The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George

The Punishment She Deserves

Elizabeth George

Both a page-turner and a deeply complex story about the lies we tell, the lies we believe, and the redemption we need, this novel will be remembered as one of George's best.

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Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley are forced to confront the past as they try to solve a crime that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of a quiet, historic medieval town in England

The cozy, bucolic town of Ludlow is stunned when one of its most revered and respected citizens--Ian Druitt, the local deacon--is accused of a serious crime. Then, while in police custody, Ian is found dead. Did he kill himself? Or was he murdered?

When Barbara Havers is sent to Ludlow to investigate the chain of events that led to Ian's death, all the evidence points to suicide. But Barbara can't shake the feeling that she's missing something. She decides to take a closer look at the seemingly ordinary inhabitants of Ludlow--mainly elderly retirees and college students--and discovers that almost everyone in town has something to hide.

A masterful work of suspense, The Punishment She Deserves sets Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and Inspector Thomas Lynley against one of their most intricate cases. Fans of the longtime series will love the many characters from Elizabeth George's previous novels who join Lynley and Havers, and readers new to the series will quickly see why she is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed writers of our time. Both a page-turner and a deeply complex story about the lies we tell, the lies we believe, and the redemption we need, this novel will be remembered as one of George's best.

Advance Galley Reviews

The Lynley novels have never been among my favorite mysteries, but somehow I keep coming back to them. It's the lure of any series, I guess -- once you start, it's hard to stop. Still, I've missed quite a few of these, and now it looks as if I'll have to find the one where Lynley and Havers go to Italy, since that promises to figure in the next novel. As for this one, it's long, very long. 700 pages in hardcover. But oddly enough, I really didn't mind and I enjoyed reading the whole thing, even if I wasn't tearing through it like a thriller. I liked reading it for an hour or so a day over the space of a week. The mystery is a good one and I never twigged to which bloke was the culprit. You see what I did there -- Elizabeth George, who is an American, makes sure all the characters sound super British. No one ever "gets" something, they always "fetch" it, if someone addresses more than one person, it's always "you lot," and people are endlessly "twigging," "chuffed to bits," and so on. No one sounds as British as Elizabeth George, not Ruth Rendell or Agatha Christie or Tana French, no one. If there's a theme in The Punishment She Deserves, it's bad parenting, especially bad mothers. Evil Stepmothers are nothing compared to mothers who mean well but get it spectacularly wrong. Scary stuff.

This was the first book that I had read by this author and really did not know what to expect, however was pleasantly surprised by great character development and flow. I struggled with the first 40 pages and was really glad that I kept going. This was probably due to me picking up the series in mid strider. I will be looking into obtaining the first part of this series so that I can learn more about Lynley. I will definitely be recommending this book to others.

I enjoyed this book from start to finish. Elizabeth George pulls you in and doesn't let go. I am now a fan, and cannot wait to start the series from the beginning.

DS Barbara Havers is sent to Ludlow with DCS Ardery to review the investigation into the suicide of Ian Druitt, a local deacon accused of child molestation. Druitt’s suicide occurred while he was in an unmanned police station in the custody of a community patrol officer. Havers was uneasy with the suicide verdict and her report reflects a major inconsistency that was never addressed, going against Ardery’s orders to omit that finding. DI Thomas Lynley is sent back to Ludlow with Havers to investigate Druitt’s death once again. Unable to find any evidence to support the claims against Druitt, they instead find a web of secrets and lies that extends even to the area’s police headquarters. If the accusations that were anonymously brought against Druitt were false, who would have reason to make them? Havers and Lynley have been given a short time to untangle the web and discover whether it was really a murder and cover-up. Elizabeth George is a master of misdirection. As a church deacon, Druitt came into contact with or was known to many the people of Ludlow, providing the reader with a number of suspects. Her book is a pure delight for mystery readers and this Ione is not to be missed.

