Joanne’s Mystery Picks

35743047THE PUNISHMENT SHE DESERVES by Elizabeth George

“More” is not always better.  I say this in reference to the length of this latest Inspector Lynley novel which clocks in at 690 pages.  I found it often tedious and repetitive, bogged down with the ongoing “bedroom olympics” amongst a group of teens.

DS Barbara Havers is paired up with DCS Isabelle Ardery as they are sent to the small, quiet town of Ludlow to investigate a death-in custody.  Their “pairing” isn’t simply to look at the events leading up to this death, but a deliberate attempt to sabotage Barbara into using her “creative initiative” once again, which will inevitably lead to her transfer to another jurisdiction – something that Ardery has been working towards for a very long time.  Meanwhile, Ardery is fighting her own demons and they get in the way of a proper investigation.

Call it what you will, but Barbara’s “creative initiative” discovers a web of mis-direction, lies, and obfuscation.  With Lynley by her side, they are able to slowly create a timeline of events which paints a clear picture of what actually happened.

This novel is all about power and the abuse of power.  My one question is: who in the story is the “she” in the title?  For I don’t believe that any of the female characters “deserve” punishment.

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