Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley, #9)” as Want to Read:
Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley, #9)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Deception on His Mind

(Inspector Lynley #9)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  10,127 ratings  ·  386 reviews
Balford-le-Nez is a dying seatown on the coast of Essex. But when a member of the town's small but growing Asian community, a Pakistani named Haytham Querashi, is found dead near its beach, his neck broken, sleepy Balford-le-Nez ignites. And working solo, without her long-time partner Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, Sergeant Barbara Havers must probe not only the mind o ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 716 pages
Published October 6th 1998 by Bantam Books (first published 1997)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,127 ratings  ·  386 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley, #9)
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

"Barbara was well aware of the myriad prices women had to pay to succeed in police work. Men in the profession didn't have to persuade a single soul that their competence was unaffected by their sex. Women lived with having to do that daily."

Another amazing police procedural under my belt. I can't get over how good this series is, and why I hadn't thought to continue the series years ago. I will own that you have to be in the right frame of mind to really appreciate George's style of writing
Dec 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: British Murder Mysteries
I slogged through this 713 page monster because I have enjoyed George's Inspector Detective Thomas Lynley stories so much, both in print and on the televised BBC series. (I also have a hard time abandoning books I begin.) This one features his side-kick and apprentice, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, no Lynley to be found.

In this story, Elizabeth George takes on the cultural difficulties of Pakistani immigrants as background for the entire book. To paraphrase The Grateful Dead, "What a Long
So...we have a book where Havers is the lead and Lynley is only in it for a few moments. I don't think the book worked without Lynley being included. Also Havers started to bug me since based on her character it made zero sense why she got so invested in her next door neighbor. I also thought the ending of who killed the murdered man was a reach and a half. It just didn't make any sense from what we know. I honestly thought it was another character. Also there were too many loose ends that left ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
“Where is the man who has the power and skill
to stem the torrent of a woman’s will?
For if she will she will, you may depend on’t;
and if she won’t she won’t so there’s an end on’t.”

from the pillar erected on the Mount in the Dane John Field in Canterbury

The above is how the ninth Elizabeth George book in the Inspector Lynley/Detective Havers police mysteries begins. While it eventually becomes clear why George used this quote, the novel is about so much more.

Usually, there is a strong current of
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of the Lynley Series
This is my favorite in the Lynley series after the first one, A Great Deliverance. I didn't find it quite as powerful, that first book in the series moved me to tears. In this one Inspector Thomas Lynley is off on his honeymoon so his partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers--who was battered emotionally and physically in her last case--is on her own. And instead of taking the rest Lynley urged on her, Havers heads to Essex where a murder case is setting off racial tensions between English and ...more
Jamie Collins
Another very enjoyable read. I like these books more and more, and I'm going to be sad when I've finished them all. The characterizations are outstanding and the mysteries are well-crafted, as long as you don't mind the author's slight cheat of putting you in the mind of the killer without revealing that he or she is the guilty party.

This is the first of these novels to focus entirely on Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers - Lynley is absent entirely. On leave from New Scotland Yard, Havers takes
Thomas Strömquist
One of my favorites in the series. Havers is this time around the main character and Lynley largely away. The case Barbara gets on her hands has ties into the Asian community of a certain town, where the leaders have a very complicated relationship with the rest of the community and an even more troublesome and infected one with the local authorities. A situation not easily navigated, and Barbara Havers does make waves when she comes.
Kathy Davie
May 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, i-own-this
Ninth in the Inspector Lynley mystery series set in contemporary London.

The Story
Tommy and Helen have gotten married and are off on their honeymoon while Barbara has been ordered to take time off to heal after her injuries in In the Presence of the Enemy. Lord, taking time off. All that time with nothing to do but think so it's no surprise that Barbara jumps at the opportunity to follow Azhar and Hadiyyah when they must leave London to help with a family emergency.

