Book Review: Payment in Blood by Elizabeth George (Three Stars)

Book Review: Payment in Blood (Inspector Lynley #2) by Elizabeth George

Three Stars

“[Murder] contaminates and pollutes, and no life it touches, no matter how tangentially, can ever be the same.”

Murder on the Orient Express investigated by Lord Peter Wimsey, with an old Scottish manor house playing the part of the train. As with all these cut-off-from-the-world murder mysteries, solving the crime involves untangling the relationships among the characters. That the investigators form early and conflicting opinions of who-dun-it increases the complexity.

“Silence is as useful a tool of interrogation as any question.”

The large and often indistinguishable cast is the strength and the weakness of this story. The reader is often forced to pause to figure out just who is talking and who they’re talking to. Not to mention what it means. Because of that, the story is dreadfully slow getting out of the station.

“One doesn’t throw [shared history] over simply because life gets a little inconvenient now and then.”

The edge provided the sparks between Lord Lynley and Sergeant Haley, which commend the introductory story A Great Deliverance, is dulled. Still the sparks do fly, and our ensemble expands and adds depth.

“He’ll follow orders, of course. As will you.”

Set in the 1980s and referring back to real events in the 60s and 70s, this will read like historical fiction for many contemporary readers.

“Learning to forgive yourself is part of the job.”

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