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In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner

(Inspector Lynley #10)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  11,979 ratings  ·  352 reviews
A theatrical producer shoots himself on the night of his greatest triumph. A young woman camping on the Derbyshire moors is bludgeoned to death. A motorcyclist is found stabbed to death in the center of an ancient henge. Is there a connection? Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley is on the case, but recently demoted Constable Barbara Havers isn't about to let him go it alone.
Mass Market Paperback, 718 pages
Published by Bantam Books (first published August 1999)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  11,979 ratings  ·  352 reviews

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Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
"How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is To have a thankless child!" —King Lear

Reading a Lynley mystery each month is honing my chunckster reading skills! Are none of these books less that 600 pages? It's a good exercise, as this year I wanted to focus on reading hefty books (page count) over number of books. While this one was a bit heavier in content than I would normally prefer (I subtracted a star from my rating), it does make me want to dive into a classic of equal size. All the references to Shake
Christina Mitchell
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
I know who done it! I know who done it! HA!

Another favorite author and detective discovered compliments of PBS "Masterpiece Mystery." I have not been reading the Inspector Lynley series in order. This is because I am having difficulties coming across used copies of the author. I know that sounds cheap, but I am cheap. And, it seems a tragedy of tragedies to spend money on shipping for a paperback book. So, I haunt the library cast-off book store where the lovely volunteer keeps her e
aPriL does feral sometimes
Number ten is superb and proves the series is worthy of reading

I absolutely believe this novel proves George to be a literary writer. Without question she also writes with a feminine 'taint'. As long as men make the rules of what quality writing must consist of, the author probably will never completely receive what she is due in respect or awards. But as for my opinion, there are few writers, literary or genre, who can fulfill both the requirements of providing reading entertainment, informin
Not too much to say except that reading about the fallout from Haver's actions in the last book drove this one a lot. Havers is still with the force, but demoted. Lynley feels as if Havers was not properly punished for what she did and is reluctant to work with her again. Through a new case though (the investigation into two young people who are found murdered) Havers works mostly with Winston Nkata in this one. So we get to see a new dynamic between long standing characters. And we get to see m ...more
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a long book. Too often, I find myself disappointed when I get to the end of a story; having grown to know the characters, becoming interested in the created community beyond the immediate concerns of the plot and just enjoying the ride. Ms. George's Inspector Lynley books are becoming longer, it seems, with each new installment. Yet I am reading them as fast as I can. The characters are believable and presented warts and all (sometimes exploring their faults more than their strengths). ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-series
The mystery portion was intriguingly convoluted, but, man, is Elizabeth George long-winded! 6 pages devoted to the back story and daily details of the person who found the body, another 6 pages for the back story and daily details of the kid who found the murder weapon, and we also get a continuing, unnecessary side plot about the murder victim's boyfriend, his alcoholic father, and their failing family estate.

I was also occasionally distracted by the odd vocabulary choices. It somet
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime book readers
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Yea! YaY!! Tommy finally sees why Barb had to shoot at the DCI to save her little neighbor. Of course his illumination comes about because of Helen, who is far more intelligent than she or her friends give her credit. I love Helen, she is by far my favorite character, she is bubbly, happy and yet conflicted about her importance in the world. She is the kind of friend I would love to cultivate, someone who is loyal to a fault and fun to be with. The mystery was so involved--as all EG's books are- ...more
Diana Donnelly
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well this is the 10th book I have read by this author. It was 594 pages long and a heavy hardback. I'm always impressed with the author's vocabulary and after reading 10 books with the same characters my fondness grows for them. There was some friction between Detective Inspector Lynley and Barbara Havers in this episode which was unsetting and bothered me. Up to this point they worked well together with mutual admiration, however now I feared I was about to lose a favorite character. I'm happy ...more
Apr 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
As usual, Elizabeth George keeps me glued to the pages, and sporadically reaching for the dictionary (reredos?).

I find it interesting that some people gave this one fewer stars because they hated the way Lynley behaved toward Havers etc. HELLO? THEY AREN'T REAL PEOPLE, PEOPLE! The fact that we are disappointed in him sort of indicates EG's skill at characterization, wouldn't you say?

Anyhow, complex plot, and I didn't recall all the details from the first time I read it (I
Kathy Davie
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, i-own-this
Tenth in the Inspector Lynley mystery series set at Scotland Yard in London.

My Take
This was such a sad story on so many levels. The end of a family line. The end of hopes. The useless death of an amazing person.

In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner revolves around Nicola Maiden and her lifelong pursuit of what she wants…now — she never has learned the value of spiritual self-fulfillment. Nik has always gone for immediate gratification and stopped at nothing to ensure it with never a thought f/>In/>My
May 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I think like most Elizabeth George fans, I got frustrated with the way Lynley behaved in this book. Normally I get through her books in a flash, but with this one I got so bogged down in the Havers/Lynley mess. One of the things I like so much about this series is their relationship and it was on the skids. I wanted to hit him.

But, it was George, so it was still a good read.
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
Lynley has it in for Havers because she didn't follow proper chain of command in a previous case, and also shot an officer. Now she gets scut work as well as demotion. He's off to Derbyshire to assist in an investigation of the murder of the daughter of an old Scotland Yard colleague, and doesn't want Havers involved, even though she's on the right trail.
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 21, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommended to whichwaydidshego? by: PBS & NPR
Shelves: mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Anna Ligtenberg
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
ISBN 0553575104 - I'm of the opinion that you won't need to have watched a movie or television show, or have read another book to enjoy this one. The plot takes a good long while to make perfect sense - this is not one of those books where you have any hope of being a step ahead of the storyteller. Once you begin to gather the threads together, it will all seem so obvious that you might need to read it again, just to try to figure out how you missed it the first time.

