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A Suitable Vengeance
 
by
Elizabeth George
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A Suitable Vengeance (Inspector Lynley #4)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  7,699 ratings  ·  234 reviews
Award-winning author Elizabeth George gives us an early glimpse into the lives of Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, forensic scientist Simon Allcourt-St. James, and Lady Helen Clyde in a superlative mystery that is also a fascinating inquiry into the crimes of the heart. Lynley, the eighth earl of Asherton, has brought to Howenstow, his family home, the young woman he has ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 653 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Magna Large Print Books (first published 1991)
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Lisa (Harmonybites)
I do like Elizabeth George's style, and her way with a mystery, but this novel epitomizes everything in her Lynley series I find the most irritating. This particular book is set before the first in the series, A Great Deliverance. Which means it's Lynley without Havers. Havers only has a very brief appearance here, more a cameo, late in the book, two appearances less than a page each and a couple of mentions.

That leaves us with Thomas Lynley, Lord Asherton, up to his family manor Howenstow in C
...more
Lobstergirl
Elizabeth George creates a strange universe where an assault and attempted rape (boyfriend on girlfriend) is viewed by a bevy of bystanders (all acquaintances or relatives of the pair) who bring it to a stop, but then some aristocratic code of silence (they are "all too self-servingly well-bred") prevents them from ever mentioning it, or bringing it to the attention of law enforcement - even though it happens on property owned by a Scotland Yard inspector - or attempting to file charges. In this ...more
Denae
A Suitable Vengeance is the fourth book in Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series, but chronologically it occurs years before the first three. In it we see the main characters much younger and gain far more insight into the tangled relationships of Lynley, Deborah, and St. James. Given how much those relationships make me want to shake each one of the players hard, this was my least favorite so far. The mystery itself was interesting, but bizarre in a way that did not redeem the book. I did ...more
Toni Osborne
The story is very complex, one that explains the background of several characters of this Inspector Lynley mystery series .After reading the 3 first books I had trouble with the sequences of events regarding the characters things seem to be out of synch. I was trying to remember what happened to them previously and I found it conflicted with the way they are presented now. The plot in my view is a bit flat, it starts out interesting enough but it drags on and on. The characters are self -absorbe ...more
Patricia
Technically, this fourth entry in the Inspector Lynley series is a prequel, taking place about a year before the events of the first novel, “A Great Deliverance.” Realistically though, this book is placed exactly where it needs to be in the series. After the bombshell that Deborah Cotter St. James laid on her husband, Simon, at the end of the previous book, Elizabeth George takes us back just far enough to get a real understanding of the original dynamics that led every character to that last po ...more
Meg Hannah
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie
This was a decent murder mystery, but mostly it's a soap opera starring Lynley and his friends and family, set on his family estate in Cornwall. This book is a prequel, covering events that occurred several years before the first book in this series, so you already know how all of the drama is going to be resolved.

Havers only appears briefly, in a couple of unflattering scenes.

I find that I like Lady Helen more and more, and that I rather dislike Deborah.

I can't say there was anything extraordi
...more
aPriL eVoLvEs (ex-Groot)

The game is afoot! Wait, wrong movie. In fact, everything is awry in this 4th book in the Lynley/Havers mystery series. Why is Lord Asherton, Thomas Lynley, Eighth Earl and Detective Inspector of CID, not at center stage as the lead protagonist in this story? He’s a bit offstage, instead of being the one who is in the game for most of the book. Instead, it appears to be mostly forensic scientist Simon Allcourt-St. James who is following up on clues. Where is Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers? Sh
...more
Deb
This fourth entry into the Thomas Lynley series is actually a "prequel." The first book in the series, A Great Deliverance, starts with the wedding of Deborah Cotter and Simon St. James. This story explains a great deal of the back story. Thomas Lynley and Deborah Cotter are newly engaged. Lynley takes his fiance home to Cornwall to meet his mother from whom he is estranged. His brother Peter, a cocaine addict, and his girl friend are also in residence, and St. James and Helen Clyde also attend ...more
Kathy Davie
Fourth (publication-wise) in the Inspector Lynley mystery series set in modern-day London, A Suitable Vengeance is so incredibly well titled as vengeance abounds throughout the story. Tommy’s anger with his mother, Deb’s anger with Simon, Peter’s anger with Tommy, Justin and Mick’s actions, Sidney’s emotions, Mark’s activities…it’s endless.

