I’ve always enjoyed Elizabeth George novels in the past, so I embarked on this one with enthusiasm, especially as it said in small print on the cover that it was a Lynley novel, i.e., we could look forward to enjoying more of the marvelous relationship between the upper class, Detective Inspector Lynley, and the delightfully messy and independent Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. However, I found this story hard to get into, with the particular mechanism of introducing all the characters, one after the other, in different locations, and the going back in time to move forward to the scene of the crime, etc. Plus the main characters, on first introduction, are rather unappealing.
It’s a welcome relief when Lynley and Havers appear on the scene, the murder takes place, the plot starts to thicken, and the pace quickens.
This novel is a complicated psychological drama, with very disturbing abuse at the heart of it. I found the abuse quite shocking, so I would only recommend this novel to adults. The denouement of the novel makes sense of the esoteric title. There’s “a banquet of consequences” indeed.
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