Ewbank
Mar 30, 2010 J. Ewbank rated it really liked it
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
Vlady Peters
Apr 27, 2016 Vlady Peters rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, and plotted in a very original way. A huge volume which probably could have done with a bit of reducing. However, the tension and suspense is there right to the very last page.

I wasn’t aware of this when I began, but two of the characters are Lynley and Barbara of the ‘The Inspector Lynley Mysteries’ fame. Frankly, the book could have been just as good without them. But then, of all the British crime series I watch, this is one that doesn’t appeal. In the book Barbara was a
Jan 28, 2016 Suzy rated it it was amazing
Superb. Seldom do I read books with 1000+ pages. A Traitor to Memory is compelling -- I read much later into the night than I intended. Character development is deep and wide. Every word essential. Memorable passages: Chap. 6 - "Life wasn't a continuum of events, although it wore the guise of exactly that. Instead, it was actually a carousel. In infancy, one mounted a galloping pony and started out on a journey during which one assumed that circumstances would change as the expedition continued. ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Maria rated it really liked it
This installment of the Lynley series had me trying to guess "whodunit" until the very end! I thought I knew at some points, but then the author would wind you around her little finger in making you doubt yourself. Well done, Ms. George!

This story involves two related cases: one from long ago in which a child died, and a modern-day crime in which people involved in that earlier case are being killed. The child was the brother of a now famous concert violinist, Gideon Davies. Said violinist has h
Drusie's Biblio
You can translate this review on:
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
Jan 31, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it
#11 in the Inspector Lynley series.

Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley & Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers series - When Eugenie Davies is killed on a London street struck by a car, then viciously mangled as the driver backs over her Detective Inspector Lynley investigates. The suspects include J.W. Pichley, aka Tongue Man, a cyber-roux with a penchant for older women; Katja Wolff, convicted murderess of Davies's infant daughter; and Major Ted Wiley, a bookstore proprietor in love with Davies.
Sep 18, 2015 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As with other books in this series, there are sections delving into the life of a particular character or two. While it would be tempting to skim through those lengthy portions, there is vital information to be gained by plodding through. Still I found myself skimming…but not for long.

There’s a lot happening - a lot to keep track of, from present day to uncovering events buried in the past. Events that people were and still are, reluctant to think about, never mind voice.

If you read only one of
Nov 01, 2012 Jeni rated it liked it
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.
Mar 19, 2014 Victoria rated it liked it
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:, 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
Jul 11, 2009 Anne rated it it was ok
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.
Aug 28, 2014 mim rated it liked it
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
Mar 01, 2015 Paula rated it really liked it
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
Apr 02, 2011 Aoife rated it did not like it
Women: shrill and self-centered. Prison: makes you gay. Lesbians: make men angry. Shark: jumped.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Grave Maurice (Richard Jury, #18)
  • Death in Holy Orders (Adam Dalgliesh, #11)
  • Kissed a Sad Goodbye (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #6)
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 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)

Share This Book

“Her azure blouse clung to her torso like hunger.” 0 likes
“paintings that look as if they intend to slide off their canvases and do something questionable on the floor.” 0 likes
More quotes…