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Payment In Blood (Inspector Lynley, #2)
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Payment In Blood (Inspector Lynley #2)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  12,855 Ratings  ·  443 Reviews
The career of playwright Joy Sinclair comes to an abrupt end on an isolated estate in the Scottish Highlands when someone drives and eighteen-inch dirk through her neck. Called upon to investigate the case in a country where they have virtually no authority, aristocratic Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, grapple for both ...more
Paperback, 395 pages
Published October 26th 1990 by Bantam (first published 1989)
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This is one of a series of novels about Elizabeth George's creation Inspector Lynley and his sidekick Sergeant Havers. These two characters are a chalk-and-cheese coupling. The aristocrat Thomas Lynley is steeped in tradition but fighting his destiny, wanting more meaning to his life. The council-house bred Barbara Havers is an ambivalent character, saddled with an antipathy to all that Lynley stands for combined with a chip on her shoulder. Add to the mix a doomed romantic liaison and you have ...more
Richard Derus
Jul 25, 2011 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: 3.875* of five

The Book Report: Inspectory Thomas Lynley, aka the eighth Earl of Asherton, is a hard-working man, but even he likes a few days' rest after chasing from pillar to post in solving brutal crimes. His rest is denied him by a call from his boss, at home, on a Sunday: A murder has occurred, in Scotland, and *only* Lynley can be trusted to investigate because it involves a famous Peer of the Realm.


Yeah, uh-oh and in spades, as Lynley tromps ill-temperedly up to Scotland whe
I'm reading the Inspector Lynley novels out of order - having been deterred from reading them for years by the rather mediocre TV series, I was hugely impressed when I eventually got round to reading some of the more recent books in the series. I'm now catching up with the earlier novels.

This one was certainly compelling enough - lots of intriguing subplots, twists and red herrings - but the faults of the series were amplified and I felt the book lacked the originality which lifts the later book
Good Lord, could a story be any more confusing?

• Do all of the characters have to be having affairs with each other (either in this book, or as part of their back stories)?
• Do in-laws really have sex with each other as much as they do in this novel?
• Do most of these characters have to have 3 or 4 names? I wish the author could have decided whether or not to use their first name, surname, peerage title, or professional title… and then STUCK WITH THAT!

If you can keep all these characters strai
Sarah Messick-Milone
I'm not a huge fan of Elizabeth George, but I always finish every book of hers that I pick up. This one was actually one of her bests. The reviews on the back keep comparing George to P. D. James and though I think such a comparison is ludicrous, this Lynley mystery does read like a watered down James novel. The setting and set-up were classic, and the pace moved right along and kept my interest. The problem with this book, as with all George's book in my opinion, is her tendency to descend into ...more
Kathy Davie
Mar 18, 2011 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Second in the Inspector Lynley mystery series, Payment in Blood involves murders, cover-ups, and suicide amongst a group of theatrical people. The story starts at a country house in Scotland in the middle of winter where the group has planned an initial run-through of a new play although it proves to be a much newer play than anyone had anticipated.

The past of over 20 years has come back to haunt several of our participants and too many motives and too many suspects without a credible bit of evi
I have recently read out of order a later book in this series and enjoyed it so I decided to read some of the earlier books. Payment in Blood is the second in the series. I enjoyed seeing the development in Lynley and his sidekick/partner Havers. This was a classic isolated country manor mystery, with Lynley being called in due to political reasons that are explored and exposed in the book. The references to Christine Keeler and John Profumo were interesting and added to setting by connecting to ...more
Lora King
A very good #2 book in the series. Two murders in Scotland, a suicide/murder in a small town outside London and secret espionage in the upper classes from 1962! Lots going on and all tied together. Inspector Lynley and Detective Havers are on the case. I love Havers and how she interacts with Lynley, love Simon St James and his wife, but Lady Helen I could do without. I was not a fan of hers at all in this book. Hopefully she will redeem herself in the next. I'm definitely hooked on this series ...more
Thomas Lynley, at 34 years of age, is a detective inspector with the CID at New Scotland Yard. He is very good at his job and well respected amongst his peers. And, in this book, that is the start of his troubles. For Thomas Lynley is a peer. He is Lord Asherton, the eighth Earl of Asherton, to be exact. And his presence is commanded by the upper echelon of the Yard when Stuart Rintoul, Lord Stinhurst, sixteenth or seventeenth Earl of Stinhurst, finds himself at the scene of a murder.

Lord Stinh
I recently read the first book in this series, A Great Deliverance, and decided to push on with the second one because I was curious to see how the characters developed.

