Nicole's Reviews > A Great Deliverance

A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth  George
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's review
Feb 20, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: mystery-contemp-british, borrowed-loaned

Mixed feelings on this one.
Lynley and Havers are fascinating characters, complex and marvelously well-drawn (except for one somewhat gratuitous Lynley interlude). I love the way Havers is allowed to express her resentment and how her inbred distrust and dislike of nobility is thwarted by Lynley's compassion and decency.
There are some interesting secondary characters, as well, my favourite being the little girl, Bridie, and her pet duck, Dougal.
However, at times the book is too description-heavy (not quite purple prose--perhaps "lavender"?), and there are too many point of view switches.
It may be that George based the horrible American tourist on someone real, but I thought he was one of the most absurd caricatures of the ugly American I have ever seen, too awful and ridiculous to be believable--and he wasn't even necessary. The things he drops bits of gossip about could've been discovered other ways.
Also, I found some of the coincidences, contrasts, and connections rather contrived. For example, it would've been enough that Lynley's friend Simon be crippled, but he has to be unattractive, as well, dark to Lynley's fair--and the fact is underscored by having Havers think the two men are like Apollo and Hephastus. I don't want to get into plot spoilers, so I won't list other specific quibbles.
All that being said, I liked Lynley and Havers so much that I want to give the second book in the series a try (and hope that I'll find fewer things to criticise).
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Reading Progress

February 20, 2009 – Shelved
Started Reading
May, 2009 – Finished Reading
November 26, 2011 – Shelved as: mystery-contemp-british
January 2, 2016 – Shelved as: borrowed-loaned

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I haven't read these but saw an episode or two on British Mysteries. Our favorites (BMs) are Midsommer Murders. Have you seen them? I got the whole several years from Netflix and my husband loved them too. Thinking of getting them again. But I should try Linley.

Nicole The reason I picked up the book is that I've seen 4 or 5 of the PBS Mystery episodes and liked them a lot.
I haven't seen Midsommer yet, so I can't say how they compare to Lynley.

Cyanemi I have noticed in British and Canadian books the "American" is often portrayed as completely obnoxious loud and crude. Sometimes very true.

Nicole Sometimes. :)

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