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Believing the Lie

(Inspector Lynley #17)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  12,001 ratings  ·  1,585 reviews
After writing sixteen Inspector Lynley novels, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George has millions of fans waiting for the next one. As USA Today put it, "It's tough to resist George's storytelling." With Believing the Lie, she's poised to hook countless more.

Inspector Thomas Lynley is mystified when he's sent undercover to investigate the death of Ian
Kindle Edition, 621 pages
Published January 10th 2012
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Jan Priddy It works as a stand-alone, though the author makes every effort to ensure you will pick up the next one, including a cliff-hanger involving a…moreIt works as a stand-alone, though the author makes every effort to ensure you will pick up the next one, including a cliff-hanger involving a relatively minor at the end. (less)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Mar 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
George is an infuriating writer. When she's good, she's very good, but she has a tendency to go overboard in her plots, descriptions, extraneous characters, etc. So where did this one fall? Well, for 1/2 to 3/4s of the book, I was hooked, enjoying the world, getting to know the characters, waiting for the mystery. Then the last 1/4 made be want to hurl the book into the wall.

Why you ask? Well, here's why (spoilers ahead).

First, there was no actual mystery. The ostensible crime was an accident
Karen Brooks
I would like to file a Missing Person’s Report. Name: Inspector Thomas Lynley, 8th Earl of Asherton. Description: Approximately six feet tall, blond hair, dark brown eyes, oozes class, intellect and emotional intelligence and an uncanny ability to read people. Inspires loyalty, desire and trust in equal measure from friends, colleagues and strangers.

For the last three Elizabeth George novels, at least, this Inspector, whom we know and love – the dedicated friend and partner of Sargeant Barbara
Feb 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Because I read a lot, people often ask me who my favourite writer is. How could you pick? There are so many. However, if I answer off the top of my head with my top five favourites, Elizabeth George is always in the mix. George writes complicated, intelligent, and thought provoking novels. Each book expands on the lives of her main characters. Some fade into the background, others come to the forefront, but always there are changes which impact the direction of her books.

Believing the Lie is not
Evi G
Dec 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was appalled at the idea that even though no crime was committed, Lynley and particularly the loathsome Deborah, felt they had the right to snoop into the personal business of just about everyone, particularly Alatea. What they learned was really none of their damn business. Deborah is a stereotype of a self-absorbed, emotionally-governed female who lacks both reason and accountability . I cannot stand such women in real life and I hated her in the book. Come to think of it, many of George's ...more
Jun 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery

This is a phenomenally disappointing book. Technically, George is a great writer; but she used to marry that technical skill with interesting and believable plots and characters. Now, her strong writing style just emphasizes the many and glaring plot holes, inconsistencies, imbecilities, and out-of-character actions that make up the story.

In order to fully explain my disgust, I have to reveal spoilers because so much of the offensive content is concentrated in the last quarter of the book.
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Believing The Lie would have to be one of the silliest
and most disappointing books I've ever read. As a great
fan of Elizabeth George's previous novels, I almost
feel affronted at being given this piece of utter
rubbish. Nothing about this book is believable, and the
worst thing about it is the utter contempt displayed by
Ms George for the true nature and personalities of her
beloved ongoing characters. No-one seems to know who
they are anymore. Barbara Havers as an example, would
never in a
Apr 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Oh, let me count the ways I loathe this book. I generally love the series (count me as someone still missing Helen, but still, love the series). I like Lynley. I like the supporting characters. I like the attention to geography in each of the books. But the series seems to be spiraling out of control since Helen's death. And in this book, there's just so very much not to like. For starters, the mystery at the center of the book seems completely anticlimatic. Turns out there's not much of a ...more
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crimepieces
Elizabeth George is a writer whose fortunes, I think, have waxed and waned. I’ve been reading her for years, pretty much since she published her first book. Although many of her novels have a London setting I think that she has been particularly good at embracing other English settings such as Cornwall and Derbyshire. She has also created an interesting dynamic not only in the professional workings of DCI Thomas Lynley and DS Barbara Havers but also in the interweaving relationships between ...more
The Cyber Hermit

The rating really hovers between 2.5 stars to 3 for me but I'll give it three since the author managed not to intersperse her chapters with some faux-sociological meanderings about the State of London's Poor and Disenfranchised or a tacky, paper-thin veiling of a redo of the Jamie Bulger case.

