Deception On His Mind, by Elizabeth George sends one of her regular characters, Barbara Havers, on a solo job. She rushes off to the fictional sea-side town of Balford-le-Nez, where a recently arrived Pakistani has been found dead, apparently murdered. Havers soon gets the job of interfacing with the local Pakistani community, which is inflamed by racial tensions thanks to actors on both sides of the divide. As would be expected, there is a list of potential suspects ranging from ex-employees to fellow immigrants, all of which have motives and means.

George tells the whole story in the course of nearly five hundred pages. While some of it is repetitive, it’s a pleasure to read a thoroughly written book as opposed to the more slender, sparsely populated ones of late. There is the backdrop of a town on the skids with renewal on the way. There is the coming marriage of the deceased into a wealthy family looking to maintain their religious traditions amidst a more secular society. There is the dynamics between Havers and her temporary boss, a relationship that teeters on the brink now and then. Not to mention the friendship between two young women whose common history is now unraveling. George leaves nothing out, building a narrative of these and many more elements, all of which spin together in a world that is highly believable.

Deception On His Mind can be read without knowing all of Havers’ background through George’s other mysteries featuring her and Inspector Lynley. Therefore, those looking for a taste of this series will find it enjoyable.

Published in: on June 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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