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Just One Evil Act (Inspector Lynley, #18)
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Just One Evil Act (Inspector Lynley #18)

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  9,002 Ratings  ·  1,472 Reviews
Sergeant Barbara Havers is at a loss: The daughter of her friend Taymullah Azhar has been taken by her mother, and Barbara can’t really help—Azhar had never married Angelina, and his name isn’t on Hadiyyah’s, their daughter’s, birth certificate. He has no legal claim. Azhar and Barbara hire a private detective, but the trail goes cold.

Azhar is just beginning to accept his
Hardcover, 720 pages
Published October 10th 2013 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published January 1st 2013)
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Linda It can be read as a stand-alone. I think, though, that reading the series in order gives a fullness - a greater understanding of the characters - esp.…moreIt can be read as a stand-alone. I think, though, that reading the series in order gives a fullness - a greater understanding of the characters - esp. Havers and Lynley - than you get from reading this as a stand-alone novel.
Sonia Yes, in the "acknowledgments" section at the end of the book Elizabeth George mentions having taken Italian lessons and having explored the town,…moreYes, in the "acknowledgments" section at the end of the book Elizabeth George mentions having taken Italian lessons and having explored the town, spoken to police and people in Lucca and so on. By the accurate descriptions I can tell (for I live in that area) that she must have visited all the places mentioned in the novel, the town of Lucca and the small villages in the Garfagnana area (on the Apuan Alps).
I wonder whether she chose Lucca as a setting for the novel after a holiday there or whether she went there expressively for a novel research.(less)

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Holly Robinson
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Since I'm a writer, I hate posting negative reviews almost as much as I hate receiving them. But I'm just hoping to join in the conversation here and say, "What the hell happened?" As I was reading Elizabeth George's newest tome, Just One Evil Act, I found myself wanting to not only converse with her, but possibly shout at her, too.

I've been a loyal George fan through the years, buying every one of her novels in hardcover (and, occasionally, as digital books, too, when a book is too heavy to t
Much too long for the story it told.

I love Elizabeth George, but this 700+ page tale needed a stronger editor.

There were only so many times I could go through the "Azhar's in trouble! Only Barbara can help him! Of course, Barbara can only help him by doing something unethical/terribly stupid! Quick, call the tabloids! Now . . . what will Lynley/Ardry/Salvatore/people in power do?" cycle before wanting to scream when the whole cycle repeated itself again . . . and again . . . and again.

Christina McLain
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
You really wish that the authors of some of these books would read the reviews here.Many many reviewers had the same feelings I did about this bloody series.
Elizabeth George is a damn good storyteller but she has got to get a life, or more precisely let her characters get a life!! I wonder if she has fallen into the same trap as Peter Robinson.He appears to be using his creation, detective Alan Banks, to live out a middle-aged male fantasy as Banks is a man who can always always get beautiful
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
How to tell when a mystery writer has been working on the same characters for too long:
1. She forgets to murder anyone until the book is more than halfway done
2. She invents new and horrible ways to torture old familiar much-loved characters
3. She inserts random italian phrases in to the text without translation, requiring the use of a translation dictionary to understand what is going on.

Additionally, this book is really really really really long. I used to love this series but it is well and t
Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George follows up where Believing the Lie left off with Taymullah Azhar looking for his missing daughter Hadiyyyah. I was truly hoping this book would be the turn around book, when the characters would be set right and true sleuthing would recommence. This is George’s eighteenth book in her Lynley series and while I adored the first 15 books, I have struggled since. I truly adored the original Lynley/Havers relationship and that has been sorely lacking in the past ...more
Sep 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What an infuriating book. By miles, it's the worst in the series--which I really liked very much (up to this point).

I'm getting a really strong feeling that George is tired of this series. She departed from it almost completely a couple of books ago, to tell the story of a hapless killer (only connected because his random victim was part of the series). Here, she spends hundreds of pages creating and building up new, unrelated characters in Italy. Anything seems to be preferable to continuing wi
Dec 16, 2013 rated it did not like it
(may contain spoilers)

I listen to books on CD almost exclusively now due to medical reasons, and I kept on yelling at the player (in my car or at home, listened to book on both as it was a l-o-n-g, drawn-out book) "Are you kidding me?"

The actions of Barbara Havers were so out of character (readers know what to expect from Barbara, her personality and character built up over many, many books) and this was such an antithesis of her... and each decision she made was so ridiculous, and egregious (w
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
OK, to start with, I am a HUGE fan of EG. There have been some recent bumps in the road, and I REALLY wanted to love this. And in some ways, I did! The past two days I was agitated, and realized it was because I was SO annoyed at one of the character's actions -- she KNOWS better! WTF? etc.

