A Great Deliverance

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To this day, the low, thin wail of an infant can be heard in Keldale’s lush green valleys. Three hundred years ago, as legend goes, the frightened Yorkshire villagers smothered a crying babe in Keldale Abbey, where they’d hidden to escape the ravages of Cromwell’s raiders.

Now into Keldale’s pastoral web of old houses and older secrets comes Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley, the eighth earl of Asherton. Along with the redoubtable Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, Lynley has been sent to solve a savage murder that has stunned the peaceful countryside. For fat, unlovely Roberta Teys has been found in her best dress, an axe in her lap, seated in the old stone barn beside her father’s headless corpse. Her first and last words were “I did it. And I’m not sorry.”

Yet as Lynley and Havers wind their way through Keldale’s dark labyrinth of secret scandals and appalling crimes, they uncover a shattering series of revelations that will reverberate through this tranquil English valley–and in their own lives as well.



“None of Elizabeth George’s books is anything like another. Neither are they like anything else … and no other author has a character quite as diverting as the thoroughly impossible, all-too-human Barbara Havers.”


“I’m amazed that the very American Ms. George writes so very British. She is an expert at delving into relationships.”

Cincinnati Enquirer

“Engrossing … Although George is an American, she has made the English mystery her own over the course of the last decade.”

Orlando Sentinel

“Ms. George can do it all, with style to spare.”

Wall Street Journal

“It’s tough to resist George’s storytelling once hooked.”

USA Today

“Ms. George proves that the classiest crime writers are true novelists.”

New York Times

“George is a master. … She upholds the English tradition beautifully.”

Chicago Tribune

“Recommended reading for … those mystery readers who look for moral dilemmas and psychological issues as well as a murder mystery for their entertainment.”

Indianapolis Star Tribune

“Elizabeth George reigns as a queen of the mystery genre. The Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifyingly complex and impassioned mystery series now being published.”

Entertainment Weekly

“Elizabeth George … is no mere genre writer, but a novelist of the first rank.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“[Elizabeth George] delivers every time.”

Denver Post

“[An] exceptional literary talent.”

Nashville Banner

“I wouldn’t miss an Elizabeth George novel. There simply aren’t many detective novelists today who can write a scene of great brutality at one moment… and at another write the tenderest of love scenes.”

Philadelphia Inquirer

“Few novelists whose first works are greeted with unanimous acclaim are able to maintain the quality that won them initial praise, let alone show greater depth with every book. Elizabeth George, to the delight of her legion of fans, is perhaps the most notable American exception.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch

“P. D. James has a polished literary eloquence all her own, but George provides the same kind of sumptuous, all-out reading experience.”

Los Angeles Times

“Like P. D. James, George knows the import of the smallest human gesture.”


“[Elizabeth George] is one of those rare writers who transcend the limitations of the crime genre.”

Daily News of Los Angeles

“Elizabeth George captivates us and holds us hard.”

San Diego Union-Tribune

“George belongs in a very small field at the top of English murder mystery writing.”

Toronto Sun

“George is a major talent likely to influence the direction of the crime novel for years to come.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Hard to see how George’s well-textured blend of ingenious plotting, character depth and power can get any better.”

Hartford Courant

“Complex and fascinating … Enter a new triumvirate: P. D. James, Ruth Rendell, Elizabeth George.”

Armchair Detective

“George … excels at delivering surprises.”

Baltimore Sun

“George is the reigning master of the contemporary British psychological mystery.”

Winston-Salem Journal

“George is the most exciting new talent to debut in years, a born storyteller who spins a web of enchantment that captures the reader and will not let him go.”

San Diego Union-Tribune

“Elizabeth George will be compared to R D. James, Ruth Rendell, and even Dorothy L. Sayers. This is inevitable because she is that good. Yet she stands alone.”

Mystery Scene

“Elizabeth George weaves a rich, spellbinding web of intrigue and suspense that proves and unlocks the secrets of the heart. … Awesome.”

Milwaukee Journal

“George delivers exceptionally well-written prose, a super cast and complex psychological themes.”

USA Today

“Ms. George’s … most absorbing novel.”

Wall Street Journal

“George writes like Agatha Christie at the top of her game. … A joy.”

Washington Post Book World

“George has proved herself a master of the English mystery, with an ear for local language and an eye for the inner workings of Scotland Yard.”

