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Elizabeth George writes meaty, heavy-duty novels that you can completely fall into. Such is the case with her latest release, A Banquet of Consequences, the nineteenth Thomas Lynley novel. This is definitely a book that’s easy to get lost in the details of another place, one that readers will feel the author knows intimately, and that transports the reader with dizzying success. (Dizzying on account of it being disconcerting when you pull your head out of the book and realize you’re not actually in Spittlefields.) This book continues the story of Thomas Lynley and his partner, Barbara Havers, as they attempt to uncover the truth in a crime that grows ever more disturbing. William Goldacre’s suicide brings to bear the dysfunction of an entire family, and the death of author Clare Abbott after will bust it wide open.

It’s easy to become utterly absorbed in the unfolding dysfunction of the Goldacre family, and the sensation of mounting pressure, of a balloon ready to pop, builds steadily from page one. If DI Lynley is less present in this novel than in previous books, it’s owing to this story focusing more on Barbara Havers and the Goldacre family. But fewer instances of Lynley aside, this novel on its own is nuanced and rich, strongly character-driven, with solid pacing. All in all it again proves George to be a master in her genre.

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