This is my first Inspector Lynley novel and even though it could stand up on its own two feet I still felt like I was missing a lot of background, which is normal in a series in my opinion if you haven't read the previous books in the series. There definitely was some tensions between Havers and Detective Chief Superintendent Isabelle Ardery in the beginning that I didn't understand which really threw me off the novel and it was really hard to slog through at first, but after Lynley and Havers join up again I found the story intriguing and that it was a lot easier to read, almost like the story's flow finally found its rhythm. I am stuck in the middle about this book it was good but not great, however, I think if I had read previous books in this series I would have felt more connected to the characters and I would have enjoyed the book a whole lot more. So my suggestion is not to read this one as a stand-alone read but instead invest some time in the previous books in this series and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

I had never read an Inspector Lynley book before and I was shocked when I saw that the book was practically 700 pages. I wondered what mystery on earth justified 700 pages. Turns out 400 of them covered side character development and crises. Fans of the series might appreciate it, but I couldn't get into it. I forced myself to read the entire thing, but I'm hesitant to read any of the other mysteries, especially if this is the way all of them are written. I described it to family and friends as "an entire episode of Midsomer Murders written out on page". George's writing is good, there is no denying that - I just didn't enjoy her method of writing the mystery. I'm glad I read it just to get my feet wet, but I'll be unlikely to read many more in the future. Thanks!

I love Elizabeth George. This novel gives the reader a little bit of everything needed in a great read. The mystery was enthralling and I cannot wait until the next book in the series.

This was my first Elizabeth George book and I'm wondering if I should've started with the first book in the series. This book was all over the place in the beginning; I didn't understand why the author was focusing so much on these side characters. I read the first 50 pages and the author had just started to get into the central mystery. I don't have the time or patience to read a 700 page book that isn't engaging from the very beginning. Perhaps I'll come back to this one, but I don't think it will interest readers who haven't read the previous books in the series.

This is my first go-round with Elizabeth George. It's well-written, but I had a difficult time getting engaged with this. I'm hoping to make a return to this at a later date.

This was my first time reading an Inspector Lynley Mystery by Elizabeth George, and I'm hooked! I already ordered the first in the series. Even though I'm new to the series, it was easy to get lost in the mystery and the characters. I look forward to reading much more from Elizabeth George. Inspector Lynley and Barbara Havers are such well drawn characters, and I know I'll enjoy reading more about their adventures. Highly recommended!

I could not get into this book. I held out because most other reviews said it was really great. Needless to say I made it 300 pages in and couldn’t bring myself to read anymore. It was the first book of hers I’ve read and I’m thinking maybe I should have started with the beginning of the series.

Another awesome entry by Elisabeth George in the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. Great characters and a mystery that ties all the players together and a very satisfying ending. Lynley and Havers are back and working together on a case thought it happens about midway through the book. For those who are leary about the Lynley series after What Came Before He Shot Her. This book is going back to its roots. Looking forward to another Havers and Lynley adventure.

I have read all of Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley novels and have enjoyed them. Some were better than others, and this was definitely one of the more enjoyable ones. The case is the death in police custody of the death of the son of a prominent citizen. The task is to revisit the case, make a quick inspection of the details, and assure everyone that there was no wrongdoing. For the first half, Lynley is mostly in the background and Barbara Havers is working with Isabelle Ardery, who wants nothing better than for Barbara to step out of line and give the Metropolitan Police cause to transfer her to the sticks. Barbara tries and mostly succeeds in behaving, but finds some missed evidence that Isabelle wants to hide. Meanwhile, Isabelle is fighting her own personal battles and is in no condition to be an effective detective. Eventually, the missed evidence comes out and the case is revisited by Lynley and Havers, who show their skills in working together and eventually solve a much larger case that anyone expected. I was glad that Lynley seems to be back to himself after some understandable but problematic actions in former books. Barbara Havers is my favorite character, and she was definitely shouldering much of the police work and plot in this one. She has great natural skills as a detective, but her tendency is to explore a dozen theories an hour, she is headstrong and socially awkward, and has no ability to play politics, which makes her frustrating to her co-workers and keeps her constantly on the verge of being demoted, transferred, or fired. In The Punishment She Deserves, she shows that she is learning some restraint, but hasn't lost her edge for policework. I loved watching all the different characters develop, with all their issues and secrets. I enjoyed trying to figure out the case along with the detectives. I will definitely recommend this book to others and will look forward to the next one.

