This was another blind library pick.
Stats: Published in 2010, print book is 692 pages, audio book is 21 discs/24 hours. Narrator: John Lee.
Blurb: (Goodreads) On compassionate leave after the murder of his wife, Thomas Lynley is called back to Scotland Yard when the body of a woman is found stabbed and abandoned in an isolated London cemetery. His former team doesn’t trust the leadership of their new department chief, Isabelle Ardery, whose management style seems to rub everyone the wrong way. In fact, Lynley may be the sole person who can see beneath his superior officer’s hard-as-nails exterior to a hidden–and possibly attractive–vulnerability.
While Lynley works in London, his former colleagues Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata follow the murder trail south to the New Forest. There they discover a beautiful and strange place where animals roam free, the long-lost art of thatching is very much alive, and outsiders are not entirely welcome. What they don’t know is that more than one dark secret lurks among the trees, and that their investigation will lead them to an outcome that is both tragic and shocking.
A multilayered jigsaw puzzle of a story skillfully structured to keep readers guessing until the very end, This Body of Death is a magnificent achievement from a writer at the peak of her powers.
What I liked: The writing was very good so it was easy to get into the story. The odd thing was that even though the story is set and uses UK English slang, George is an American writer – born in Ohio. I have never lived or even traveled to England but I felt like I was there. She is also very good at making characters and the story around them creepy, especially the backstory of three young delinquents that killed a little boy. All of her characters were all very real. This came out even more through John Lee’s wonderful portrayal and voice work. His accent helped put you in England as well.
What I didn’t like: That creepy backstory was a bit long. I’m not sure why she gave it so much text since the book is very long as is. This backstory plays a role in the main story, but I don’t think it needed as much copy as she gave it. George also over does some details – e.g., the landlady going on about recycling – that I’m guessing was to flush out her personality, but since she plays a minor role, it really could have been relegated to one sentence or two.
Rating: 4/5 It’s worth your time, if you have time, because it’s a long one. I’d recommend listening to it.