Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley Series #9)

Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley Series #9)

by Elizabeth George


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “One of George’s best . . . insightful, tense, and compassionate.”—Entertainment Weekly

Balford-le-Nez is a dying seaside town on the coast of Essex. But when a member of the town’s small but growing Asian community is found murdered near its beach, the sleepy town ignites. Intrigued by the involvement of her London neighbor—Taymullah Azhar—in what appears to be a growing racial conflagration, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers arranges to have herself assigned to the investigation. Setting out on her own, this is one case Havers will have to solve without her longtime partner, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley— and it’s one of the toughest she’s ever encountered. For Havers must probe not only the mind of a murderer and her emotional response to a case unsettlingly close to her own heart, but also the terrible price people pay for deceiving others . . . and themselves.

Praise for Deception on His Mind

“So much fun to read, it’s criminal.”Newsday

“It’s tough to resist the pull of George’s storytelling once hooked.”USA Today

“Falls smartly into place in [George’s] literate, impassioned series, one of today’s best.”Chicago Tribune

“Fascinating . . . there are wrenching stories here, and George conveys them with exceptional grace.”People

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553385991
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/24/2009
Series: Inspector Lynley Series , #9
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 143,136
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth George’s first novel, A Great Deliverance, was honored with the Anthony and Agatha Best First Novel Awards and received the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. Her third novel, Well-Schooled in Murder, was awarded the prestigious German prize for suspense fiction, the MIMI. 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, and I, Richard were international bestsellers. Elizabeth George divides her time between Huntington Beach, California, and London. Her novels are currently being dramatized by the BBC.


Seattle, Washington

Date of Birth:

February 26, 1949

Place of Birth:

Warren, Ohio


A.A. Foothill Community College, 1969; B.A. University of California, Riverside, 1970; M.S. California State University

Read an Excerpt

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 to a remote location—just like the Nez—before retrieving his contraband. This car was abandoned, Ian concluded, having served its purpose. He would have his walk and then phone the police to have it towed away.

He was childishly pleased with his insight. Amused at his first reaction to the sight of the car, he pulled his Wellingtons from the boot of the Morris and as he squirmed his feet into them, he chuckled at the thought of a desperate soul attempting to end his troubles at this particular site. Everyone knew that the edge of the Nez's clifftop was perilously friable. A potential suicide wishing to fling himself into oblivion at this spot was far likelier to end up sliding with the brick earth, the gravel, and the silt onto the beach below as the cliffside collapsed beneath his weight in a dirty heap. He might break his leg, certainly. But end his life? Hardly. No one was going to die on the Nez.

Ian smacked the boot of the Morris shut. He locked the door and patted the vehicle's roof. "Good old thing," he said in an affable fashion. "Thank you very much indeed." The fact that the engine continued to turn over in the morning was a miracle that Ian's natural superstitions told him he ought to encourage.

He picked up five papers that lay on the ground next to the Nissan and deposited them within the car's glove compartment from which they'd no doubt originally come. He swung the hatchback's door closed, thinking, No need to be untidy about things. Then he approached the steep old concrete steps that led down to the beach.

At the top of these steps, Ian paused. Even at this hour, the sky above him was a bright blue dome, unmarked by the presence of clouds, and the North Sea was tranquil with the calm of summer. A fog bank lay like a roll of cotton wool far out on the horizon, serving as distant background for a fishing boat—perhaps half a mile off shore—that chugged in the direction of Clacton. A flock of gulls surrounded this like gnats round fruit. More gulls, Ian saw, were buzzing along the waterline at clifftop height. They flew in his direction from the north, from Harwich, whose cranes Ian could glimpse even from this distance across Pennyhole Bay.

Ian thought of the birds as a welcoming committee, so intent did they seem upon him as a target. Indeed, they approached with such mindless determination that he found himself giving more than idle consideration to du Maurier's story, Hitchcock's film, and Tippi Hedren's avian torment. He was thinking about beating a hasty retreat—or at least doing something to shield his head—when as a single unit the birds arced and dived at a structure on the beach. This was a pillbox, a concrete fortification from World War II from which English troops had watched and waited to defend the country from Nazi invasion. The structure had once stood on the top of the Nez, but as time and the sea had washed away the cliffside, it now sat on the sand below.

Ian saw that other gulls were already doing their web-footed tap dance on the pillbox's roof. From a hexagonal opening on this same roof, where a machine gun placement once would have stood, more birds entered and exited the structure. They gabbled and cawed as if in communication, and their message seemed to pass telepathically to the birds off shore, for these began to leave the fishing boat and to head towards land.

