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

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  8,201 Ratings  ·  347 Reviews
When Eugenie Davies is killed by a driver on a quiet London street, her death is clearly no accident. Someone struck her with a car and then deliberately ran over her body before driving off, leaving nothing behind but questions.

What brought Eugenie Davies to London on a rainy autumn night? Why was she carrying the name of the man who found her body? Who among the many ac
Kindle Edition, 1025 pages
Published (first published 2001)
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Feb 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, british
I've read all of Elizabeth George's Thomas Lynley/Barbara Havers series, and I must say that this is the weakest of the bunch. One of the aspects that I've always enjoyed in this mystery series is the attention that the author paid to the lives of the two main characters. In A Traitor to Memory, that seems to have flown by the wayside, and Havers and Lynley are given rather slipshod treatment. The small sections devoted to their private lives seem perfunctory and forced.

In addition, I felt that
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Deng Xiaoping
An inexplicable book, filled with inexplicable characters, unforgivably long. I still don't know what happened on the last page, yet I'm grateful George didn't expend any more pages yapping on in explanation. 1,009 was quite enough. I think I know who the killer was, but I don't understand why a character who is not actually psychotic would destroy the Guarneri violin of the man she's trying to repair a relationship with and think this is acceptable. I don't get why everyone in a book published ...more
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
aPriL does feral sometimes
I think ‘A Traitor to Memory’ was an interesting book to read. It dissects a dysfunctional family which rotates around two human suns made important by family dynamics, a son and an obsessive father.

First is the musical prodigy, Gideon Davies, who is a minor sensation in classical music circles, a favored child and now adult whose career everyone in the Davies’ world must support.

The father, Richard Davies, forces the entire family into a supplementary role behind Gideon’s talent in every way.
Jamie Collins
The writing is really good, as I've come to expect from George, but this is not one of my favorites in this series. The characterizations were as well done as usual, although I was a little disappointed that the lady in the opening chapter, a morbidly obese anorgasmic sex therapist, was not a main character. I didn't care much about the characters that were the focus of the mystery (I got thoroughly sick of Gideon's diary) and the denouement was less satisfying than usual. The author continues t ...more
Kathy Davie
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, i-own-this
Eleventh in the Inspector Lynley mystery series based in London at Scotland Yard and revolving around policemen.

My Take
This is a gawd awful depressing story but an essential read if you prefer to follow your characters chronologically. There is so much in here that you need to know. I think.

I had a hard time reading this story. It was well-written [I do have a few quibbles about the timeline George followed, see below]; but, its topic was so incredibly tragic. Such a waste. Such an argument for
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I want to fall in love with Elizabeth George. With dozens of books under her belt, she'd be the perfect author to go back to time and again for a good read. But I am losing faith. This is the 3rd book of hers I have read and and it was the worst so far. I like a long book. But length should either result in deep character development or ridiculous/funny/detailed description. Unfortunately George uses length just to repeat the same few ideas/plot points over and over. So it gets really boring.

I a
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
This one was harder for me to read of her books. There was no resolution in the end, not that there really could be, but it was emotionally draining. I also found the format - switching between the narrative and the diary distracting.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another brilliant British police procedural featuring Lynley and Havers. Gideon Davies' estranged mother is the victim of a vehicular homicide. She is a quiet woman beloved by everyone so the range of suspects is pretty sparse. But there's a daughter's death in her past so Lynley and Havers are soon tilling the earth around all her friends and relations. Gideon was a child prodigy with a brilliant career who at 28 just stopped playing and no one knows why. His diary, addressed to his therapist, ...more
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh man. Sometimes I think I notice glitches in mystery novel plotting, but never ones this bad. It's such a long long book, with so many interwoven stories. But the central event, Eugenie's death, is revealed to her son on page 226--& then again, as if he hadn't known it at all, on page 676, as if it happened the night before instead of days or weeks earlier. Also Katie Waddington, whom he visits in his quest to understand his past, is just fine--but soon we are told that she had recently be ...more
Feb 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
‘A Traitor to Memory,’ by Elizabeth George is a compelling, fascinating book. It’s a long book – over 1000 pages long – but the writing is strong, the plot well-conceived, and the characters well developed. Holding ‘A Traitor to Memory’ together is the story of Gideon, a violin virtuoso, and originally a child prodigy. We read his journal entries, written to his psychiatrist, and learn with Gideon about the tragedy in his family’s past.

