Elizabeth A. George, Author . Bantam $26.95 (736p) ISBN 978-0-553-80127-9

Classical music, cybersex and vehicular homicide figure prominently in this sprawling epic, the latest in the bestselling Thomas Lynley series that has won George an enviable following on both sides of the Atlantic. This can only add to her growing reputation as doyenne of English mystery novelists. When Eugenie Davies is killed on a London street—struck by a car, then viciously mangled as the driver backs over her—Detective Inspector Lynley investigates. The suspects include J.W. Pichley, aka TongueMan, a cyber-roué with a penchant for older women; Katja Wolff, convicted murderess of Davies's infant daughter; and Major Ted Wiley, a bookstore proprietor in love with Davies. Inevitably, the trail leads to the dead woman's son, Gideon, a former child prodigy on the violin, now a renowned virtuoso suddenly—and inexplicably—unable to play a single note. Lynley and his longtime partners, Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata, unravel the mystery in their inimitable fashion, as the narrative turns backward, ever backward, in search of clues. Although some plot developments are initially confusing due to the book's occasionally non-linear style, the author's handling of narrative is consistently inventive. There are some amusing character sketches (including the skewering of an American Valley Girl to whom classical music is as foreign as Sanskrit) and some particularly moving moments. Faithful readers of George's previous mysteries should find this the most ambitious of the lot. (July 3)

Forecast:With the BBC adaptation of the first Lynley case, A Great Deliverance, due to premier on U.S. TV this fall, George stands to scale new heights in sales.

Reviewed on: 06/04/2001
Release date: 06/01/2001
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-553-84037-7
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