Their decisive flight reminded Ian of a scene on the beach near Dover that he'd witnessed as a child. A big barking brute of a dog had been lured out to sea by a flock of similar birds. The dog had been playing at catching them from the water, but they had been deadly serious, and they'd circled farther and farther out into the sea until the poor animal was a quarter mile from the shore. No one's shouting or imprecations had brought the dog back. And no one had been able to control the birds. Had he not seen the gulls toying with the dog's ebbing strength—circling above him just out of his reach, cawing, approaching, then darting away—Ian would never have thought it reasonable to conclude that birds were creatures with murderous intentions. But he saw it that day, and he'd believed it ever since. And he always kept a respectful distance from them.

Now, however, he thought of that poor dog. It was obvious that the gulls were toying with something, and whatever that desolate something was, it was inside the old pillbox. Action was called for.

Ian descended the stairs. He said, "Hey, there! I say!" and he waved his arms. This did little to deter the gulls that bobbed on the guano-streaked concrete rooftop and flapped their wings minaciously. But Ian wasn't about to be put off. The long ago gulls in Dover had got the better of their canine pursuer, but these Balford gulls weren't about to get the better of Ian Armstrong.

He jogged in their direction. The pillbox was some twenty-five yards from the foot of the steps, and he was able to build up a fair amount of speed in that distance. Arms waving, he descended on the birds with a yowl, and he was pleased to see his efforts at intimidation bear fruit. The gulls took to the air, leaving Ian alone with the pillbox, and whatever it was that they had been investigating within it.

