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A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1)
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A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley #1)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  23,328 ratings  ·  898 reviews
To this day, the low, thin wail of an infant can be heard in Keldale's lush green valleys. Three hundred years ago, as legend goes, the frightened Yorkshire villagers smothered a crying babe in Keldale Abbey, where they'd hidden to escape the ravages of Cromwell's raiders.

Now into Keldale's pastoral web of old houses and older secrets comes Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas L
Mass Market Paperback, 413 pages
Published June 1989 by Bantam Books (first published 1988)
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I initially saw the television adaptation of this book on PBS Mystery!. I was moved by the dark, Yorkshire setting and the budding friendship of Lynley and Havers. It had such a gritty conclusion, that I went to the library the next day and checked out the next book in the series. That was almost 9 years ago! After finishing book six in the series last year, I felt it was time to read the book that started it all.

I can't believe I waited so long! Thus far, this my favorite book in the series! F
Mixed feelings on this one.
Lynley and Havers are fascinating characters, complex and marvelously well-drawn (except for one somewhat gratuitious Lynley interlude). I love the way Havers is allowed to express her resentment and how her inbred distrust and dislike of nobility is thwarted by Lynley's compassion and decency.
There are some interesting secondary characters, as well, my favourite being the little girl, Bridie, and her pet duck, Dougal.
However, at times the book is too description-he
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4 solid stars of five

The Publisher Says: To this day, the low, thin wail of an infant can be heard in Keldale's lush green valleys. Three hundred years ago, as legend goes, the frightened Yorkshire villagers smothered a crying babe in Keldale Abbey, where they'd hidden to escape the ravages of Cromwell's raiders.

Now into Keldale's pastoral web of old houses and older secrets comes Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley, the eighth earl of Asherton. Along with the redoubtable Detective Ser
Lewis Weinstein
This is the first of the Lynley-Havers stories, and also the first that I am re-reading. I hope I don't remember too much of the plot (it's been 10 years at least) but my real purpose in re-reading is to study George's writing techniques. Her use of setting, development of character, and plot surprises, among other elements, are superb. For fans of Elizabeth George who are also writers, I recommend Write Away: One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life.

George unfolds the layers of a
Mary Beth
I finished this book last night and I was filled with mixed emotions. After reading this I thought Is it O.K. to murder someone? Even though I could never do this, I now have a different view on this question. The ending was just full of horror. It was almost too much for me to handle. I really did like the book though.
This book starts out with Inspector Lynley of Scotland Yard in a village of Keldale, investigating a murder there with Sergeant Barbara Havers. Sergeant Havers gets demoted from
Don't let the public television series distract you - they mostly just took the names and killed off most of the players.

For a treat and a journey that only your willingness NOT to read reviews can preserve, begin here at the beginning. The arc of personal story that runs behind the crimes and through the novels is truly wonderful, and her brilliant portrayal of race and class issues builds to the truly startling "With No One As Witness" and the revelatory "What Came Before He Shot Her."

Goodness Gracious, I love this series. Elizabeth George is, in my opinion, the best mystery writer alive today. The ending hits you like a slap and yet you're left wondering how in the world you never saw it coming. Of course THAT was what was happening! But Elizabeth George is a master manipulator and character constructor. There are few characters in literature I enjoy more than Barbara Havers and Sir Thomas Lynley. The ins and outs of their relationship over the course of this series is enthr ...more
I was surprised to dislike this book intensely. I'd not read (or seen) any Inspector Lynley and I was expecting to enjoy this tale of an aristocrat police detective. It's the first in the series and sometimes the first outing is not the best whilst an author is establishing characters but I am really not sure I can bear to try another unless the author has been given a sound talking-to and promised to reform. It has left my teeth feeling as if the enamel has been stripped off.

I can cut the plot
In this, the first Inspector Lynley mystery, Elizabeth George unrolls a particularly hideous plot and typically unappealing supporting cast of characters. Even our main characters, Lynley and Havers, are unappealing; Lynley is a serious slut who apparently will bed down with any redhaired woman and who crippled his best friend in a drunk driving accident, and Havers is shapeless yet also barrel-shaped and has tiny pig eyes. Oh, and Lynley is blond. (In my mind he became antiques expert identical ...more
Larry Bassett
This is my first Elizabeth George and is part of my search for women authors with feminist protagonists. In this case it will be the second in command protagonist, not, on the face of it, the most- promising start in finding a strong, independent woman. I am defining feminist as someone who supports and works toward equal rights and opportunities for women. I am interested in the development of the relationship between the two main characters. There is a tension and occasional antagonism between ...more
Nikki Nielsen
As exhausted as I am, Elizabeth George has managed to hold my attention into the wee hours of the morning. That, in itself, says something.