The Characters
I think Emily do
Marguerite Kaye
Aug 09, 2013 rated it liked it
An Inspector Lynley where Inspector Lynley made no appearance, and actually this one was all the better for it. Barbara Havers gets to take centre stage, and I enjoyed that - I had got really very bored with the Lynley/Helen relationship and the whole thing about Deborah and her husband not being able to have children was getting me down, so it was refreshing. There were all the usual things in this that annoy me - principally some of the writing and tone is VERY patronising - but there were all ...more
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Way too long for what it was. Where was the editor?
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Havers shines in this installment. Lynley makes his presence known only in Barbara's actions as she channels his comments in her head. Mr. Azar, Barbara's London neighbor, is called away to a small seaside town for a family emergency. Barbara follows when she discovers that the family emergency involves a potentially explosive situation revolving around racial prejudice. She fears that Azar is in over her head. She discovers that the DCI is her former classmate and friend who seconds her ...more
Laura Wallace
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
I like Elizabeth George, but I LOVE Detective Barbara Havers. I think I've found the mystery series for me. George offers me all the thrills and sensation I crave*, plus three-dimensional characters and smart plots for the gray matter. And aside from the genre stuff, it's got this whole fascinating narrative about recognizing prejudice in your friends and neighbors that mirrors the exposition of the mystery itself. And George even acknowledges intersectionality!

A note on the audio version: the p
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to, mystery
Donada Peters really made this Audio CD. The book has characters from various English social classes plus several from Pakistan and Germany so there were plenty of challenges on accent and delivery. Ms. Peters' reading made it easy to know which character was speaking. There were also long interior monologues which where were essential to understanding the actions of each character. Peters did a great job with there too.

Of course Ms. Peters had some good material to work with. I've always enjoy
Jan 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
My mind is in conflict about this book. On one hand, I stayed up until 0336 to finish it, but all the characters and twists and turns in it were annoying, as was George's need to constantly tells us the characters who were German said "haff" "vish" "vant" etc in an aside after their dialogue until I was ready to throw the book across the room. Either put the accent in their actual dialogue or forget it all together. Or once maybe, but all the time???? I haven't read many of George's mysteries, a ...more
Azita Rassi
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Definitely the best in the series up until now. Can we please stick with Barbara and do away with Deborah, Helen, and St. James? Their absence in this volume made the book soooo much better :D I like Lynley as a detective, but as a love-struck helpless guy or as a character grappling with issues in his childhood, he is insufferable. Barbara is the best of them by far.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
As I closed this book I thought 'this may be the best mystery I've ever read'. And then as I typed it in my excel spreadsheet where I've logged all the books I've read since 1992, long before I've done so here, all of a sudden the name of the book finished on it's own, thanks to Microsoft. Sure enough, I had read this book once before eight years ago, but I didn't remember it at all, not even a tiny bit as I read it this week. And this strikes me oddly since I'm not one to forget the plots of th ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book fills in many details about what happened to DS Barbara Havers and why in later books she is seen as under the scrutiny of her superiors and possibly about to lose her job. This book shows her supposed to be on holiday and getting involved in a case instead. She is helping out an old schoolmate on a case and finds that she has a different style in investigating a case and questions whether her schoolmate is operating through a desire to find the truth or simply to find a suspect to pi ...more
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm now a George devotee. Every character George presents is compelling. I care about their futures, even if I despise a particular person or assume s/he's the murderer. I especially admire George's ability to take on the difficult subject of race, immigration, and Pakistani-Anglo community relations in this story. Muslim tradition clashes with Western European xenophobia and racism, as well as gay lifestyles and ascendancy of women in the form of female police officers.

Barbara Havers is my kin
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth George has presented readers with a masterpiece to showcase Barbara Havers on her own. Havers personal life has been in the background of every novel up until this one and we get our first look at her post nursing home for her mother. Ironically none of that angst is featured in this novel except as an aside butI digress.

George has picked up the string of otherness, of immigrants adjusting to a society that is the polar opposite of theirs and the struggles to adapt on all levels while
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
Sergeant Barbara Havers is at sixes and sevens, she has time off due to the violence of her last case, Lynley is away, and she's melancholy. Without her job to go to, Barbara doesn't have much else in her life. Taking care of her parents has been a huge task and she's not recovered yet from having every waking moment being either work or family obligations. Poor Barbara, it's a tough spot to be in.

