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April 3, 2012 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George

Believing The Lien by Elizabeth GeorgeBelieving the Lie
by Elizabeth George

Narrated by Davina Porter

Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: January 1, 2012
Format: Audio, 23 hours | 8 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Advanced
Rating: 3 of 5

Secrets, silence, lies. The dysfunctional Fairclough family has many of them as Inspector Thomas Lynley soon discovers when he is sent undercover to investigate the death of Ian Cresswell, nephew of the wealthy and influential Bernard Fairclough. The police have ruled it an accident, but a few people had a motive to want him dead, or did they?

This is the seventeenth Inspector Thomas Lynley novel and I knew I was taking a chance jumping into a series that has been running this long. I would be missing a lot of the back story, but I like mysteries and thought I would give it a try.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get engaged in the story until almost half way through the book. I know, you’re thinking, huh, you actually listened for 10 hours and weren’t into the story? Well, yes, I did, because I wasn’t sure if I was having problems because I was coming into a series at the 17th book, or if it was the story itself and I wanted to give it a fair chance. In the end decided it was a little of each.

After I finished the book, I had mixed feelings about it. There were too many characters and way too many story lines and subplots for me. And a few of them were unbelievable. The story was not tightly plotted and the author tackled a range of subjects including alcoholism, homosexuality and transgender identity, infertility and surrogacy, and even child pornography.

There were a few twists towards the end that I didn’t see coming until the last minute, but it wasn’t enough to save the unsatisfying ending. There was not enough of a mystery for me; really no mystery at all, just a long, psychological drama. [Next sentence is a spoiler, highlight to read]:
After 23 hours of story we are told there was no murder. Oops, it really was an accident!

Narrator Davina Porter did a fine job with a huge cast of characters, but the unwieldy story line made the audio version difficult to follow. Maybe if I was already familiar with the characters in the series it would have been easier to concentrate on the multiple story lines, remember all those people and the location changes. Sometimes it’s just easier in print. A map of the area and a list of characters would have helped immensely. This book in audio is not a good choice for those new to audio or the easily distracted.

Although I wasn’t thrilled with the book, I did like a few of the story lines and characters. I would have enjoyed it more if it had a little more editing, a little less detail and fewer hours of listening. Perhaps I should try one of the earlier Inspector Lynley novels. Anyone have a suggestion on which one to read?

——————————–
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
© 2012 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.

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11 Comments

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  1. BermudaOnion / Apr 3 2012 9:53 am

    It sounds like this one might have been better in print.

    Like

    • Leslie / Apr 3 2012 10:08 am

      Yeah, just too complex. I felt like I needed to take notes while I was listening!

      Like

  2. Mary / Apr 3 2012 11:53 am

    I agree with you that some books are better read. In my case I know I’d be better off reading a mystery than listening 🙂

    Like

    • Leslie / Apr 3 2012 2:52 pm

      It was all the subplots that got me. When I have to keep backing up and listening again to know who’s talking and where we are, I’m better off with print.

      Like

  3. Suko / Apr 3 2012 5:42 pm

    It sounds confusing to me! Thanks for your honest review, Leslie.

    Like

  4. Sheila (Book Journey) / Apr 3 2012 10:10 pm

    seventeenth? Ugh. Too bad it wasnt better, I liked the synopsis and as always, looking for great audio. 🙂

    Like

    • Leslie / Apr 4 2012 1:30 am

      Yeah, 17th. That’s a lot of back story to be missing.

      Like

  5. Carol / Apr 4 2012 3:54 pm

    I read the first in the series, A Great Deliverance, and didn’t enjoy it enough to read more.

    Like

  6. avisannschild / Apr 4 2012 4:36 pm

    I’m a fan of Elizabeth George’s books — I’ve read all her novels except What Came Before He Shot Her (which is a departure from the main storyline and which got terrible reviews). I think it’s worth reading them in chronological order (though that’s not what I did for the first eight or so); however, I’ll also say that the one that came right before this one was my favourite of the bunch! She does do big and sprawling all the time, which means lots of characters and lots of subplots (which I generally enjoy). I’m sorry to hear that this one was a bit disappointing, since I’ve been looking forward to reading it!

    Like

    • Leslie / Apr 4 2012 5:54 pm

      You’ll probably enjoy it more than I did since you are already a fan of the series. I’ll probably go back and read one of the earlier books (my library has them). I didn’t dislike it, I just had a hard time getting into it.

      I think it was a combination of not knowing the back story and trying to listen to an audiobook for a novel so, as you said, sprawling. If I had read the book instead of listened, I would have devoted 100% of my attention to reading instead of the 75% +/- that it got from listening. Which is why I rated the audio difficulty as advanced.

      Like

      • avisannschild / Apr 5 2012 10:40 am

        I hope you do give her another chance, Leslie, and that you enjoy reading her book(s) more than you did listening to this one!

        Like

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