New York Times

“Exquisitely written … [George] is a genius at drawing psychological revelations from an act as casual as choosing wallpaper.”

Los Angeles Times

“No one else writes with the complexity, the style and the sophistication that [George] displays.”

Dallas Morning News


“A Place of Hiding is a murder most interesting. [It’s] no mystery why this is one of George’s best. … The brooding island of Guernsey that George creates, and its denizens shadowed by loss and divided loyalties, cast a spell that lasts long after the final page is turned.”

USA Today

“[George is] at the top of her form. This exquisitely plotted mystery bursts with well-developed characters. … The theme of hiding—of hopes, of the past, of secret places—underpins the intricate story about friendship, anger, loyalty and betrayal. Comic touches provide some relief as the suspense builds to an unexpected and explosive climax. With her flair for language, George reinforces her reputation as one of today’s finest mystery writers.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] tour de force by a master plot builder.”

Booknews from The Poisoned Pen

“Plenty of plot twists and turns will keep readers glued to the page until the climactic end.”

Library Journal

“A full banquet. As a mystery novel—no, as a novel pure and simple—A Place of Hiding is entertainment of a high order.”

Washington Post

“George has mastered the British mystery so well that you’d never guess she’s American. The 12 books in her Lynley series are woven together in intricate but seamless patterns. This is mystery writing at its most complex and intelligent. A.”

Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice)

“A tangled plot that she deliberately knots before unraveling in unexpected directions.”

Orlando Sentinel

“Every bit [a] page-turner … A Place of Hiding is truly George at her best. And though she throws clues out, she skillfully hides the identity of the killer right to the very end.”

Times Record News

“George paints a dazzling puzzle.”

New York Daily News

“Ingenious and shocking … George plumbs the dark depths of the human heart and conjures up one cleverly constructed and suspenseful yarn.”

Providence Journal

“Ms. George peoples her books with a cast of intriguing characters who are not always what they seem. The thoroughness of her writing is impressive. Imagery and a sense of place are her trademarks, and the seemingly disparate story lines always come together with amazing precision. Another winner from Ms. George.”


“As always, Elizabeth George has spun a gripping, complex tale, full of passion, loss and longing, dark emotions and fragility. Read her if you like your mysteries shaken and ingenious.”

Bellingham Herald

“Compelling and suspenseful… George has concocted a gripping story of betrayal and devotion, war and remembrance, love and loss, and the higher truths to which we all must ultimately answer.”

Abilene Reporter-News

“With her twelfth novel, Miss George not only continues her amazing work but may well have created—to date—her masterpiece. … Powerful and passionate, A Place of Hiding is a book that will endure.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch


“George is dizzyingly gifted at tickling readers with suspense before she smacks them with resolutions that are nasty but appropriate. … Will leave you dizzy, dazzled and dying for more … Solid-gold shockers.”


“There’s nothing like a change in pace to make you appreciate a favorite author all over again.”

Charlotte Observer

“In her first story collection, eminent author George presents five nimbly written and gripping tales, each with a stunning conclusion.”

Publishers Weekly

“Displays her talent for short fiction … satisfyingly shivery.”

Orlando Sentinel

“Fascinating … a must for Elizabeth George fans.”

Deadly Pleasures

“Suspenseful and chilling … A bonus for fans.”

New York Daily News

“A collection that should pique the interest of writers and readers alike.”

Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine

“Each of the stories is a concise, suspenseful tale, indicating how the most ordinary people can turn murderous.”

Charleston (SC) Post & Courier

“These spry and sprightly narratives pack a real wallop.”

Providence Journal

“Amusing and creepy, these stories offer memorable portraits of people driven into dark corners.”

Detroit Free Press


“The classic British police story is wondrously served in A Traitor to Memory… [a] compassionate, delicately textured story of shattered dreams and renewed hope.”

Seattle Times

“Anyone who doesn’t believe in the mystery as an art form needs only to read Elizabeth George’s 11th novel.”

Miami Herald



“Engrossing … and memorable.”

Chicago Tribune

“Elegant, finely wrought.”

San Diego Union-Tribune

“A wonderfully realized book.”

Houston Chronicle

“First-rate suspense with a stunner of an ending.”



Detroit Free Press

“A Traitor to Memory will have you losing sleep and calling for takeout. … Challenging … Expert storytelling.”

Rocky Mountain News

“Chilling and shocking … downright gripping.”

Winston-Salem Journal

“A Traitor to Memory is Elizabeth George at her very best.”

