In the Presence of the Enemy by Elizabeth George download in ePub, pdf, iPad
It's also the reputation-and career-of Charlotte Bowen's mother. And just as the Tiresome Three demonstrate in this novel why I don't care for them, Havers shows why she's enough to keep me reading this series. Luxford knows that the story of Charlotte's paternity could make him a laughingstock and reveal to his beautiful wife and son the lie he's lived for a decade. It's all the more maddening because there's no good reason for the St Jameses and Clyde to have gone along with not reporting the crime.
They have no particular loyalty personal or political to the people involved who are strangers to them and given their ties and loyalties to people at Scotland Yard they should know better. Forensic scientist Simon Allcourt-St. Her callous refusal to cooperate places several lives in jeopardy. Knowing that her political future hangs in the balance, Eve Bowen refuses to let Luxford damage her career by printing the story or by calling the police. The quagmires of deceit and betrayal that pass for relationships in the case force Inspector Lynley to reevaluate his own commitment to Lady Helen Clyde.
So the Tiresome Three go along with with this monstrous mother who acts like she misplaced a file, and don't call in the police. For she is the Undersecretary of State for the Home Office, one of the most high-profile Junior Ministers and quite possibly the next Margaret Thatcher. Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, on the brink of both professional success and personal fulfillment, finds she must sacrifice one or the other. He learns from this letter that ten-year-old Charlotte Bowen has been abducted, and if Luxford does not admit publicly to having fathered her, she will die.
Second, and worse, they engage in utterly stupid behavior that's a pet peeve of mine in amateur detective fiction. Ultimately New Scotland Yard enters the case, with personal repercussions for all involved. So not my favorite George characters. But when he opens an innocuous-looking letter addressed to him at his tabloid The Source, he discovers that someone else excels at ferreting out secrets as well.
Then tragedy occurs and New Scotland Yard becomes involved. But she's my favorite character in this series for good reasons. The Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifyingly complex and impassioned mystery series now being published.