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Deception on His Mind [Format Kindle]

Elizabeth George
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

In Deception on His Mind Sergeant Barbara Havers places herself at the center of an investigation in Essex concerning the mysterious death of a recently arrived immigrant from Pakistan. Although still recovering from the broken ribs and nose (received at the end of In the Presence of the Enemy), Havers convinces herself that she needs to stay on the job in order to help her neighbor Taymullah Azhar and his elfin daughter Hadiyyah who have a familial connection to the dead man. As is typical with Elizabeth George's novels (this is the 10th in a popular and powerful series), the murder and its investigation are the central feature of the story. But in this case they are also the means by which she explores the Pakistani experience in a foreign and not always friendly culture. As Havers herself notes, the food may well have improved in Britain with an increasingly diverse population, but that same population has "engendered a score of polyglot problems." Whether or not the dead man is a victim of a racially motivated crime is only one of the questions Havers tries to sort out. The result, with George's typically complex characterizations and deft plot turns, is a deeply satisfying novel. Fans of Havers's superior officer, Thomas Lynley, and his lady love Helen Clyde will be disappointed as the two are off on their honeymoon. But with Lynley out of the picture, Havers, with her prickly personality, caustic tongue, and sound investigative skills, comes well and truly into her own. Nitpickers might question one aspect of the final denouement--motive and opportunity are securely in place but the means are on the outskirts of unbelievable. Still, the book is a rich and enjoyable one that continues to tickle the imagination well after it has been shelved amidst other favorites. --K.A. Crouch


To Ian Armstrong, life had begun its current downward slide the moment he'd been made redundant. He'd known when he'd been offered the job that it was only a temporary appointment. The advertisement he'd answered had not indicated otherwise, and no offer of a contract had ever been made him. Still, when two years passed without a whisper of unemployment in the offing, Ian had unwisely learned to hope, which hadn't been much of a good idea.

Ian's penultimate foster mother would have greeted the news of his job loss by munching on a shortbread finger and proclaiming, "Well, you can't change the wind, can you, my lad? When it blows over cow dung, a wise man holds his nose." She would have poured tepid tea into a glass--she never used a teacup--and she would have sloshed it down. She would have gone on to say, "Ride the horse that's got its saddle on, lad," and she would have returned to perusing her latest copy of Hello!, admiring its photos of well-groomed nobs living the good life in posh London flats and on country estates.

This would be her way of telling Ian to accept his fate, her unsubtle message that the good life was not for the likes of him. But Ian had never aspired to the good life. All he'd ever sought was acceptance, and he pursued it with the passion of an unadopted and unadoptable child. What he wanted was simple: a wife, a family, and the security of knowing that he had a future somewhat more promising than the grimness of his past.

These objectives had once seemed possible. He'd been good at his job. He'd arrived for work early every day. He'd laboured extra hours for no extra pay. He'd learned the names of all his fellow workers. He'd even gone so far as to memorise the names of their spouses and children, which was no mean feat. And the thanks he'd garnered for all this effort was a farewell office party drinking lukewarm Squash, and a box of handkerchiefs from a Tie Rack outlet.

Ian had tried to forestall and even to prevent the inevitable. He'd pointed out the services he'd rendered, the late hours he'd worked, and the sacrifices he'd made in not seeking other employment while occupying his temporary position. He'd sought compromise by making offers of working for a lower salary, and ultimately he'd begged not to be cut off.

The humiliation of grovelling in front of his superior was nothing to Ian if grovelling meant he could keep his position. Because keeping his position meant that the mortgage could continue to be paid on his new house. With that taken care of, he and Anita could move forward with their efforts to produce a sibling for Mikey, and Ian wouldn't have to send his wife out to work. More important, he also wouldn't have to see the scorn in Anita's eyes when he informed her he'd lost yet another job.

"It's this rotten recession, darling," he'd told her. "It goes on and on. Our parents had World War Two as their trial by fire. This recession is ours."

Her eyes had said derisively, "Don't give me philosophy. You didn't even know your parents, Ian Armstrong." But what she said with an inappropriate and hence ominous amiability was, "So it's back to the library for me, I suppose. Though I hardly see what help that'll be once I've arranged to pay someone to look after Mikey while I'm out. Or did you plan to look after him yourself instead of looking for work?" Her lips were tight with insincerity when she offered him a brittle smile.