The two main characters, Inspector Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, are opposites in many ways - Lynley, the wealthy aristocrat, and Havers, the working class woman who has had to struggle for everything she has and who has a chip on her shoulder for the privileged aristocracy. One thing they share is a commitment t
Nov 15, 2010 Giulietta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La seconda avventura della strana coppia Linley-Havers è molto diversa dalla prima, per numerosi motivi.
Innanzitutto la diversità e complementarietà dei due due protagonisti è qui fortemente sottolineata, fino a renderla elemento risolutore dell'intero caso: un espediente molto azzeccato, che permette di far crescere il rapporto fra i due colleghi.
L'ambientazione: la Scozia, un castello e un delitto "da stanza chiusa" che può piacere anche agli amanti del giallo più tradizionale.
I comprimari,
Scott Rhee
Another excellent murder mystery from Elizabeth George, "Payment in Blood" is, I think, the second in her series featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley and partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. This one ironically utilizes just about every British murder mystery cliche in the book: a diverse group of people stuck in a small rural bed-and-breakfast, a victim found murdered in her bed, and a large list of suspects each with viable motives. The victim in this case is Joy Sinclair, a ...more
My first audiobook of the year, and immensely enjoyed it.
I have read this book earlier, a decade or so ago, but jumbled up in the series, and last year decided to read this police procedural series in order, as the emotional lives of the police and their near and dear ones are given as much importance as the crime and its solution. This book deals with a closed room murder of a much hated playwriter in a stately mansion turned hotel on a snowy winter night. The house is inhabited by the people i
Jul 30, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books-read
Once again, I must have read this years ago, but I didn't remember anything about it. In this 2nd outing, Lynley and Havers are sent to Scotland to investigate the murder of an playwright. There's something fishy about the assignment, and Havers is quick to conclude that Lynley was assigned because the chief suspect is a fellow peer. The investigation is complicated by the presence of Lady Helen Clyde and her current lover. Elizabeth George does a superb job of depicting the tensions between Hel ...more
Oct 09, 2012 Kestrell rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not really impressed by this series, if this book is representative. The title character is veeeery aristocratic, and sensitive, and aesthetically refined, to a degree which makes Lord Peter look like a commoner; unfortunately, there is none of the witty amusing dialogue, so the whole story is rather humorless. Much ink is spilled portraying the way the inspector is torn between his upper class code and his code as an officer of the law, much Like in P. D. James series where the inspector is tor ...more
I enjoyed the 2nd instalment of George's Lynley/Havers series, but not quite as much as the first one. The mystery itself is a bit convoluted but plays out in almost Christie-like form, so more of a traditional English mystery, with lots of characters, lots of possible suspects, etc... I regretted not taking notes of each character so I knew who was who, as it was a bit confusing with the characters being so inter-related to each other.
Overall, a solid mystery, and I like the developing rela
Jamie Collins
3.5 stars. A well-written, satisfying murder mystery, although it's nothing out of the ordinary: a murder at a B&B in Scotland, with all the guests as suspects. The recurring characters are as interesting as they were in the first book, and Barbara Havers is much more likable this time. I look forward to reading more of these.
I find mystery novels with unlikeable victims generally difficult to read. That said, beyond the rather disappointing plot, the development of the Lynley characters is not to be missed - particularly witnessing Lynley behaving abominably. If you read the whole Elizabeth George series, don't skip this one. Key to character development.
Apr 30, 2014 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of PD James
Recommended to Cindy by: Sue Christensen
Had a little trouble getting started with this book. Character names were similar and interconnections between the characters were multiple...but it was worth the confusion in the end. A great mystery In the British tradition!! George's development of the primary characters is masterful. I'm really enjoying this series of books. On to the next in line.
May 10, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a
I don't really know how many stars to give this one... I have read and enjoyed many later George novels and decided to start at the beginning. But then I realized that I'd seen this one as a TV programme, and unfortunately that sort of spoiled it for me. But the writing is good and the plot is nicely twisted, even if I did already know the outcome.
Oct 16, 2009 Lobstergirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of her best (I haven't read them all yet, maybe it is the best). The plot and subplots are good, there are nice twists, and the writing is quite good. The relationships between Lynley, Havers, Helen, and St. James are well limned. The one disappointment was the murderer; she could have fleshed him or her more thoroughly in earlier chapters.
Dec 02, 2015 Patti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was like a good old fashioned game of Clue. Elizabeth George didn't make it easy to figure out who the killer was and by the way, I guessed wrong. This is the second book in this massive series and so far I'm really enjoying them.
Feb 18, 2015 Ronald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another very enjoyable (and rather sad) chapter in Lynley and Havers lives. The mystery itself almost takes backseat to Lynley's plight. You can almost physically feel his heart breaking through the pages. As well as those around him.
Sep 21, 2008 Dani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: private-reading
this was my first exposure to Elizabeth George. I loved her writing and will read more. I now use the adjective "bloody"
Dec 04, 2016 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“[Murder] contaminates and pollutes, and no life it touches, no matter how tangentially, can ever be the same.”

Murder on the Orient Express investigated by Lord Peter Wimsey, with an old Scottish manor house playing the part of the train. As with all these cut-off-from-the-world murder mysteries, solving the crime involves untangling the relationships among the characters. That the investigators form early and conflicting opinions of who-dun-it increases the complexity.

“Silence is as useful a to
Dec 27, 2016 Doris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won't be reading any more of the series. The writing is very good, and the mysteries are set up well, too. I also love the characters. But I hate the needless, numerous, and very vulgar sexual references. They weren't as disturbing as they were in the first book (because that was part of the story), but I still don't want to read them. I'm sad, too, because apart from that, I really enjoyed both books in this series that I've read.
Dec 11, 2016 Delia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know i like the series and want to continue reading them but this book was not as good as the first one. I had troubles with the multiple names the characters had and all the affairs among them. It was an interesting story with a compeling plot
Jan 13, 2017 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's something cheesy about these books. Maybe it's a cultural difference, but I find their mannerisms a little silly and contrived. It's hard for me to believe the relationships. Still, an interesting read if a little slow.
Jan 22, 2017 Jaye rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed. My first Lynley books was her latest "A Banquet of Consequences" which I thought was really very good. Based on that, I decided to go back and read her earlier work. I'll definitely try another, but "Payment in Blood" was definitely not as good as her more recent work.
Neil Pittman
Jan 12, 2017 Neil Pittman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever miss Agatha Christie? Want a closed room mystery? If you want inspectors who are deeper than Marple or Poirot, this book is for you. How was this written in 1989 and I've only found it now?
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Goodreads Librari...: Wrong author 5 34 Sep 07, 2014 10:35PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add new book to series 3 17 Sep 08, 2013 09:50AM  
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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)
  • A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1)
  • 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)

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