In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of a good mystery. I’m pretty partial to a British detective novel and its usual psychological suspense. So I was excited for the opportunity to read Elizabeth George’s This Body of Death and wasn’t undaunted in the least by hefty tome with its 650+ pages.
As one might surmise given the length of the book itself, This Body of Death is no simple, straightforward story. Who wants a simple, straightforward mystery anyway? No, George weaves a complex tale that kept me riveted with every single turn of the page. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. It drew me in and kept me engaged until the last page was turned. Speaking of the last page, I always, always, always read the end of the book before finishing it. I don’t know why. I never want to but I always end up doing so, sometimes when I’m only a few pages in to the novel, sometimes when I’ve only a few pages left. True confessions: I did sneak a peek at the ending of This Body of Death and to George’s credit and her skill at keeping a mystery compelling and complicated, I was still surprised once I actually got to the end (though I had my suspicions which proved to be correct).
Curious about what the novel is about? Here’s the publisher’s description:
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.
I will warn you: George includes some scenes that are, for lack of a better word, uncomfortable. She doesn’t go into great detail, employing allusion more so than copious descriptions. However, some scenes made me cringe and there is some language. I will say that at no point did I feel as if she were being shocking merely to be shocking.
I liked this novel. I liked it a lot. Whether you’re a big fan of the British inspector murder mystery genre like me or if you just like a good suspense that is well told, I think you’ll like This Body of Death as well.
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes…. Thank you to Harper Collins for the review copy!