"I hadn't yet thought--"

"That's the trouble with you, Ian. You never think. You never have a plan. We move from problem to crisis to the brink of disaster. We have a new house we can't pay for and a baby to feed and still you aren't thinking. If you'd planned ahead, if you'd cemented your position, if you'd threatened to leave eighteen months ago when the factory needed reorganisation and you were the only one in Essex who could do it for them--"

"That's not actually the case, Anita."

"There you are! See?"


"You're too humble. You don't put yourself out. If you did, you'd have a contract now. If you ever once planned, you'd have demanded a contract then and there when they needed you most."

There was no point in explaining business to Anita when she was in a state. And Ian really couldn't blame his wife for the state she was in. He'd lost three jobs in the six years they'd been married. And while she'd been supportive through his first two spates of unemployment, they'd lived with her parents then and hadn't the financial worries that menaced them now. If only things could be different, Ian thought. If only his job could have been secure. But residing in the twilight world of ifs did nothing to offer a solution to their problems.

So Anita had returned to work, a pathetic and ill-paying job at the town library, where she reshelved books and helped pensioners locate magazines. And Ian began the humiliating process of seeking employment once again, in an area of the country long depressed.

He started each day by dressing carefully and leaving the house before his wife. He'd been as far north as Ipswich, as far west as Colchester. He'd been south to Clacton and had even ventured onward to Southend-on-Sea. He'd given it his best, but so far he'd managed nothing. Nightly he faced Anita's silent but growing contempt. When the weekends came, he sought escape.

Walking provided it, on Saturdays and Sundays. In the past few weeks, he'd come to know the entire Tendring Peninsula intimately. His favourite stroll was a short distance from the town, where a right turn past Brick Barn Farm took him to the track across the Wade. At the end of the lane he'd park the Morris, and when the tide was out, he put on his Wellingtons and slopped across the muddy causeway to the lump of land called Horsey Island. There he watched the waterfowl and he poked about for shells. Nature gave him the peace that the rest of life denied him. And in the early weekend mornings, he found nature at her best.

On this particular Saturday morning, the tide was high, so Ian Armstrong chose the Nez for his walk. The Nez was an impressive promontory of gorse-tangled land that rose 150 feet above the North Sea and separated it from an area of tidal swamp called the Saltings. Like the towns along the coast, the Nez was fighting a battle against the sea. But unlike these towns, it had no line of breakwaters to guard it and no concrete slopes to serve as armour over the uneasy combination of clay, pebbles, and earth that caused the cliffs to crumble to the beach below them.

Ian decided to begin at the southeast end of the promontory, making his way round the tip and down the west side, where waders like redshanks and greenshanks nested and fed themselves from the shallow marsh pools. He waved a jaunty goodbye to Anita, who returned his farewell expressionlessly, and he wound his way out of the housing estate. Five minutes took him to Balford-le-Nez Road. Five minutes more and he was on Balford's High Street, where the Dairy Den Diner was serving up breakfast and Kemp's Market was arranging its vegetable displays.

He spun through the town and turned left along the seafront. Already, he could tell that the day was going to be yet another hot one, and he unrolled his window to breathe the balmy salt air. He gave himself over to an enjoyment of the morning and worked at forgetting the difficulties he faced. For a moment he allowed himself to pretend all was well.

It was in this frame of mind that Ian rounded the curve into Nez Park Road. The guard shack at the entrance to the promontory was empty so early in the morning, no attendant there to claim sixty pence for the privilege of a walk along the clifftop. So Ian bumped over the cratered terrain towards the car park above the sea.

That was when he saw the Nissan, a hatchback standing alone in the early morning light, just a few feet from the boundary poles that marked the edge of the car park. Ian jounced towards it, avoiding pot holes as best he could. His mind on his walk, he thought nothing of the hatchback's presence until he noticed that one of its doors was hanging open and its bonnet and roof were beaded with dew not yet evaporated in the day's coming heat.

Ian frowned at this. He tapped his fingers against the steering wheel of the Morris and thought about the uncomfortable relationship between the top of a cliff and an abandoned car with its door left open. At the direction in which his thoughts began to head, he very nearly decided to turn tail for home. But human curiosity got the better of him. He edged the Morris forward until he was idling at the Nissan's side.