I was surprised to learn, after finishing this book, that the author is American. I have read a great deal of British Mysteries, and I have to say she does it well. I learned this about her after reading the book, because I never read the inside cover or back of a book until I have finished. I don't like to start out with pre-conceptions. I like to be surpris
I wavered between strongly disliking this book, actively despising the author and reading it in a compulsive how could this get any worse kind of way.

The plot in brief: a lord who for reasons unknown works in scotland yard is paired up with a working class police woman to solve a grisly decapitation in Yorkshire.

I understand some suspension of belief is par for the course when you read a crime thriller and that the depth of character plotting is not a universal strength of the genre. But there

Da tempo bramavo Elizabeth George (..intendo i suoi libri) e fra una pesantezza letteraria e l'altra l'occasione per staccare la spina e tentare la sua via era lì pronta, in uno scaffale perfettamente raggiungibile della mia biblioteca di paese. Prima esperienza, primo libro della serie dell'ispettore Lynley. E meno male che non è l'ultimo, perché io già mi sono prenotata il secondo sperando che non manchi all'appello nello stesso scaffale.

A lettura finita devo fare i miei più sentiti compl
Toni Osborne
This is a plot thick book with plenty of fascinating characters. It is a good idea to read this novel first to get a solid background of the characters. If you love rich and complex characters you will be delighted. This novel is beautifully written, has a lot of suspense and is utterly absorbing. The author leaves a message that goes far beyond a murder mystery.
Marie-Jo Fortis
Mysteries no longer seem mysterious. At least the ones that have fallen into my hands in the past few years.

What the hell do you mean? will be the retort of the critical friend. A non-mysterious mystery? And then, a glance will follow with this implication, criticism now tinted with concern: Marie-Jo must have hit her head on a real hard surface. Main be it’s time for brain surgery.

Before I am being taken to the hospital, however, let me explain. I believe that what has been placed on the fo
This was an enjoyable murder mystery, very well written with detailed, rather intense characterizations. The drama was perhaps a little over-the-top, and the Dark Secret behind the murder was a bit obvious.

The mystery shared the stage equally with the personal stories of the detectives, the aristocratic Inspector Lynley and the working-class Sergeant Havers. I like this in a series mystery novel, because in the long run I'm more interested in the recurring characters than in the murder-of-the-we
This is the first in the Inspector Lynley mystery series by Elizabeth George and it introduces Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley, the 8th Earl of Asherton and Barbara Havers, a blue collar Sergeant. The mystery alone makes this an interesting book to read, but what raises this above all the other good mysteries is the character development of Lynley and Havers. As an Earl, Lynley doesn't need to work, and even more so, doesn't need to work for Scotland Yard tracking down seedy criminals. Hav ...more
Jan 25, 2015 J. rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
This is something that happens in both directions: the well-loved book is made into a film and the book's audience deserts; or the film series that originates in the books isn't really validated by reading the book.

After watching the Inspector Lynley series on Pbs for I don't know how many years, it occurred to me to pick up on the books. Enough time had passed that the intricacies of plot and resolution would probably be interesting enough to encounter once again, on the printed page.

Well, ne
Era stato proprio un gran maleducato. Le aveva starnutito fragorosamente in faccia, inondandola di schizzi, dopo aver resistito allo stimolo per almeno tre quarti d'ora.

Solo la George può iniziare così un romanzo e non temere di perdere audience.. Mitica!!
Per chi ama il genere thriller (ma anche per chi vorrebbe approciarvisi, per chi ha curiosità, per chi vuol cambiare aria..) questo libro è davvero imperdibile. La George scrive divinamente e vi catturerà! Per me era una rilettura, ma l'ho iniz
Mivel a krimi koronázatlan királynője angol volt, a szigetországban egész nagy múltja van a bűnügyi regényeknek és sok neves írónőt foglalkoztat a téma. Nálunk kicsit kevesebben jelengettek meg, talán mert jobban el lehet adni a pergősebb, keményebb, feszesebb amerikai tempót, amit főleg férfiak diktálnak. Holott Ruth Rendell, P.D. James, Patricia Highsmith és Elizabeth George eléggé jelentős életművel rendelkeznek, amelyből itthon szinte csak a töredékét ismerjük. De most a legutóbbi jelent meg ...more
I have been a fan of the Thomas Lynley books, and before I read the newest one, I decided to return to the beginning of the series. I assumed I'd read all of them. If I ever read this first book in the series, I have absolutely no recollection of it. Aside from introducing two of the most interesting (and flawed) characters, Thomas Lynley, and Barbara Havers, the story was gripping. Thomas Lynley is sent to a small village to investigate the gruesome murder of a farmer. Barbara Havers, a failed ...more
One of my Goodreads friends suggested that the Inspector Lynley series was one of the best in detective fiction, and that the books should be read in order. I had only seen the PBS series on television, so I tried this, the first one. At first I was put off by George's oblique writing style, half-introducing many characters, with only slight hints of why or whether they might be important. And at first I thought that Lynley was far too perfect and Havers far too crippled by self-loathing to be b ...more
Jill Treftz
My biggest issue with this book is, I think, largely a function of its setting. It was written in the late 1980s and is set in England in the earlier 1980s. Thus, the mystery behind the murder, which seemed very difficult for the characters to grasp, was evident to me from very early on. Maybe I'm jaded from too much television (SPOILER: too much Law & Order: SVU, in particular), but I knew from chapter 3 or so precisely what the motive was. And I was right--dead on, in fact.

