The Punishment She Deserves

The Punishment She Deserves

Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley are forced to confront the past as they try to solve a crime that threatens to tear apart the very fabric of a quiet, historic medieval town in EnglandThe cozy, bucolic town of Ludlow is stunned when one of its most revered and respected citizens–Ian Druitt, the local deacon–is accused of a serious cri...

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Title:The Punishment She Deserves
Author:Elizabeth George
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Punishment She Deserves Reviews

  • Marjorie

    Ian Druitt was a respected deacon of the Church of England. When he turns up dead while in police custody due to an accusation of pedophilia, it’s up to Detective Chief Superintendent Isabelle Ardery to sort out whether it was suicide or murder. She reluctantly teams up with DS Barbara Havers and they set off to historic Ludlow to investigate. Ardery is battling more demons than a possible murderer. She’s fighting with her ex-husband who is determined to move out of the country with their two so

    Ian Druitt was a respected deacon of the Church of England. When he turns up dead while in police custody due to an accusation of pedophilia, it’s up to Detective Chief Superintendent Isabelle Ardery to sort out whether it was suicide or murder. She reluctantly teams up with DS Barbara Havers and they set off to historic Ludlow to investigate. Ardery is battling more demons than a possible murderer. She’s fighting with her ex-husband who is determined to move out of the country with their two sons and Ardery’s been hitting the vodka bottle too often. She’s also determined to finally find enough reason to call for the transfer of Havers out of her district.

    I’ve have been a fan of this author since her first book many years ago. Ms. George is a master at meticulously plotting out her complex mysteries, but where she truly excels is in her characters. If you decide to read something by this author, and I hope you do, you should start with her first book, “A Great Deliverance”, so you have a good understanding of the background of each of the characters and can grow to love them as I have. Her newest book is a long one, over 700 pages on my Kindle, but you’ll get no complaints about that from me as the more time I spend with these characters, the happier I am. This is a complex tale and one of the best that this author has written. I became totally engrossed in the mystery and I so very much enjoyed Ms. George’s humorous telling of Havers’ attempts at tap dancing. Ms. George remains my favorite English mystery writer (though she’s American). I’m already longing for her next book.

    Most highly recommended

    This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.

  • Sandra

    Please note: I read this as a free e-ARC from Netgalley. As I wasn’t too enamored with Elizabeth George’s last two Lynsey novels, I started this one with trepidation. However, I should not have been concerned. I really felt like this one was one of her best installments. As it begins, Ardury and Havers are sent to Ludlow to follow up on an suicide investigation. Due to Ardury’s increasing alcohol dependency clues are missed and not followed up. Barbara Havers is tasked in writing the report only

    Please note: I read this as a free e-ARC from Netgalley. As I wasn’t too enamored with Elizabeth George’s last two Lynsey novels, I started this one with trepidation. However, I should not have been concerned. I really felt like this one was one of her best installments. As it begins, Ardury and Havers are sent to Ludlow to follow up on an suicide investigation. Due to Ardury’s increasing alcohol dependency clues are missed and not followed up. Barbara Havers is tasked in writing the report only to be conflicted of writing the report fully truthful or the truth that Ardury requires. From there, Lynley becomes involved and both Havers and Lynley are dispatched back to Ludlow for a full investigation. Definitely not one to be missed.

  • Karin

    I have read every single one of Elizabeth George’s books. There were a few that weren’t the best and I hung on. And she didn’t disappoint! This was a long book but I was never bored. I would highly recommend!

  • Stephanie

    It has been too long since I read/reviewed an Elizabeth George Novel (since August, 2015, in fact, with the release of A Banquet of Consequences). Some things don’t change: as I said then, “I LOVE Elizabeth George, and have been reading the Inspector Lynley novels (or, as I prefer to call them, the Lynley-Havers novels) since the mid-1990s when introduced to them by a fellow librarian when we were stuck in an airport.”

    For those familiar with the series, I’ll start with a couple of things I hoped

    It has been too long since I read/reviewed an Elizabeth George Novel (since August, 2015, in fact, with the release of A Banquet of Consequences). Some things don’t change: as I said then, “I LOVE Elizabeth George, and have been reading the Inspector Lynley novels (or, as I prefer to call them, the Lynley-Havers novels) since the mid-1990s when introduced to them by a fellow librarian when we were stuck in an airport.”

    For those familiar with the series, I’ll start with a couple of things I hoped for back in 2015, and which I was still hoping as 2018 arrived: One of them involved Barbara’s neighbors, the Azhars, Taymullah and Haddiyah, who “…had fled to Pakistan, and I admit I was hoping for an update on this whole complex relationship.” And, also in 2015: “Familiar characters appear, including Winston Nkata, Isabelle Ardery (Lynley’s former lover and current boss to both him and Detective Sergeant Havers), Daidre the veterinarian who seemed to be a likely candidate to bring Lynley out of his ongoing mourning following his wife’s murder a couple of books ago…like getting an update on old friends.”