He said cheerily out of his open window, "Good morning? I say, do you need any help in there?" in case someone was dossing in the car's back seat. Then he noted that the glove compartment was hanging open and that its contents appeared to be strewn upon the floor.

Ian made a quick deduction from this sight: Someone had been searching for something. He got out of the Morris and leaned into the Nissan for a better look.

The search had been nothing if not thorough. The front seats were slashed, and the back seat was not only cut open but pulled forward as if with the expectation that something had been hidden behind it. The side panels of the doors appeared to have been roughly removed and then just as roughly returned to place; the console between the seats gaped open; the lining of the roof sagged down.

Ian adjusted his previous deduction with alacrity. Drugs, he thought. The harbours of Parkeston and Harwich were no great distance from this spot. Lorries, cars, and vast shipping containers arrived there by the dozens on ferries every day. They came from Sweden, Holland, and Germany, and the wise smuggler who managed to get past customs would be sensible to drive ...

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1948 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 626 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : B00ASXEDZC
  • Editeur : Bantam; Édition : Reprint (20 mars 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B001Y35GG0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°72.767 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An American writer who aces the British detective novel genre, what are the odds ?... this is just one in a great series, do start with the first and continue on. They are not all of equal quality, and I fail to understand why dishy Detective Inspector Linley is so obsessed with ditsy Lady Helen, but Barbara Havers more than makes up for her... The intrigues and character depiction are almost universally great, I just had a few problems with volumes 3 and 4...
Une écrivain américaine qui domine le genre du policier britannique, qui aurait parier dessus? Cette volume n'est qu'une parmi un série formidable, commencez avec le premier et continuez.. tous ne sont pas de valeur égale, et je n'arrive pas à comprendre l'obsession du séduisant Detective Inspector Linley au sujet de la frivole Lady Helen, mais la sergeant Barbara Havers compense largement. Les intrigues et les peintures des personnages sont presque toujours superbes, bien que j'ai eu des difficultés avec les tomes 3 et 4...
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Everything you want from a good book. 21 mars 2013
Par Sue Birch
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Murder, mystery, intrigue & wonderfully complex characters, in particular the wonderful Barbara Havers, who is my kind of gal, (apart from the smoking but she can't be all perfect.)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.0 étoiles sur 5  146 commentaires
44 internautes sur 46 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent, like all of its predecessors 9 juin 2000
Par Stan Vernooy - Publié sur
I consider Elizabeth George to be the best living writer of mysteries, by a wide margin. In this book, Barbara Havers goes more or less "solo" by getting involved in a case outside of London where she is supposed to be on vacation. In addition to being a superb mystery, this book examines the racial friction generated by the influx of Pakistani immigrants into a seaside resort town in England. I can't speak for the accuracy of her analysis, but her portrayals of the cultural misunderstandings between the police and the immigrant community ring true to my ears. I don't recommend this book as your introduction to Elizabeth George's mysteries. The previous books introduce both of the main characters, Havers and her boss, Inspector Lynley. This book makes several references to the things she learned from Lynley, and to their partnership. The reader will understand those references much better if (s)he has read at least one of the previous books. However, I want to vehemently disagree with a couple of previous reviewers who downgraded this book on the grounds that Havers is a less interesting character than the absent Lynley. I think Havers is a MUCH more interesting character than the pampered and superficial Lynley. I didn't miss him at all in this book. As always, George's writing, characterizations, and plotting put her in a class of her own among mystery writers. This is not a little paperback for an afternoon; it's a real novel. If you love mysteries or if you simply love well-written, thought-provoking fiction, you should read every one of Elizabeth George's books.
32 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Cultural and Religious Errors Detract from Story too Much 2 novembre 2009
Par D. Beatty - Publié sur
