Book Review: Elizabeth George’s A Suitable Vengeance

Posted March 29, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

This book came from my own shelves, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.

Book Review: Elizabeth George’s A Suitable Vengeance

A Suitable Vengeance

by Elizabeth George

five-stars

Series: Inspector Lynley #1 (chrono), Inspector Lynley #4 (pub)

Other books by this author that I've reviewed include A Great Deliverance, Payment in Blood, Well-Schooled in Murder, For the Sake of Elena, Missing Joseph, Deception on His Mind, In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, A Traitor to Memory, A Place of Hiding, Playing for the Ashes.

Genres: Detective Mystery, Mystery

This Paperback has 449 pages and was published by Bantam on May 1, 2007. Discover more about it at Goodreads. You can also buy it at Amazon

Chronologically, A Suitable Vengeance is first in the Inspector Lynley detective mystery series set in modern-day London, and fourth publication-wise.

In 1992, A Suitable Vengeance was nominated for the Dilys Award.

Tommy’s anger with his mother, Deb’s anger with Simon, Peter’s anger with Tommy, Justin and Mick’s actions, Sidney’s emotions, Mark’s activities…it’s endless.

My Take

A Suitable Vengeance is, chronologically, first in the series as it tells the tale of Deborah’s return from school in America with her engagement to Tommy during her visit with Tommy’s family in Cornwall. ALL of which takes place well before A Great Deliverance, 2, in which Barbara Havers is collecting Tommy for a case from Simon and Deborah’s wedding.

I guess I’m expecting the world especially with how masterfully George pulls all these red herrings into a simple cohesive solution. George is amazing in her attention to detail, the situations she creates, and the tension she builds (even though I have a pretty good idea of how things will end as I’m already three stories into the future when I read this story).

So, that said, lordy, what a convoluted, swirling tide of clues is this. And this is where I get frustrated with how George has Tommy behaving. He is a Detective Inspector with Scotland Yard, and he is screwing up all over the place not behaving like the policeman he is. He does nothing to secure the initial crime scene. He withholds evidence. He searches for evidence on his own. Why not hire on some divers to search the sea for the case instead of having a couple of the lads diving with masks and snorkels??

The Story

It’s Simon’s desperate and undeclared love for Deborah set against her and Tommy’s involvement, which leads us to the family weekend at Tommy’s estate in Cornwall, Howenstow — Tommy has proposed and Deborah is to meet the family.

And what a weekend to remember. The local Lothario is murdered with a particularly nasty cut with more murders following, and all the suspects are connected to Howenstow. Tommy may be Scotland Yard, but we’re not on his patch.

The Cover and Title

The cover is rather painterly with a very suitable subject — the rocks off the Cornish coast which play such a role in opening the case.

A Suitable Vengeance is so incredibly well titled as vengeance abounds throughout the story.


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