    Neither of those sub-plotlines was addressed in Banquet, but I continued to hold out hope as I received “The Punishment She Deserved,” (thanks to Penguin Group VIKING and NetGalley).

    As the story begins, Barbara Havers is in deep poop as she is partnered with Isabelle Ardery. They are sent to Ludlow, a small historic village that has been rocked by the death of the local deacon. It looks like suicide, but there are rumors of pedophilia, which has the deacon’s father outraged to the point of complaining to his local member of Parliament – so of course Scotland Yard is brought in and the two women are assigned to review the work done by the local police when they investigated the man’s unexpected death.

    Isabelle wants to just do a cursory review and get the hell out of Ludlow, back to her demons and personal problems surrounding her ex-husband and their two sons. But Barbara can’t ignore the things that she sees: they just nag at her, and she tries to pursue every lead she can despite Isabelle ordering her to just review the prior report, and don’t open any cans of worms. Anyone familiar with Barbara knows this is not bloody likely!

    As usual, George introduces characters in such a way that we quickly feel we KNOW them. For example, Finn Freeman, a young man around whom much of the facts seem to revolve, “…wasn’t a picture either. His clothes…favored excessively tattered jeans and an extremely threadbare flannel shirt. He wore sandals…but his black-apainted toenails did not delight. On his reight anjle was a piece of braided leather, and a bulbous know of the same material formed an earring tht looked like an excrescence on hius left lobe. He actually might not have been a bad looking young man, but taken as a whole, he was something that might have been created by Munch.”

    And I love the description of the Underground station: the…” crowd in the underground…ignored one another as per usual, jostling about like kittens struggling for a nursing position while also attempting to text, read their newspapers, listen to…music via earbuds…”

    And her language used for various characters is incredibly revelatory as to their nature. For example, Thomas Lynley (aka Lord Asherton) gets out of his car and looks across the street: “…the banner announcing Titus Andronicus had lettering in which the uppercase letters both transformed into pools of blood beneath them. At least the audience would be forewarned, he thought.” PERFECT!

    By contrast, Trevor Freeman, owner of a local fitness center and husband of a Clover Freeman, a local high-ranking policewoman, is involved in a debate with her, and might have prevailed “…had he managed to keep his bloody wits about him, but he kept getting sidelined by his dick.”

    The plot is good (especially once Lynley is on the scene, working with Havers), and her language manages to make me learn without making me feel stupid: “…his demands…became as furious as they were adamantine.” (yay! A new word!) There are also typical Britishisms, such as chuffed (opposite meaning to what I suspected) and weir. And, there are several uses of words for which I THOUGHT I knew the meaning, but learned I was wrong (or ignorant of the specific use in this book): scourge, grass and caravan all had meaning different from what generally think when I encounter them.

    Alongside the language and characterization, there is the excellent police procedural and complex plotting: as Clover tells Trevor, “The truth never means a thing. When it comes to innocence or guilt, the trut is the first casualty in an investigation.” Because much of the plot turns on the inadequate police staffing in small towns (based on reality in the U.K. these days), we see a clear contrast between the methods of Scotland Yard and those of the local police, somewhat beleaguered by the reductions in staff.

    Overall, a very satisfying read. SPOILER AHEAD: I am, however, still waiting for the advancement of the subplots mentioned at the start of this review. Nonetheless, five stars.

  • Chris Conley

    Heavenly days!!! Elizabeth George is amazing. This book looked daunting when I got it as it is 690 pages!!! I wanted to feel that she could have told the story in half that but, of course, she couldn’t. We needed every bit of it to solve the crime(s), examine all the players and come to a typical Lynley/Havers conclusion. This book is tremendous.

  • Tanja Berg

    I have a long history with Elizabeth George. She is one of just two authors that I read in my teens that I still read - the other being Stephen King. The very first book I read, when I was a anxiety and zit ridden teen, was "For the Sake of Elena". I was 16 years old or so, and had been reading adult fiction for just a couple of years. That book held a wealth of codes into the grown up world. It also had a Swedish professor who swore in his native tongue (my native tongue), which was fascinating

    I have a long history with Elizabeth George. She is one of just two authors that I read in my teens that I still read - the other being Stephen King. The very first book I read, when I was a anxiety and zit ridden teen, was "For the Sake of Elena". I was 16 years old or so, and had been reading adult fiction for just a couple of years. That book held a wealth of codes into the grown up world. It also had a Swedish professor who swore in his native tongue (my native tongue), which was fascinating as far away from my Nordic ancestors as I was (I was attending high school in Asia). The book also featured a rat called "Tidbit". I eventually got rats as pets myself, talk about influence!

    Twelve years later, 2005, I was reading "With no one as witness". I had spent a week with my pregnant sister and brother in-law on a remote island on the West Coast of Norway, with the vastness of the Atlantic just outside. My sister and her husband had just left, and the rented cottage - a house with five bedrooms - felt desolate. Toward the end of this book inspector Lynley loses his pregnant wife in a senseless act of violence. I think I bawled for the entire day. I have not cried with any fictional character as much as Lynley, because his loss intertwined with my own into sheer, bottomless misery.