The class issues
Sep 08, 2013 Kasey rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: na da
Recommended to Kasey by: book club selection
Shelves: book-club-books
For me, it is both distracting & irritating to be reading a novel and come across either a misspelling, typo or grammatical error. Now mind you I'm no language arts professor but spell check was created for a reason, and people need to reference it. In this particular case, I think the problems were more differences between proper Brits and we Americans. It's not enough to completely confuse a reader, but it did make me stop (a lot) and reread to figure out why it's wrong to my brain. Additi ...more
Fabio Raffaelli
Non conoscevo Elisabeth George, è il primo libro che leggo, dopo aver ricevuto consigli del tipo “leggilo leggilo leggilo leggilo”. Amo il genere, quindi non ci ho dovuto pensare molto; soprattutto perché sono quel genere di romanzi che fanno lavorare le rotelline del mio cervello e quando un autore/autrice riesce a smontare tutte le mie congetture, ipotesi e soluzioni..ecco che lo adoro. Inghilterra, piccolo centro di Keldale, William Teys viene ritrovato decapitato, accanto la figlia Roberta, ...more
If you love a great mystery series, you should try Elizabeth George's A Great Deliverance, set in England. It all started with a murder, while you could still hear the baby cry from Keldare from 300 years ago. Now back to present day Scotland Yard, when we were introduced to Inspector Thomas Lynley, who was also the 8th earl of Asherton, and his partner, Detective Sargeant Barbara Havers. When they were on this first crime scene together of a savage murder, it shocked and stunned everyone in th ...more
When I started my mystery genre binge, I decided to do a little research to find out what British mystery series (I did want to start a series) rated highest amongst critics and readers. Inevitably, Elizabeth George's Inspector Lyndley series ranked amongst the highest. So I started with this novel, the first in the series, and was most assuredly not disappointed. Both Inspector Lyndley and his partner, Barbara Havers, are wonderfully complex characters, each with their own baggage and their own ...more
Amanda Patterson
Elizabeth George tells a wonderful tale; crafted as carefully as an elaborate quilt. She deserves the accolades she’s received, including the Anthony & Agatha Best First Novel in the USA for A Great Deliverance.
I’ve read all of her novels and recommend this for all lovers of crime fiction and good writing. If she weren’t boxed into a genre, her novels would be considered for more than the usual crime prizes.
Will North
This is the first in George's Inspector Lynley series and it signaled a mystery writer of great psychological depth. Thomas Lynley, the eighth earl of Asherton, stepped away from his lineage determined to make a contribution to a policeman and, in time, detective inspector (he will rise quickly in the ranks of Scotland Yard). Elegant, brainy, controlled, there are also hints of family turmoil behind his professionalism. If you are a fan of the "Golden Age" mysteries of Dorothy Sayer ...more
What a great book! I haven't read Elizabeth George before (and haven't seen the PBS series either), but picked this first Inspector Lynley mystery based on the Amazon 100 Mysteries to read recommendation.

The basic plot isn't very complicated: Roberta Teys is discovered next to her father's headless corpse, saying "I did it, and I'm not sorry." But she is now catatonic and providing no further insight. Though the mystery of what happened to William Teys is central to the book, there is so much m
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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
More about Elizabeth George...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Lynley (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • 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 Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)
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) Playing for the Ashes (Inspector Lynley, #7)

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“He had never thought of himself as much of a praying man, but as he sat in the car in the growing darkness and the minutes passed, he knew what it was to pray. It was to will goodness out of evil, hope out of despair, life out of death. It was to will dreams into existence and spectres into reality. It was to will an end to anguish and a beginning to joy.” 26 likes
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