I generally like Elizabeth George novels, but this one needed more research, apparently. Her story has at its heart Pakistani Muslims living in the UK, yet George displays shocking ignorance of the culture she spends so many wordy pages writing about. first of all, Pakistani Muslims by and large speak Urdu, not Arabic. Secondly, the dowry in Islam is required to be given from the man to the wife, not the other way around. It is primarily a Hindu, not Muslim, practice for the dowry to go from woman to man, although many Muslim families do prepare their version of a "hope chest" for their daughters to start her out in married life. She misrepresented the roles of women, arranged marriage, and even homosexuality. And she introduced some essential but strange concept of cutting off family that is 100% contrary to Islamic teachings. I wonder if she got her ideas from some amalgamation of Indian Hindu culture and popular media representation of Asians? In any case, it is so wrong on many points that it became impossible to overlook, confusing, and detracting from the story. I think Ms. George didn't try to be insulting by any means, but her lack of proper research is alarming, and it is more alarming that it was published with such inaccuracies, even as a work of fiction.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Thanks to God, and Allah too 19 novembre 2002
Par Gregory Bascom - Publié sur
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Someone has murdered Mr. Haytham Querashi, a recent Pakistani immigrant, in Balford-le-Nez, a small, economically depressed town on the coast of Essex, England. Mr. Querashi was to soon wed the beautiful Sahlah, daughter of Akram Malik. In the Pakistani tradition, the parents of the bride and groom had arranged the marriage. As part of the deal, Mr. Querashi had become Production Manager in Mr. Malik's mustard factory where he displaced the last non-Pakistani, full-time employee.
Just a few weeks ago Mr. Malik became the first Pakistani on the Town Council when his formidable adversary, the aging Agatha Shaw, was forced to resign due to a stroke. Despite her condition and Malik's appointment, Mrs. Shaw, with the help of her grandson Theo, is determined to obtain the Council's approval for her project. She is resolute in the renovation and development of the pleasure pier to attract tourists, resuscitate the town's economy and thus assure her legacy as savior of the community.
Querashi's death is threatening to ignite smoldering racial tensions, however. The Asian's in general and Malik's son in particular suspect the murder was racially motivated and expect the police will ignore white suspects and blame a Pakistani. Enter Sgt. Barbara Havers, who is conveniently vacationing in the town, to mediate with the Pakistani as police liaison. As the case proceeds, Barbara discovers that nearly all the players have something to hide, including her self. Indeed, the title of this English mystery novel should be "Deception on Their Minds."
Elizabeth George is a master of this genre. Her characters are believable, the events are realistic, the scenes evolve with interesting complexity and the plot is superb, although sometimes I found her style more descriptive and dragging than in her prior novel, "In the Presence of the Enemy." And unlike her previous novel, I had the killer figured in this one before the cops did.
"Deception" is unusual and outstanding, however, for George's treatment of the culture clash. Her characters cover the full spectrum of personalities one would expect to find in her hypothetical community. Thanks to God and Allah too, she does it without the least bit of moralizing.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Keeps you up 'til well after bed-time ! 6 janvier 2000
Par - Publié sur
Not only does George excel in setting an intriguing plot, she's a master of directing the reader's thoughts into all kinds of wrong directions whereas in the end I felt as if the truth had been obvious all along. In the midst of one of -as it seems- England's hottest summers it is the spicy variety of illutrious characters and their perspectives through which George reveals the story to the readers that makes the book a thrilling treat. Though her dramatis personnae are artful and at the same time almost touchable copies out of everyone's everyday reality this novel's weak point lies in the author's attempt to invoke her insights (living in the States) into Pakistan culture and its problems in the UK. Her inturcultural conclusions mostly remain on the surface and to my mind she tries to tell the reader too much instead of actually revealing and showing cultural dimensions! Under the bottom line, the sense of humor of "Mystery Liz" -yet unmet- makes Barbara Havers' solo adventure ever more colorful (watch out for the hospital scene with Agatha Shaw and Akram Malik) and it is her magical mixture which keeps me up 'til well after bed-time that leaves a Patricia Cornwell and a Minette Walters somewhat behind and makes them faint just a tiny bit.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Fantastic as Always 31 juillet 2003
Par Louis M. Perdue - Publié sur
I really enjoyed this book because I have always wanted to see more of the Havers character and this book is entirely devoted to her. Her neighbor, Azhar, and his daughter go to a seaside town in Essex to help out some family members. Barbara, being on medical vacation from the beating she received at the end of the last book, goes there to help out, thinking that Azhar will be out of his depth dealing with a criminal investigation.
I was surprised at some of the things that she missed during her investigation particularly something with regards to her acting superior officer. The best part of the book for me was the personal interaction betwen Havers and Azhar. I am glad to see her get a personal life other than dealing with her parents' problems.
The ending has a major twist and, having already bought the next book in the series, I did something I have never done before and peeked at the beginning to see what the ramifications of that twist would, I guess I will be "forced" to read on...
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