Ian Druitt was a respected deacon of the Church of England. When he turns up dead while in police custody due to an accusation of pedophilia, it’s up to Detective Chief Superintendent Isabelle Ardery to sort out whether it was suicide or murder. She reluctantly teams up with DS Barbara Havers and they set off to historic Ludlow to investigate. Ardery is battling more demons than a possible murderer. She’s fighting with her ex-husband who is determined to move out of the country with their two sons and Ardery’s been hitting the vodka bottle too often. She’s also determined to finally find enough reason to call for the transfer of Havers out of her district. I’ve have been a fan of this author since her first book many years ago. Ms. George is a master at meticulously plotting out her complex mysteries, but where she truly excels is in her characters. If you decide to read something by this author, and I hope you do, you should start with her first book, “A Great Deliverance”, so you have a good understanding of the background of each of the characters and can grow to love them as I have. Her newest book is a long one, over 700 pages on my Kindle, but you’ll get no complaints about that from me as the more time I spend with these characters, the happier I am. This is a complex tale and one of the best that this author has written. I became totally engrossed in the mystery and I so very much enjoyed Ms. George’s humorous telling of Havers’ attempts at tap dancing. Ms. George remains my favorite English mystery writer (though she’s American). I’m already longing for her next book. Most highly recommended

I tried to get into this book. Other reviews said it started off slow but picked up. Two hundred pages in and I was still uninterested bordering on bored. I just couldn't bring myself to finish the remaining 500 pages.

This book was a little slow to get into, as many of George's books are for me, but still an utter treat. I adore Inspector Lynley and Detective Sargeant Barbara Havers. I love that they continue to evolve and have oh so many challenges that make them fully actualized characters. The mystery is compelling, as always. Another great book!

I just couldn't get into this book, there were a lot of different characters from the start and it jumped around a lot. Maybe if I'd read the others before I would've been able to find interest.

If, like me, you've read all the books in Elizabeth George's Thomas Lynley series, you wouldn't dream of missing the next one, and this won't disappoint, although we do see much less of many of our supporting characters, especially Simon and Deborah, than I would like. If George is new to you, this is a fine book with which to start, although you'll definitely encounter some spoilers as to what has come before (and my recommendation would be to start at the beginning, because I would expect you'd want to after you'd read this, anyway!) As was the case with the last book in the series, this one is more about Barbara Havers. For those of us who love Lynley, that's hard, but George has clearly set her sights on Havers' growth as a character, and it's not like she can write anything poorly. This book finds Havers attending tap dancing lessons with Dorothea Harriman, for example, but while you can put the sergeant in red tap shoes, you can't take her out of the t-shirts printed with socially-inadvisable slogans; George portrays Havers' struggles to improve herself with compassion and humor. Havers remains very much a thorn in the side of her superiors, nonetheless, especially Detective Superintendent Isabelle Ardery, but Ardery is having a tough time with some demons of her own. The theme of this book is the things parents do for and to their children. Although sometimes done with what the parents believe are the best of intentions, according to George, the wages of parenting seems to mostly be dysfunction, at best, and death, at worst. The characters introduced as part of the mystery are very developed, and mostly have something or another pretty damaged about them. This makes things rather overwrought much of the time, but it's a great foil for Lynley's well-bred unflappability and Havers' absolute determination to find the truth, no matter the cost.

For several years now friends have me telling me about Elizabeth George's books but I had resisted trying them because I thought I would not like English mysteries. Now that I have read this amazing book I can admit that I was wrong. This is a story with in depth characters in Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. Despite their different stations in life they were able to form a friendship through working together. I loved the descriptions of life in England and the complex plot. I am now a big fan of Elizabeth George's work and look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

Haven’t read Elizabeth George in years....but can see she has not lost her touch. Wish I had paid more attention...thought I was getting whole book. Will definitely buy.


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