Well, I *finally* read EG's book. Does it say anything that I used to read them straightaway when they first came out and now I'm all, eh, I'll get to it?

While *marginally* better
Feb 17, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marijn Woudstra
May 01, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am afraid the books by Elizabeth George on inspector Lynley and friends are becoming more uninteresting with each book that appears. It might be that I am getting older and am seeing the flaws in the stories much clearer than before. But when I was reading this book I realized that I was reading it for sentimental reasons only. I have being reading her other 16 books on Lynley as they appeared over a course of more than 20 years and still think that Playing for the ashes is a great novel, but ...more
I was a bit disappointed by this book. I've read all of Elizabeth George's books and loved all of them - until Helen dies. From this point on the books just weren't the same anymore. The mysteries seem very constructed and the characters sometimes act in very strange ways.
"Believing the lie" starts very interesting with Lynley being sent to the Lake District to investigate incognito the accident of Ian Creswell, the nephew of Bernard Fairclough who's a rich business owner. He asks Deborah and
Feb 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I dragged myself through this book, all the while "believing the lie" that it would eventually be worth reading. I have enjoyed other books by Elizabeth George. However, while reading this one I continually thought that there was no point to any of the plot. How often does a top level police investigator waste his valuable time on some random aristocrat's special request, and on top of that, drag in some friends, AND they all have to pay their own way to carry out this wild goose chase. No crime ...more
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This bloated book was a disappointment to me. I used to love George's Lynley series, but this one is far too long and has pointless characters, subplots and repetitive descriptions that should have been edited out. I hate it when a writer gets so successful that apparently she either can't edit her own work or no one else dares do it for her. Likewise, I dislike it when any book, but particularly an expensive book from a "name" publisher, has careless errors of the type a decent copy editor ...more
Jan 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing and especially so for an Elizabeth George mystery starring Lynley and Havers. I think it was Deborah who ruined it for me, although she can't be blamed for all the tedious parts that ought to have been edited out. The mystery and Lynley/Havers' parts in it are rather minor in the scheme of this novel. What matters most are the subplots and the lives of the characters who make up the mysteries, of which there are several.

My favorite subplot had to be Manette and Freddie, the couple
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
So excited to read another Elizabeth George novel. She is one of my all-time favorite authors and the tragic and tormented Tommy Lynley one of my favorite detectives. This book was really 4.5 out of 5 stars; not as good as some of her earlier stories but far better than much of the detective fiction out there. This story, set in, what sounds a beautiful and rustic location in England, Cumbria and the Lakes District, revolves around a drowning of a member of a prominent family in the area and the ...more
I came to Elizabeth George at installment fifteen of her Inspector Thomas Lynley series (Careless in Red) - this on the heels of her delivery of a dramatic and unexpected blow to her hero that launched the story to the top of the bestseller lists. I wondered what the fuss was about and decided to take a shot. Curiosity without, one hopes, the cat killing. I'm now at volume seventeen and I can tell you that tabby's looking distinctly ill.

Our dashingly melancholy Inspector Lynley has been drafted
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I have had this book for several months and have put off reading it because of its length (over 600 pages) and size (2 1/4" thick). But I finally tackled it and it read fairly quickly. The layout, longer chapters with shorter pieces within them which focused on the different characters and places made it easy to find a break in the reading. Although it often was jumpy and hard to skip from one character to another quickly. Whom am I reading about? What did they do last? AND the large size of the ...more
DI Thomas Lynley is sent to Cumbria to investigate a death that has been deemed accidental by the local authorities. He's asked to investigate on the QT, not even letting his immediate supervisor know what he's been asked to do. This causes him some difficulty as the two of them have been involved in an illicit affair. Barbara Havers is under the gun too, under orders to smarten up her appearance. Lynley asks her to assist him without their supervisor catching on. At home Barbara is also dealing ...more
A good friend always used to comment that she looked forward to the latest Lynley and Havers novel not just because it would have a good mystery, but because she enjoyed her annual check in with Lynley, Havers, Deborah, Helen and Simon.