Times Record News

“Ms. George’s novel has a depth of compassion seldom found in crime novels.”

Dallas Morning News

“The best read of the year.”

Mystery Lovers Bookshop News


Payment in Blood
Well-Schooled in Murder
A Suitable Vengeance
For the Sake of Elena
Missing Joseph
Playing for the Ashes
In the Presence of the Enemy
Deception on His Mind
In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner
A Traitor to Memory
I, Richard
A Place of Hiding

For Natalie
in celebration of the growth of the spirit
and the triumph of the soul

And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest and ye are gone away; and what have I more?

JUDGES 19:24

Author’s Note

If one can acknowledge an area of the world for existing and thus being a source of inspiration, I would acknowledge the tremendous and changing beauties of Yorkshire, England, that so much became the heart of this book.

I am grateful to the people who have read and criticised the rough drafts of all my work: Sheila Hillinger, Julie Mayer, Paul Berger, Susan Berner, Steve Mitchell, and Cathy Stephany.

I thank my parents and husband for their patience and support, Dr. H. M. Upton for his generous input, and especially Deborah Schneider and Kate Miciak for their willingness to take a chance on someone unknown.

And of course, Don Martin, whose annual injunctions against my addressing him in writing ultimately became the spur that so decisively pricked the sides of my intent.


It was a solecism of the very worst kind. He sneezed loudly, wetly, and quite unforgivably into the woman’s face. He’d been holding it back for three-quarters of an hour, fighting it off as if it were Henry Tudor’s vanguard in the Battle of Bosworth. But at last he’d surrendered. And after the act, to make matters worse, he immediately began to snuffle.

The woman stared. She was exactly the type whose presence always reduced him to blithering idiocy. At least six feet tall, dressed in that wonderfully insouciant mismatch of clothing so characteristic of the British upper classes, she was ageless, timeless, and she peered at him through razor blue eyes, the sort that must have reduced many a parlourmaid to tears forty years ago. She had to be well over sixty, possibly closer to eighty, but one could never tell. She sat bolt upright in her seat, hands clasped in her lap, a finishing-school posture which made no concessions towards comfort.

And she stared. First at his Roman collar, then at his undeniably dripping nose.

Do forgive, darling. A thousand apologies. Let’s not allow a little faux pas like a sneeze to come between such a friendship as ours. He was always so amusing when engaged in mental conversations. It was only aloud that everything became a terrible muddle.

He snuffled again. Again she stared. Why on earth was she travelling second class? She’d swept into the carriage in Doncaster, like a creaking Salome with rather more than seven veils to her ensemble, and for the remainder of the trip she’d alternated between imbibing the railway’s foul-smelling tepid coffee and staring at him with a disapproval that shouted Church of England at every available opportunity.

And then came the sneeze. Unimpeachably correct behaviour from Dancaster to London might have somehow excused his Roman Catholicism to her. But alas, the sneeze condemned him forever.

“I … ah … that is … if you’ll excuse …” It was simply no good. His handkerchief was deep within his pocket. To reach it he would have to loosen his grasp on the battered attaché case in his lap, and that was unthinkable. She would just have to understand. We aren’t talking about a breach of etiquette here, madam. We are talking about MURDER. Upon that thought, he snuffled with self-righteous vigour.

Hearing this, the woman sat even more correctly in her seat, every fibre of her body straining to project disapproval. Her glance said it all. It was a chronicle of her thoughts, and he could read each one: Pitiful little man. Pathetic. Not a day under seventy-five and looking positively every second of it. And so very much what one would expect of a Catholic priest: a face with three separate nicks from a poor job at shaving; a crumb of morning toast embedded in the corner of his mouth; shiny black suit mended at elbows and cuffs; squashed hat rimmed with dust. And that dreadful case in his lap! Ever since Doncaster he had been acting as if she’d boarded the train with the deliberate intention of snatching it from him and hurling herself out the window. Lord!

The woman sighed and turned away from him as if seeking salvation. But none was apparent. His nose continued to dribble until the slowing of the train announced that they were finally approaching their journey’s end.

She stood and scourged him with a final look. “At last I understand what you Catholics mean by purgatory,” she hissed and swept down the aisle to the door.

“Oh dear,” muttered Father Hart. “Oh dear, I suppose I really have …” But she was gone. The train had come to a complete halt under the vaulted ceiling of the London station. It was time to do what he had come to the city to do.