The Chronology of the Series
A Suitable Vengeance is, chronologically, first in the series as it tells the tale of Deborah’s return from school in America with
...more
Mindy
Finally we find out what is behind the Thomas Linley's sadness, Deborah and Simon's odd reactions to Tommy. This prequel to the series also discusses Tommy's Father,Mother,brother and his mother's lover. The sad history of his family affects Tommy and makes him the kind of detective that has empathy and insight--the kind that can solve mysteries that others can't. The murder mystery in this book revolves around Tommy's brother Peter, Simon's sister Sidney and each brothers desire to protect thei ...more
Jaime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna Mcnab
The murder of Mick Cambrey certainly does appear to be a "suitable vengeance" when he is found in his home dead from head wounds, but also castrated. Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, aka the 8th Earl of Asherton, just happens to be visiting his estate close to the murder site. Although he isn't part of the investigation, he becomes involved due to the actions of his brother, Peter. There is a lot of angst in this book, as in most of Elizabeth George's books, but her back stories are always so ...more
Phil
When you're reading a whodunnit and the crime doesn't appear until after page 100, you should take the hint that maybe it isn't the right book for you.

I've read a few other Elizabeth George books and knew that Lynley was a bit of a simp and his friend St. James wasn't really much better, but this book exaggerated those annoying qualities to such a degree that portions were nearly unreadable. The mystery, once it got going, was adequate. Unfortunately the Harlequin-style writing buried the fun un
...more
Jeni
It was a little of an adjustment to go back in time to before the Lynley/Havers duo came to be, and untangling the different relationships to back to the "beginning" was a little complicated. I mean, do most people have this much drama & unspoken feelings between the same 4-6 people? And knowing how things end up later on kind of took the suspense out of "will she end up with the right guy?" But other than that, I thought this book was on par with the others in the series. And now, back to o ...more
Solarpowered
This book is a snooze-fest. The characters that were so interesting in the first three books are made out to be weak and self-absorbed. Havers is such an interesting character and she hardly makes an appearance in this book. As for the mystery - it was really drawn out and dull. When I read her first three novels I found I could not put them down. I actually have to force myself to pick this one up. I'm not sure I want to continue on to the fifth. Is it worth it?
Hannie
Dit is het derde boek van Elizabeth George dat ik gelezen heb. Ik vond dit boek beter dan Afrekening in bloed. In dat boek kwamen zoveel personages voor dat ik moeite had ze soms uit elkaar te houden. Daar had ik met dit boek geen moeite mee, ondanks dat hierin toch ook redelijk wat personages voorkomen. Wat ik een leuk aspect vind is dat dit boek wat dieper ingaat op het leven van de hoofdpersoon Thomas Lynley en zijn familie en vrienden. Hoewel ik de ontknoping niet aan zag komen, vond ik dit ...more
Kristen
"A Suitable Vengeance" takes an interesting approach to this series, in that it's a flashback going back to some of the early relationship-defining experiences of the main characters. After the stronger "Well-Schooled in Murder," it's a bit disappointing though. While the mystery is again strong with some really nice twists, the soap-style drama gets to be a little much this time. I like the fact that Lynley and his crew are being developed as characters, but we're falling into the same trap tha ...more
Nancy (essayist)
Elizabeth George finally allows us to see Inspector Lynley at his ancestral home in "A Suitable Vengeance." But while we do learn more in this book about Lynley's family history, the story really centers on the inspector's best friend, Simon St. James. That was fine with me, as Simon is an even more compelling to me than Lynley himself. This book also breaks the narrative timeline, going back to explore Lynley's life before he was partnered with Barbra Havers. (I'd have to say that I didn't real ...more
ML Barnes
This is the fourth book in George’s long-running Inspector Lynley series. Inspector Lynley is the eighth earl of Asherton and an inspector with Scotland Yard. I most enjoy these stories because of the intricate plotting. The author always has several plates spinning and in A Suitable Vengeance, we are provided with in-depth views of the complex relationships between and among the Inspector, his lover, co-workers, family and friends. Added to that, just try to follow the investigation of the murd ...more
Alisha
Read this while on vacation in England which makes it that much more fun. Nothing like visiting a manor house than visualizing the Asherton house.
I really enjoyed the mystery and the characters are well fleshed out. The drawbacks are sometimes they are a little too fleshed out. I wish George had let the reader do a little more work in terms of discovering the flaws and strengths of her characters rather than telling us.
**Notes to self
This is the Lynley, St. James, Lady Helen, Havers back story
...more
Lorraine
This 4th book in the Thomas Lynley series is a pre-quel to the first one, and explains how Thomas and Debra were engaged and were in Cornwall for an engagement weekend, along with Lady Helen and Simon St. James, Simon's sister Sidney and her boyfriend, and Thomas' brother Peter and his girlfriend. A murder of a local man starts Thomas and Simon investigating, although unofficially. There is again a little coincidence in the story as Debra is next-door neighbours in London to a character also in ...more
Joanne
Worlds colide in this stirring account of the interworkings of families and the implications of choices made in the past. Inspector Thomas Linley takes Deborah to his mother's estate to announce thier engagement. He coerces friends Lady Helen and Simon St. James to accompany them so Deborah's father, and St. James' man servant Cotter, will be more at ease.