    Thus I have high expectations and greatly look forward to a new Lynley novel by Elizabeth George. I admire her craft and I care deeply about her main characters. Despite all this, and for knowing DCC Isabelle, Inspector Lynley and sergeant Havers so well, this was a slow burn. The author weaves a tale in such a way that I had no idea as to the perpetrator or motive - or even if there had even been a murder - for about half the book.

    Isabelle Aredery and Barbara Havers looking into how a suspect could die - apparently suicide - in an unmanned police station is fascinating in its personal dynamics. Isabelle hates Barbara for her insubordination from the last book. Barbara can do nothing to stand up for herself, so she doesn't, but goes her own way anyway. This in the end, nearly gets her fired, but for Lynley - of course.

    Isabelle is ridden by her own demons of course - she is badly alcoholic and her ex husband is taking their sons to New Zealand. In many ways this book takes a look at addiction. How it starts, and how it ruins lives. The side characters are binge drinking college students.

    The sheer amount of personal detail and the incredibly well crafted story lands the rating on a 4*, although I thought a star lower for most of the book based on my enjoyment. There are few crime writer equal to Elizabeth George though and although this is a slow burn, there is still a wealth of fascinating detail.

    You can read this a stand alone, but you shouldn't. This works much better if you have the history of the characters from previous installments.

  • Laura

    Another good plot with Inspector Lynley and Sgt Barbara Havers acting in

    Another good plot with Inspector Lynley and Sgt Barbara Havers acting in another good detective story.

    4* A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1)

    5* Payment in Blood (Inspector Lynley, #2)

    4* Well-Schooled in Murder (Inspector Lynley, #3)

    5* A Suitable Vengeance (Inspector Lynley, #4)

    5* For the Sake of Elena (Inspector Lynley, #5)

    4* Missing Joseph (Inspector Lynley, #6)

    4* Playing for the Ashes (Inspector Lynley, #7)

    4* In the Presence of the Enemy (Inspector Lynley, #8)

    4* Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley, #9)

    4* In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (Inspector Lynley, #10)

    4* A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley, #11)

    4* A Place of Hiding (Inspector Lynley, #12)

    4* With No One as Witness (Inspector Lynley, #13)

    4* What Came Before He Shot Her (Inspector Lynley, #14)

    3* Careless in Red (Inspector Lynley, #15)

    4* This Body of Death (Inspector Lynley, #16)

    4* Believing the Lie (Inspector Lynley, #17)

    3.5* Just One Evil Act (Inspector Lynley, #18)

    3* A Banquet of Consequences (Inspector Lynley, #19)

    4 * The Punishement She Deserves (Inspector Lynley, #20)

  • Lisa

    A multilayered, well-plotted mystery with a bunch of characters — trust the author, it all ties together in the end. Don’t let the 700-page length, or the fact that story is a reinvestigation of a reinvestigation of an investigation into an investigation of an apparent suicide, daunt you: Elizabeth George’s writing is smooth and her plots are intricate but clear and well paced. The pace is not breathless, but you get so into the story you hardly realize you’ve just read 50 pages. Inspector Lynle

    A multilayered, well-plotted mystery with a bunch of characters — trust the author, it all ties together in the end. Don’t let the 700-page length, or the fact that story is a reinvestigation of a reinvestigation of an investigation into an investigation of an apparent suicide, daunt you: Elizabeth George’s writing is smooth and her plots are intricate but clear and well paced. The pace is not breathless, but you get so into the story you hardly realize you’ve just read 50 pages. Inspector Lynley and Sergeant Havers are complex, often frustrating people but that’s what makes them so interesting. This is the 20th in the series but you don’t have to have read them all to enjoy this one.

  • Lobstergirl

    Like a mediocre muffin dotted with delicious chocolate chips were Lynley and Havers in this nearly 700 page tome. I used it for upper arm workouts during breaks from reading. There is an interminable quantity of uninteresting storyline here involving binge-drinking college students, screwing and blowjobbing college students, and an Anglo-Indian family falling apart. The Isabelle Ardery thread was surprisingly welcome. We hate her because she is a termagant and has a sexual past with Lynley, and

    Like a mediocre muffin dotted with delicious chocolate chips were Lynley and Havers in this nearly 700 page tome. I used it for upper arm workouts during breaks from reading. There is an interminable quantity of uninteresting storyline here involving binge-drinking college students, screwing and blowjobbing college students, and an Anglo-Indian family falling apart. The Isabelle Ardery thread was surprisingly welcome. We hate her because she is a termagant and has a sexual past with Lynley, and our hatred is nudged along here by her uncontrollable drunkenness. Every time she thinks about reaching for the airline vodka bottle, pulls her hand away, and then reaches for it again and downs it, readers will cheer. We won't be happy until she is finally destroyed.

    Something interesting happens to Lynley, in that George makes his aristocraticness the

    of his good character and virtues. He is so well-bred that it has become impossible for him to do wrong. The book does in fact end with a scene in which Lynley bullies Havers, but this is portrayed as doing her a favor.

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