When her next door neighbour Taymullah Azhar is summoned to Balford-le-Nez, a seaside village, the
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book! What really interested me were the relationships that were unraveled and further developed during the course of yet another murder mystery in the Inspector Lynley series. I was consistently analyzing with what I learned about everyone. Additionally, I was intrigued by the setting. The setting was at a fictitious shoreline town in England called Balford-le-Nez. I later learned that it was supposed to resemble an actual town on the shore in Essex England called Walton-o ...more
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
#9 in the Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley & Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers series.

Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley & Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers series - Barbara Havers, who's on leave from New Scotland Yard to recuperate from injuries suffered in In the Presence of the Enemy (1996) while Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Helen Clyde honeymoon. When her neighbors, microbiologist Taymullah Azhar and his endearing young daughter, Hadiyyah, leave London to visit his family in Balfor
Mikey B.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Some Spoilers

At over 700 pages the story became too overwrought. The ending with the boat chase seemed too contrived.

The characters are interesting for the most part and the Muslim plot added interest. But some of the interplay became tiresome. What was the point of the dying Agathe scenes? The eight year old Hadiyyah didn’t connect with me. What was she doing all day long while her father was with the main culprit Mohannad? And why were there so many culprits?

As one reviewer mentioned, Sherlock
Diana Donnelly
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This book took place at Essex on the coastline. It's about the Pakistani culture which for me was drawn out at times and cost at least one full star in my rating. This time Sergeant Barbara Havers had center stage and I enjoyed that. Reading this in sequence has been enjoyable and I've grown fond of the characters. Barbara is a great detective which she got to show us that in this book. She has also developed a strong feeling for her neighbors which is why she ended up in Essex. It was supposed ...more
May 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
In a previous book I complained because there was very little Havers. This book is all Havers and no Lynley, and I have no complaint! I guess I know who my favorite character is in the series. Very interesting plot that involves Barbara's neighbors, who appeared in the last book (and maybe the one before too?). Such a great series. ...more
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery

All the Inspector Lynley books are quite
wonderful but I especially enjoyed this one. It focused on Barbara Havers and a friend, another woman in the police, and issues of self-deception and racial
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story. I wanted a few more pages to resolve the charges Emily brought against Barbara. I also wanted some closure on several characters: Rachel, Sahlah, Theo, and Cliff. Their stories were left incomplete.
Kimberly Scearce-levie
I loved that this book was all about Haves... not a peep out of Lynley, Helen, Deborah or St. James. But I kept feeling that the depiction of Pakistani culture and immigrant issues felt very dated just 20 years later.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Balford-le-Nez is a dying seaside town on the coast of Essex. But when a member of the town's small but growing Asian community is found dead near its beach, the sleepy town ignites. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Unfinished storylines? 3 12 Jan 20, 2018 07:39AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Perfect Match (Lloyd & Hill, #1)
  • Death of a Swagman
  • Foxy Lady
  • Convenient Disposal (Posadas County Mystery, #3)
  • Always a Body to Trade (Mario Balzic Detective Mystery #6)
  • Murder Down Under
  • The Taste of Despair (The Master of Perceptions, #3)
  • All Shall Be Well (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #2)
  • Kissed a Sad Goodbye (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #6)
  • In a Dark House (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #10)
  • Belshazzar's Daughter (Inspector Ikmen #1)
  • A Finer End (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #7)
  • All the Devils Are Here (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #16)
  • Dreaming of the Bones (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #5)
  • Cop Killer (Martin Beck, #9)
  • Water Like a Stone (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #11)
  • Murder Being Once Done (Inspector Wexford, #7)
  • Mourn Not Your Dead (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #4)
See similar books…
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

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)
  • In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (Inspector Lynley, #10)
  • A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)

Related Articles

  Die-hard mystery fans are always on the hunt for their next supremely satisfying whodunit. To help you stock that Want to Read shelf, we asked...
37 likes · 20 comments
“He was shaking so badly, we could have used him to make martinis for James Bond.” 1 likes
“The result lay before her like an urban Miss Havisham, jilted and frozen in a fragment of time.” 0 likes
More quotes…