Well worth the i
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As the book opens we learn that Barbara Havers has been on suspension for most of the summer. She's coming back to learn her fate. She shot at a superior officer after that superior officer told her not to try to save a little girl who was drowning. (Deception On His Mind) Inspector Lynley is not in the least sympathetic, telling her that she consistently goes her own way and does not obey orders. When he is called to an out of town murder at the request of a former police officer that he knew h ...more
Bev Taylor
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
a young man and woman r found murdered on the moors in derbyshire, but each killed in a different fashion

nicola is the daughter of andy, who used to work for scotland yard in so10 and was a mentor to lynley. he asks for lynley specifically to help with the case which could of course easily cause problems with the locals

lynley has to use all the finesse whilst also dealing with the demotion of his previous side kick barbara havers and being a newly married man to helen

lynley moves to the peak
Not my favorite. Took a very long time to get to the meat of the mystery.

Things looking up for Barbara and her neighbor.
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
A marathon read of 752 pages, but worth the time invested as ever with Ms. George. This story is about the murder of a young woman at Nine Sisters in Derbyshire, but there is also a youth of 19 years old, also found dead at the same site and this causes confusion at the scene, as they have been murdered in two entirely different ways and there seems to be initially, no link between them. The girls father, is an ex-policeman, who was once Linleys superior and he asks for Scotland Yard to send Tom ...more
Paula Dembeck
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
In this tenth addition to the Inspector Lynley series, George quickly presents the reader with three bodies to think about in less than sixty pages. The first is a suicide. Why did David King-Ryder kill himself after the opening night of his wildly successful production of a musical after years of failure. There was no note to explain his actions. He had simply put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger while his wife was having a bath in the next room.

Then there are the bodies of a young man
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Another great book from Elizabeth George! Lots of plot twists and many candidates as suspects in the double murder! George writes with a lot of British slang and local jargon, so it takes a while to "get into" her style of writing. But doing that adds so much depth to the characters and it also endears them to the reader.

One bit that lacked for me was I wanted to see a conclusion to the Broughton Manor story, i.e., the relationship between Julian and his cousin Samantha. Also, did Je
Neill Smith
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
When DS Barbara Havers is reduced to Detective Constable after her perceived insubordination in her last case Detective Inspector Lynley is reluctant to use her on a case involving the murder of the daughter of a retired undercover operative for New Scotland Yard. However, Winston Nkata, his new subordinate, assigns her part of the investigation. Her pursuit of her own leads arising from her notable intuition, rather than giving absolute priority to the jobs assigned by Lynley, leads to some dis ...more
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star
This was definitely my favorite Inspector Lynley book to date. Full of twists and turns, as well as the discontent between Lynley and Barbara Havers, it was hard to not read it straight through. In the previous book, Barbara had made a split second decision in order to save a little girl's life. That decision, which involved shooting at (without the intent to hit) a superior officer cost her several months of unpaid leave and a demotion. So that played throughout this entire book. Then there wer ...more
Jamie Collins
Another very good Lynley/Havers novel. A complex murder mystery, great characterizations, and plenty of soap opera. I love the dramatic titles which suit these novels so well!

In the early books, Havers is a rather unlikeable character. She's bitter and resentful of Lynley's aristocratic background. In contrast, Lynley was very understanding of her attitude and sympathetic to her many troubles.

In this book, though, Lynley is being a real bastard. Havers is in disgrace with
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of Lynley's former colleagues Andy Maiden has asked for his help in finding the person who murdered his daughter. It's a gruesome double murder and suspicion falls on Maiden. Barbara Havers has been demoted to Detective Constable after her performance in Essex and Lynley cannot forgive her behavior. He relegates her to general dogsbody and instead takes Winson Nkata as his partner. Aside from the gripping murder investigation, the real star of the book is the struggle both Havers and Lynley ...more
Lois Wood
Nov 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone!
A re-read for me -- couldn't find anything that appealed, and Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers have never let me down. Elizabeth George is a stunning writer -- every sentence is a joy to read. I never tire of reading her books ...
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The comedian Aziz Ansari has a stand up routine where he talks about parents and children. It centers around the idea that parents can mean the best, try their best and do their best for their child/ren but you never know what child you're going to get.

There is also a belief that you don't have to be a parent to understand what it is to be a parent. In this arc George seems to be saying there is no one answer. Every parent starts out with the best of intentions but we all know what the road to
Mikki Fisher
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
While I LOVE these books by Elizabeth George, I find myself almost turned off reading them by the continued irritating presence of the Barbara Havers character. I was irritated in the last novel, and this time her actions are worse. She is truly unnecessarily doggedly self-centered in her machinations as a supposed team player. THAT she is not!

This character in the novels is nothing like how the character is portrayed in the TV adaptations. Like a dog with a bone, the book's Havers i
Perry Alers
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a devoted reader of the Inspector Lynley books and have been taking them more or less in sequence, but this one has thrown me off a bit. For one thing, it has too many characters, nearly all of whom have had severe child/parent issues in their histories. This leads to long, essentially irrelevant contemplations which do nothing for the plot. Or should I say plots? I am a simple man; all I want is a body with a hole in it and a hawk-eyed investigator. Instead I am given an estrangement betwe ...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

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)
  • A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)
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