He looked about to make sure that he was in possession of all his belongings, a pointless operation since he had brought nothing with him from Yorkshire save the single attaché case that had as yet not left his grip. He squinted out the window at the vast expanse of King’s Cross Station.

He had been more prepared for a station like Victoria—or at least the Victoria he remembered from his youth—with its comforting old brick walls, its stalls and buskers, these latter always staying one step ahead of the metropolitan police. But King’s Cross was something altogether different: long stretches of tiled floor, seductive advertisements hanging from the ceiling, newsagents, tobacconists, hamburger shops. And all the people—many more than he had expected—in queues for tickets, gobbling down hurried snacks as they raced for trains, arguing, laughing, and kissing goodbye. Every race, every colour. It was all so different. He wasn’t sure he could bear the noise and confusion.

“Getting out, Father, or planning to stop t’ night?”

Startled, Father Hart looked up into the ruddy face of the porter who had helped him find his seat earlier that morning upon the train’s departure from York. It was a pleasant, north country face with the winds of the moors etched upon it in a hundred separate blood vessels that rode and broke near the surface of his skin.

His eyes were flinty blue, quick and perceptive. And Father Hart felt them like a touch as they slid in a friendly but querying movement from his face to the attaché case. Tightening his fingers round the handle, he stiffened his body, hoping for resolution and getting an excruciating cramp in his left foot instead. He moaned as the pain balled hotly to its zenith.

The porter spoke anxiously. “Maybe you oughtn’t be travellin’ alone. Sure you don’t need no help, like?”

He did, of course he did. But no one could help. He couldn’t help himself.

“No, no. I’m off this very moment. And you’ve been more than kind. My seat, you know. The initial confusion.”

The porter waved his words away. “Don’t mind that. There’s lots of folks don’t realise them tickets means reserved. No harm done, was there?”

“No. I suppose …” Father Hart drew in a quick, sustaining breath. Down the aisle, out the door, find the tube, he told himself. None of that could be as insurmountable as it seemed. He shuffled towards the exit. His case, clutched two-handed upon his stomach, bounced with each step.

Behind him, the porter spoke. “’Ere, Father, the door’s a bit much. I’ll see to ’t.”

He allowed the man space to get past him in the aisle. Already two surly-looking railway cleaners were squeezing in the rear door, rubbish sacks over their shoulders, ready to prepare the train for its return trip to York. They were Pakistani, and although they spoke English, Father Hart found that he couldn’t understand a single word beneath the obfuscation of their accents.

The realisation filled him with dread. What was he doing here in the nation’s capital where the inhabitants were foreigners who looked at him with cloudy, hostile eyes and immigrant faces? What paltry good could he hope to do? What silliness was this? Who would ever believe—

“Need some help, Father?”

Father Hart finally moved decisively. “No. Fine. Simply fine.”

He negotiated the steps, felt the concrete platform beneath his feet, heard the calling of pigeons high in the vaulted ceiling of the station. He began to make his distracted way down the platform towards the exit and Euston Road.

Behind him again he heard the porter. “Someone meeting you? Know where you’re going? Where you off to now?”

The priest straightened his shoulders. He waved a goodbye. “Scotland Yard,” he replied firmly.

St. Pancras Station, directly across the street from Kings Cross, was such an architectural antithesis of the latter that Father Hart stood for several moments simply staring at its neo-Gothic magnificence. The clamour of traffic on Euston Road and the malodourous belching of two diesel-fuelled lorries at the pavement’s edge faded into insignificance. He was a bit of an architecture buff, and this particular building was architecture gone wild.

“Good heavens, that’s wonderful,” he murmured, tilting his head to have a better view of the railway station’s peaks and valleys. “A bit of a cleaning and she’d be a regular palace.” He looked about absently, as if he would stop the next passerby and give a discourse on the evils that generations of coal fires had wrought upon the old building. “Now, I wonder who …”

The two-note siren of a police van howled suddenly down Caledonian Road, shrieking through the intersection onto Euston. It brought the priest back to reality. He shook himself mentally, part in irritation but another, greater part in fear. His mind was wandering daily now. And that signalled the end, didn’t it? He swallowed a gagging lump of terror and sought new determination. His eyes fell upon the scream of a headline across the morning paper propped up on a nearby newsstand. He stepped toward it curiously. R

On Sale
May 1, 2007
Page Count
432 pages