Book Review: Elizabeth George’s Deception on His Mind

Posted May 17, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Elizabeth George’s Deception on His Mind

Deception on His Mind


Elizabeth George

detective mystery, mystery that was published by Bantam on October 6, 1998 and has 752 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include A Great Deliverance, Payment in Blood, Well-Schooled in Murder, A Suitable Vengeance, For the Sake of Elena, Missing Joseph, In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, A Traitor to Memory, A Place of Hiding, Playing for the Ashes

Ninth in the Inspector Lynley mystery series set in contemporary London.

My Take

It’s a complex story with many others’ stories interweaving within Barbara’s. Prejudice and racism rear their ugly, ugly heads and murdering greed steps in to boost an overweening ego.

I hate that it leaves us hanging wondering what happens with Sahlah and Theodore. I do love the peek we get inside Muslim culture…it’s not a look at the religion per se, but how the religion shapes their lives and outlooks.

The Story

Tommy and Helen have gotten married and are off on their honeymoon while Barbara has been ordered to take time off to heal after her injuries in In the Presence of the Enemy, 7. Lord, taking time off. All that time with nothing to do but think so it’s no surprise that Barbara jumps at the opportunity to follow Azhar and Hadiyyah when they must leave London to help with a family emergency.

The Characters

I think Emily does Barbara a world of good in that Barbara finds that she is a good copper — even if she doesn’t yet realize it herself and that Emily is “not all that”. I’m curious as to where Barbara’s friendship with Azhar and Hadiyyah will go after this.

Emily is one of those insufferable women who can’t tolerate anyone impinging on her turf although I can’t blame her for her attitude toward her super…what an ass! I think part of what makes her so unappealing to me is how she allows her prejudices to dictate the case. Nor do I do like her personal principles although I do admire her pursuit of life.

Akram Malik is the father of Muhannad and Sahlah as well as the owner of a condiments factory and a member of the town council. I may not like his plans for Sahlah, but he is a very decent man and proud of his efforts in integrating into the English community.

He’s between a rock and a hard place in that he does want to be as English as possible while maintaining his Muslim faith at the factory and in his family, particularly in his family. This is not fair on his daughter, Sahlah, as she is exposed to so much more freedom in England and yet she is expected to accept the traditional role of a daughter with her arranged marriage and restricted movements.

Muhannad is a disgusting twerp whom I’d love to strangle while his wife, Yumn, is even more disgusting. How the family tolerates her I do not know. He’s one of those agitators who use and abuse a situation manipulating it beyond what it really is. He is such a hypocrite towards his family. Actually, he rather deserves his wife! Yumn. What a piece of work! I’m not surprised her father was so eager to pay someone to take her off his hands!

Haytham Querashi is both to be admired and despised for his treatment of Sahlah, although his religion does force it on both of them. If anything, their situation is an excellent example of why tolerance is so very important in the world.

I’m impressed with Theodore‘s ability to withstand Agatha‘s single-minded insatiable ego, although it is definitely tempered by his cowardice towards Sahlah. For myself, I would cheerfully strangle Agatha, the old cow.

Then there’s Rachel and Connie Winfield. Poor Rachel. Burdened by her facial features and a mother who never left her teens, Rachel’s confidence and emotional development have not evolved. I do like how Barbara approaches this in the story, a very growing moment for both.

Lastly, there’s Gerry and Cliff. Cliff’s actions are a catalyst against Haytham. And I can only hope that Gerry figures out what Cliff is up to, as he deserves so much better than this shallow limpet!

The Cover

I love the cover if only because it showcases Sahlah’s jewelry work. It makes me long for my own studio again.