This weekend at the Asherton Estate presents even more issues when Tommy's drug addicted brother Peter shows up with his girlfriend. Tensions
...more
Barbara
God, I swear I must have read some of these books in this series before, but it must have been so long ago I have absolutely no recall of any of these books – yet the names of the lead characters are familiar. In any event, in my attempts to investigate this series, I stumbled upon a book that is set at an earlier time the lead characters lives. What a mess however; a veritable Peyton Place (showing my age here).

This was, however a very intriguing and interesting and ultimately enjoyable read. I
...more
Roberta
Quarto libro della saga dedicata all'Ispettore Linley (e a Barbara Havers), Il lungo ritorno è però un prequel, e le vicende si situano cronologicamente prima di tutti i precedenti volumi (e Barbara Havers appare solo con un piccolissimo cammeo).

Deborah Cotter è appena tornata da un soggiorno lungo tre anni in America. Ed è fidanzata con Thomas Linley. Per Simon St. James, che l'ha vista crescere e l'ha amata in silenzio per anni senza permettersi di più, è un vero e proprio strazio. E anche De
...more
Kelly
Yes, this book is missing Barbara Havers except for a few brief cameos, but it's still a good read and gives a lot of history about the "current" state of the characters. For one thing, I'm ashamed to admit that I am pleased that Helen is not completely perfect. I think Ms. George can spin a great yarn, and I'm really there with the characters in her books. I'm there feeling uncomfortable with the English families when appropriate, I'm there enjoying the beautiful settings, and I'm there feeling ...more
Lisa
The best so far in this (not cozy) mystery series, this book takes the reader back to give the background to the relationships between Lynley, St. James, Deborah Cotter, and to an extent, Lady Helen, characters that were introduced in the previous two books. It also contains a fine mystery story. Although the events in this book happen earlier than the events of the first two books, I would not recommend reading this "prequel" before starting the series proper. The insights into the characters a ...more
Xavier University Library
Lots of bad behavior among the British upper class including, possibly, murder. This is number 4 in the Inspector Lynley series, set in the UK but written by an American. This installment is set in the time period before that of the first three novels, predating Lynley's partnership with Sergeant Havers. This engaging murder mystery also reveals a great deal about Lynley's convoluted love life as well as that of his friend, the forensic scientist St. James.
Erin
This would have been four stars, but it got a bit too stiff-upper lip towards the end. FOR GOD'S SAKE BRITISH PEOPLE, RELAX. Is what I wanted to say to the last hundred pages.

The mystery is very complicated and masterfully played out, as is typical of Elizabeth George. But the character side of the novel is what drew me. The first three books are filled with tantalizing references to the shared past between Deborah, Lynley, Helen, and Simon, and this book serves as a prequel and fills in all th
...more
Tara Carpenter
I don't usually like prequels to a series but this one was great - it explained a lot of relationships and emotional issues. The mystery was great, if a little contrived to involve so many main players. It was pretty dramatic, but sometimes life is that way. It didn't seemed to be forced drama and the emotion felt authentic.

As far as mystery series go - this one is a bit gritty, but in a good way, if you can stomach it. It isn't gratuitous and anything that is included feels necessary for this
...more
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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
More about Elizabeth George...
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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“She thought about how it was so simple with animals. They gave their hearts without question or fear. They had no expectations. They were so easy to love. If people could only be like that, no one would ever be hurt, she thought. No one would ever need to learn how to forgive.” 9 likes
“Deborah laughed, hugged the dog, allowed herself to be licked on the nose. She thought about how it was so simple with animals. They gave their hearts without question or fear. They had no expectations. They were so easy to love. If people could only be like that, no one would ever be hurt, she thought. No one would ever need to learn how to forgive.” 0 likes
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