Then reality took hold and I realized that this book was really good, since it was eliciting that kind of reaction from in, disappointment at the actions of people who aren;t real (because, clearly th
Jan 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poor Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers.

Lynley's partner is a character created to elicit a wince. She's the visual equivalent of a three-car pile-up; socially inept (and unrepentant about it), stubborn, coarse, and cursed with the inability to think beyond the moment she's in or the emotion she's feeling. DS Havers may be competent on the job but, as her author takes fresh pains to point out, she's startlingly naïve for a member of London's metropolitan police force. And to make matters worse, s
Lewis Weinstein
Nov 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant first chapter ... Lynley is at a roller derby match. EG shows us that Lynley is different, or at least trying to be different, from the man he was before Helen was killed.

UPDATE 11/20/13 ...

This is a magnificent novel, perhaps EG's best ever.

Barbara Havers is at the center of it, in all her disheveled glory. Brilliant, persistent, mistake prone - she dominates the book. Lynley is there, an Italian detective is charming, a tabloid journalist is appropriately despicable, but this is
Andra Watkins
Nov 26, 2013 rated it liked it

I used to love this series. Note to Elizabeth George and her people: GET A GRIP. Books need editors, even when the author makes piles of money and has a ready following. This book is 300 pages too long, packed full of details and description that goes nowhere. The plot is absolutely unbelievable, with the characters behaving in ways that aren't true to who they've been in this series. And the Italian was both pompous and distracting.

Personally, I think George is I sick of this whole thing,
Nov 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
Ms. George's need to show us all her worldliness and sophistication is pathetic. And annoying. It's bad enough that we've spent years putting aside her American pretensions to British-ness for the sake of a good story but now we all have to see how very Continental she is as well. Oh. Lucky us. The Italian dialogue is a ridiculous waste of space since it has to be translated in the next paragraph anyway - probably one of the reasons this book is a billion pages long. The only purpose it actually ...more
Oct 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! In my opinion, this is the best Elizabeth George novel since Playing for the Ashes and In the Presence of the Enemy, both published in the 1990s. In this novel, George explores the consequences of a single act of gross betrayal leading to a series of responses that raise questions about ethical questions, professional behavior, and the ambiguity of justice. This is not a stand-alone novel because it helps to know the previous relationships and history of Inspector Lynley, Barbara Have ...more
Susan Johnson
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Elizabeth George just seems to have lost her way after she killed Helen. I think her good books are the ones before Helen died and it's been almost painful since then. This book has more going for it than the other ones since Helen's death. First of all, it features Barbara Havers. She is such an unique character that it's just fun reading about her. Unfortunately she's a little much to be taking the whole book on her back. She works best when she works with Lynley and they haven't worked reall ...more
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
George has been writing this series featuring Inspector Lynley and Detective Sergeant Havers since 1988, and this is her eighteenth novel in the series. As I listened to the incomparable Davina Porter read this novel, I thought that writing this gigantic mystery seemed less like hard work and more like fun for George. She is so experienced, and so familiar with her characters by this time that she appears to riff off them with ease. She has them travel to Italy when Barbara discovers her favorit ...more
Nov 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
I wasn't expecting this book to be over 700 pages, and I skipped large chunks and still kept up with the plot.

I've grown disenchanted with the Lynley series for a few years now-the books have become downright depressing from the first page. With this book, it struck me how little help Lynley was to Barbara-he seemed much more interested in pursuing Daidre while keeping his aristocratic toes carefully out of the s**t Barbara was creating, telling himself that he'd be of more use if he wasn't in
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Opinionated. Wrinkled, Reeking of Smoke. Definitely NOT a fashion-plate. This is Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers of New Scotland Yard. Assistant to Inspector Thomas Lynley, she has been most annoying and helpful in all of the Lynley Novels but this time she is on her own.