One way to describe Elizabeth George’s writing is research,
Skip Maloney
Apr 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This, as noted in another entry here, was a discovery. Found at daughter-in-law's house and taken up without much faith in the fact that I'd actually finish the 719-page hardcover. But I did and it's led me back to the first of the Inspector Lynley mysteries, with a lot of catching up to do.
Ms. George is a very lush writer. Her details are very . . well, detailed and she has a way of making you see, hear, feel and sometimes even taste what her character's are seeing, hearing, feeling. There's a
Jean Cole
Why oh why did I mentally promise to read all the books in this series? The series has such potential. Sir Thomas Lynley, Eighth Earl of Asherton juxtaposed with blue collar Barbara Havers provides tension and opportunity for demonstrating how each one's background affects how they view and interact with homicide suspects. The back story of each of these main characters also lends depth to each of these murder mysteries. I lost patience with the pouty Lady Helen, Lynley's true love, early on, bu ...more
Aug 29, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a huge book at over 1000 pages. In small script, no less. I love Elizabeth George. I love her prose and her literacy. She respects her characters and the page, and it shows. But if you're going to go for a 1000 page book, it better be dang good. And it's a good, not great, chapter in her Lynley series. It could've been edited down by 250 pages and it would have been great. While I love anything she writes, the first half just didn't go anywhere for me. Or went there very slowly. Still, t ...more
Leslie Jem
Apr 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-like
this book was so bad that our book group brought it up at every single meeting thereafter...
Sandi Mann
started to watch it, because I love the Insp Lynley Mysteries TV series, but was very disappointed in this one. Didn't like it at all. In fact, I just couldn't finish it!
Elizabeth George has written some terrific books in the Inspector Lynley series, but this isn't one of them. The book alternates between long, first-person passages by a protagonist named Gideon Davies, who is writing his thoughts and memories to his therapist, and third-person passages telling of the efforts of others, including Thomas Lynley, Barbara Havers, and Winston Nkata, to solve the murders of people related in some way to Gideon, as well telling of other events and people in Gideon's l ...more
Toni Osborne
Book 11 in the Inspector Lynley series

"A traitor to Memory" is a complex novel, large in scope and one that encompasses the psyches of many of its characters. Unlike the previous novels, Lynley and Harvers take a back seat to let Gideon be the star.

I will be brief in my summary; this story is intricate and over 1000 pages, it includes hidden agendas, secrets in the closet and a fair amount of danger.

It opens with the death of Eugenie Davis in a deliberate hit and run "accident". Superintendent M
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite in the series. It doesn't focus on the core characters as much as some of the others, but I liked the diary style entries breaking up the detective bits.
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
Yet another very big book from Elizabeth George. It must take her all year to write one book, because it takes me all week to read it. This one is the mystery of Eugenie Davies, who is killed by a hit and run driver one rainy night after arriving in London, seeking out what turns out to me a man from her past and also the person who discovers her body on the roadside. Her son, a famous violinist, has meanwhile had a complete loss of his ability to play and is attending a therapist to try and get ...more
Jun 23, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Maybe a anglophile psychologist
Recommended to MaryAnn by: A friend
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A twenty-year old crime is the key to this installment of the Inspector Lynley series. Eugenie Davies is the victim of a hit-and-run, and when Lynley and Havers investigate they find a trail that leads to Malcolm Webberly and the bathtub drowning of Sonia Davies, a Down Syndrome child. The story is told in two parts: the real-time narrative of the police investigation, and the journals of famous violinist Gideon Davies, Sonia's brother. Gideon's journals are the result of his visits with a psych ...more
So finished this lengthy English mystery about a crime that overlaps twenty years and implicates everyone involved..Its kinda confusing, kinda annoying (with the descriptions of England/London and the spellings "tire" spelled like "tyre") will kinda throw you for a loop so will the changes in narration and character --just when you are getting involved and interested or a character makes a breakthrough the chapter is over and you have to get down with a new character's life and situation..For a ...more
J. Ewbank
I have enjoyed Elizabeth George's books. They have been a little uneven but this particular book is a good read for me. I enjoy the fact that she carries many of the characters from one book to the other and the characters grow on you. They become like old friends as you read from one book to the other.

This one is an excellent read and is about one of the main characters, Detective Inspector thomas Lynley, though other normal characters are found in the book also.

Mystery readers will enjoy this
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Just finished, after a month and a half of slogging. Rarely have I cared less about the outcome of a mystery, the answer to which was fairly obvious. Whenever George emphasises the secondary characters (as in, the new characters involved in the murder) over Lynley, Havers, Helen, St. James and Deborah, she creates a tedious and, in this case, over-long journey that ends eventually, but hardly with little to engage the reader.
Oct 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good, but not my favorite in this series. It wasn't the length; I could read about Lynley & Havers forever. But the timeline was little hinky between the narrative and the journal by Gideon. So it was a little confusing about what had happened when. Kind of a convoluted story. But it did keep my interest. It was a little creepy.
Jul 11, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's a page turner, lots of interesting sub-stories, but the ending was very unsatisfying. The characters suddenly acted unbelievably out of character, there were too many questions left unanswered, and the final attempt at a twist was handled poorly.
Apr 02, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Women: shrill and self-centered. Prison: makes you gay. Lesbians: make men angry. Shark: jumped.
Nov 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lora Shouse
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Traitor to Memory is a mystery on many levels. A woman is hit by a car. Then another woman is run over. This time the car backs up and runs over her several times. Why? And why are the police so shocked when they learn who she is?

In another time frame, violin virtuoso Gideon Davies has suddenly forgotten how to play the violin, after basically living to do just that since the age of three. He has begun seeing a psychotherapist to try to understand what has happened and hopefully get his abilit
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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)
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  • In the Presence of the Enemy (Inspector Lynley, #8)
  • Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley, #9)
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