On a certain level, I have to admit I agreed with her.

Based on that, I should have loved the latest installment in the series from George a lot more than I did. After a couple of books focusing on Lynley in the aftermath of Helen's death, it's nice to see George
Debbie Maskus
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this lengthy novel. So many characters and so many lies throughout this wordy tome. I loved the transformation of Barbara Havers, grieved the problems between Simon and Deborah, and forgave Thomas his many sins. The story centers on the many lies we tell others and ourselves, such as the lies of parents, of spouses, of children, and of friends. I felt that George tied up all the loose ends of the story with the exception of Kaveh, the lover of Ian ...more
Lewis Weinstein
Not the strongest of the Lynley series. I thought too much of the story was told through the "story-specific" characters and not enough through the regulars, especially in the first 200 or so pages. Havers had a smaller role than I would have liked (she is my favorite character), and Deborah left her brains in some other novel. Perhaps too many story lines and sub-plots, some of them not quite believable.

Nevertheless, EG remains one of my favorites and I await her next novel.
Mal Warwick
Feb 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Unpredictable Inspector Lynley Novel

I’ve enjoyed most of Elizabeth George’s 16 previous novels about the life and career of Thomas Lynley, an hereditary earl from Cornwall who has risen to the post of Detective Inspector in Scotland Yard. Like all of George’s characters, Lynley is a finely drawn and three-dimensional — likeable, without being the sort of person you’d expect to pal around with. Her settings, usually picturesque corners of rural England, are engaging in their own right.
Mar 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I'm commenting on for goodreads. I'm not going to summarize the plot, as so many others have. I just want to mention an idea I came up with after I read it.
(view spoiler)
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I've just read a 600 page soap opera. As a faithful reader of Elizabeth George, I shouldn't be surprised. I've always suspected that she is a novelist rather than a true mystery writer. She has developed her regular characters and their stories in great detail. This time she went over the top. If there was a mystery in this book, it was transparent. I knew the biggest secret more than 100 pages before the reveal. To be honest, I found the big three -- Tommy, Deborah and St.James -- incredibly ...more
Susanna - Censored by GoodReads
A new Lynley/Havers!

And a First Reads giveaway for those of us in the US!

::keeping fingers crossed::
Believing the Lie is Elizabeth George’s seventeenth “Inspector Lynley” novel, and in this book, Tommy Lynley is back to form and back on the job fulltime.

When Ian Cresswell, nephew of the very wealthy industrialist, Bernard Fairclough dies in Cumbria’s Lake Windermere, the victim of an apparent accidental drowning, Fairclough takes advantage of his friendship with New Scotland Yard’s Assistant Commissioner Sir David Hillier in order to have the death looked into unofficially. Fairclough wants to
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is the seventeenth book in the Inspector Thomas Lynley series. We listened to this book together on audio. The Inspector Lynley stories usually are centered around a crime which New Scotland Yard, and specifically D.I. Lynley, are called upon to help solve. In this case, however, there is no crime, but only mysteries. (One of which, according to my husband, was, “WHY ARE WE LISTENING TO THIS?”)

D.I. Lynley is called away from London to go to Cumbria and investigate the death of the nephew
Clare O'Beara
Jun 24, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-crime
While I really enjoyed some of the earlier books by George, the best being With No-One As Witness, this is rather useless and convoluted with weak characters and a twisted sort of extended family. Very convoluted was my husband's opinion. I'll try to avoid spoilers.

One thing that would not happen is someone impersonating a police officer. The worst and most self obsessed character George has written, the Deborah person, who wastes half the book content for us with her maunderings about being
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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

Other books in the series

Inspector Lynley (1 - 10 of 20 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)
“Barbara wanted to go to tea at Dorchester as much as she wanted to give birth to octuplets.” 8 likes
“Should I anticipate all future conversations with you to take this bent?" Lynley enquired. "Frankly, I've always thought your appeal lay in your complete indifference to personal grooming."

"Those days are past, sir. What c'n I do for you? I reckon this isn't a personal call, made to see if I'm keeping my legs shaved.”
More quotes…