Barbara’s neighbor, Taymullah Azhar, his daughter and her mother are close friends – so it was thought. When Angelina takes the daughter and disappears for months; Azhar and Barbara commiserate daily. She becomes close. He doe
John New
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Unfortunately I think the Inspector Lynley series is beginning to run out of steam as it seems to be drifting further and further away from what made the early ones good. I've read them all, not sure that if I had read this as my first it would convince me to read the rest. Will probably buy the next but more out of habit than desire. Plot line isn't convincingly authentic to me as a British police story, don't believe even under stress Haver's would act as she does etc....
Jill Heather
Oct 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
I do not believe that a single character in the earlier books would have acted the way they did in this book.
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well I still haven't forgiven Elizabeth George for killing off Thomas' wife and baby a few books ago, but I'm a little less mad at her after this's pretty darned good---and pretty darned long. This entry in the Thomas Lynley series brought the Barbara, Azhar, Hadiyyah relationship to a resolution (at least for now) in a long and very complex plot revolving around Hadiyyah's kidnapping. Barbara Havers, an intriguing character and a stanch supporter of Thomas through all the many Lynley ...more
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
I have read all of Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley novels, and this will be my last!
The early stories were shorter and crisper, and the characters interesting and believable. After some considerable delay I read Believing the Lie, and decided to continue with One Evil Act as Haddiyah is one of the truly appealing characters in the series. Regrettably, Lynley and Barbara are becoming caricatures of their former selves; the permutations of the plot were extended beyond reason. The untranslated
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mal Warwick
Feb 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Picking up a new entry in the Inspector Thomas Lynley series is like revisiting an old friend — in fact, a whole coterie of old friends, with all their quirks and characteristics intact. In Just One Evil Act, the eighteenth novel in the series, Elizabeth George affords us a long yet none too leisurely visit with Lynley, but even more so with his long-lasting partner in crime investigation, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers.

Havers is a piece of work. With a body shaped like a barrel, and a wardro
Clare O'Beara
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: europe, british-crime
Latest in the series about Lynley and Havers of New Scotland Yard. A little girl goes missing - a half-Pakistani, the friend and neighbour of Barbara Havers. Barbara gets involved though it is not her job, even finding a private investigator, and turns out the girl is with her mother in Italy - but is then kidnapped from her mother's care. The father swears he did not take her, as the mother suspects, to bring her to Pakistan. But then where is the child?

Sadly this is too long and has too much
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
All it takes is "Just One Evil Act" to turn someone's world upside down. This book is more about Barbara Havers and less about Inspector Lynley. Barbara has become very attached to her Azarh, Pakistani microbiologist neighbor and his 9 yr old daughter, Haddiyah. The scientist left his wife to be with his daughter's mother, Angela Upton, but never married her. She left, came back and left again - this time taking their daughter with her. To complicate matters, the child has her mother's surname a ...more
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
I've had my problems with the Lynley books ever since Helen's death. What still kept me reading them were the main characters, especially Barbara Havers. She's very special and I like her unorthodox methods. But in Just One Evil Act Barbara's behaviour often was hardly bearable. She acts extremely immature, naive and often simply stupid. While this is partly understandable especially when you look at the miserable live she's leading it makes reading this book very tedious.
On top of that the actu
Shirley Schwartz
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is most definitey a story about Barbara Havers and her madcap way of policing. The book takes us from London to Italy and back again, and it is a story about love, betrayal, obsession, kidnapping and murder. The book is extremely long, and to me this was to its detriment. I found it tough slogging through the 700 plus pages, and there were times when I got so frustrated with the way Barbara was behaving that I almost put the book away. But this is Elizabeth George and she is a wonderfu ...more
Sharon  Chrust
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished "Just One Evil Act" by Elizabeth George this afternoon. I'm in that awkward place right now where I keep thinking I need to get back to reading to find out what's going on with the characters! They were totally intertwined in my life. After over 700 pages, I guess that could be expected but it wasn't just the length of the book. As usual with George, it was so well written it could make lesser writers sob in frustration. It was complex, intricate, exasperating, touching, true always t ...more
Elizabeth George's ability to lay bare the inner lives of her characters - the workings of their minds and hearts - shines in the latest Lynley and Havers novel. What do you do when the mind says you should follow one path, but the heart urges another? How far are you willing to go, and what will you sacrifice? All the characters, especially Barbara Havers, must confront these questions, and make difficult choices. The book is a bit bloated, and at times the numerous subplots detract from the ma ...more
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
This 18th book in the British Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley series focuses on Lynley’s partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. Barbara is close to her neighbors, Taymullah Azhar and his daughter, nine-year-old Hadiyyah. When Hadiyyah’s mother Angelina takes Hadiyyah and disappears, Barbara puts her career on the line to help Azhar. Azhar never married Angelina, so he doesn’t have any legal rights in the matter. Barbara determines that they must go outside the bounds of the law to find Ha ...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 about Elizabeth George

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)
“loathsome Upmans. He thought, ridiculously, that she owed him something. She began to babble, regardless of the fact that he couldn’t understand a word she was saying. He could see that she was trying to explain and that she was asking him to find someone who” 0 likes
“replaced him.” “Was he pulled from the case?” 0 likes
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