The entrance was a crawlhole less than three feet

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Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley Series #9) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While this another very entertaining Elizabeth George novel, those of you expecting to find her most enjoyable sleuth will be a tad disappointed. On the other hand, those of you who are Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers fans will be in for a treat. Recovering from her wounds in the last novel, Havers “takes a holiday” by the sea and immediately goes to work to solve a murder. Continuing to find topics that are not often broached by contemporary authors; in this case racism, slave trafficking, homosexuality, and incest; George gives us a fast paced, highly readable plot that will hold your interest to the final page.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read everything by E. George and I adore her. In this book, she has outdone herself. A rich tale, daring, abundant in unforgettable characters.
hobbitprincess on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book, the 9th in the series, is a bit different from the other Inspector Lynley books in that Inspector Lynley isn't in it. He has gotten married and is away. Barbara Havers is supposed to be on holiday recovering from injuries suffered in the last book, but she gets herself involved with a murder in the Pakistani community in a fading seaside area. All sorts of motives are explored and examined, but the one that points to the murderer is one that is completely unexpected. There are a lot of characters in this book that I did not care for at all, but then, the reader is not meant to like them, so George has done a good job with that.
picardyrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Barbara Havers stars. I was very surprised by the story.
patience_grayfeather on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yep, deception was on many minds. Lynley is off on his honeymoon and Havers has to solve the case. Well, no, actually she doesn¿t, but she¿s going to stick herself in this one whether anyone wants her or not.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite in the Lynley series after the first one, A Great Deliverance. I didn't find it quite as powerful, that first book in the series moved me to tears. In this one Inspector Thomas Lynley is off on his honeymoon so his partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers--who was battered emotionally and physically in her last case--is on her own. And instead of taking the rest Lynley urged on her, Havers heads to Essex where a murder case is setting off racial tensions between English and the immigrant Pakistani community. One involving her neighbors Azhar and his eight-year-old daughter Hiddayah. And involving as well Emily Barlows, an up and coming Detective Inspector heading the case who Havers greatly admires.I did miss Lynley. I think Havers and Lynley are at their best together. I don't mean that in a shippy way, but that as characters I think they play off each other beautifully. However, even when missing from the action, Lynley has a constant presence in Havers's mind, and it's even more evident in this book than past ones he's had an influence on her--that she's learned from him. On the other hand, Lynley has some baggage--the St Jameses and Helen Clyde--and given I'm none too fond of them, I did find it a bonus that Lynley's absence meant we didn't have to deal with them or the soap opera aspects they bring with them. And I loved Haddiyah, and what she brings out in Havers. The last 70 pages or so were suspenseful and moving and if you can be proud of a fictional character, well I'm proud of Havers at the end. She's come a long way from the character we met in A Great Deliverance.
kaylol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved reading it. But I wanted lots more details in the ending.
charlie68 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Genuinely good whodunit, writing was good but not great, and some of the plotting is open for criticism.
rcooper3589 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
BOOK # 17REVIEW: This is my third George novel, and, once again, I really enjoyed it. I think my favorite part of her books are the characters. While the murder is the catalyst for the novel, it is really driven by the characters- major and minor alike. I love getting to know each player intimately without bias. I also enjoy how no one is free from speculation- even characters you begin to enjoy can end up on the doggy side of things. FAVORITE QUOTES: In her presence- even at a distance and in the growing darkness- Barbara felt as she'd felt when they'd taken their courses together: a candidate for liposuction, a wardrobe makeover, and six intense months with a personal trainer. // She liked to consider herself a bird whose moral fiber wouldn't allow the rank dishonesty of doing anything more than pinching the cheeks for a bit of colour in the face. But the truth was, given a choice between painting her flesh and sleeping for another fifteen minutes in the morning, she'd spent a lifetime selecting sleep. In her line of work, it seemed more practical. Thus, her preparation for the current day took less than ten minutes, and four of these she spent digging through her haversack, cursing, and looking for a pair of socks. // "Yes. Well," Barbara said, "I'm sure the motorway of your life is completely littered with sexual roadkill and all of the corpses are grinning ear to ear. At least in your dreams. But we aren't dealing with dreams, Trevor. We're dealing with reality, and reality is murder." // So, the compromise was accepted, as are most compromises: Everyone agreed to it; no one liked it.
mgkbus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
one of the best of the Inspector Lynley/Sargeant Havers adventures
nbmars on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a delightful book on a number of unpleasant subjects: murder, of course; internecine conflict between the Pakistanis and English in England; discrimination against homosexuality; and above all, deception, by just about everybody involved.Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers from London uses her supposed vacation time to help out on a case in Balford-le-Nez on the coast of Essex. A Pakistani man, Haytham Querashi, in England for an arranged marriage, has been murdered. Barbara¿s Pakistani neighbors, Taymullah Azhar and his eight-year-old daughter Hadiyyah, have headed up to the scene of the crime, and, as it happened, the DCI in charge - Emily Barlow - is an old classmate of Barbara¿s.In spite of the complex plot with lots of characters (many of whom quite believably become suspects), George manages to lay it all out in such a way that one is rarely lost, or driven to map out the characters, as in other mysteries. I did, I admit, have occasion to resort to an online British-American dictionary. And who knew there were so many words for ¿gay¿?!!! George¿s style is clear, witty, and perceptive. In describing Ferguson, who is Emily Barlow¿s supervisor (or ¿guv¿), George writes, ¿He¿d always been the sort of man who claimed women¿s hands had been shaped by God to curve perfectly over the handle of a Hoover.¿ Agatha Shaw, a rotten old lady in the story, ¿had never been one to demand of herself the same dedication to expunging one¿s defects of character that she demanded of others.¿ And when Barbara and Emily discuss the meeting of the suspect Kumhar with Pakistani community representative Muhannad Malik and Azhar (acting as a legal advisor to Malik), they had this conversation:¿I¿m heading to a connection between these blokes. Kumhar took one look at Azhar and Malik and nearly wore brown trousers.¿ ¿You¿re saying he knew them?¿¿Perhaps not Azhar. But I¿m saying that he knew Muhannad Malik. I¿m saying it¿s dead cert that he knew him. He was shaking so badly, we could have used him to make martinis for James Bond.¿This book is over 600 pages, but I wasn¿t bored once. (JAF)
keylawk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sergeant Babara Havers has to solve the murder of a member of the small Asian community living in a heat-withered seatown on the North Sea coast of Essex, without her longtime partner, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, who is on honeymoon. It is not too revealing to note that the "Deception" of the title, is "on his mind" in more ways than one: the Self is the first to be deluded. Scotland Yard¿s Barbara Havers temporarily leaves London and Supervising Inspector Lyndley to help the legendary Detective Emily Barlow solve a murder of a Pakistani immigrant in the decaying North Sea beach resort of Balford-le-Nez. Sergeant Havers enlists the help of colorful townspeople with competing agendas, and who happen to be simmering in off-season hot weather and what threatens to be a religious race war. The author loves words, and the things words do, especially with people of passion. One of the nice bits for those of us who love Elizabeth George and her crime mysteries, is the introduction of her neighbor Taymullah Azhar, a single father with lawyer-like talents who is caring for an adorable child, Khalidah Hadiyyah. While working the familiar sinews of an untethered and de facto virginal heroine, the author artfully sharpens the knife edges of Barbara Haver¿s family and lover-loneliness on the leather of her longings. The Sergeant¿s edge is keened by the fact that Detective Barlow requires sexual servicing ¿ it is discreet ¿ as a matter of course. The solution to the crime ¿ finding the murderer ¿ is both simple and elusive. The usual suspects formula is applied ¿ line up the suspects who have motive, means, and opportunity. What is wonderful is the way the author actually hides the murderer under the noses of everyone. Written in 1997 ¿ 5 years before 9/11 ¿ the book is also a prescient warning about the destabilizing stresses of young people trapped between traditions, religious convictions, and the demands of ¿honor¿ as old values come into play in new places. The book fearlessly brings major contemporary conflict themes into play: land development opportunities changing old ways; the role of women; child-care by single parents; discrimination against homosexuals; the experience of immigration; the politics of police-work; racial inter-marriage; and the sidelining of the elderly who do not want to go quietly as a ¿paralyzed pilgarlic¿. All of these cultural artifacts and prejudices are woven into the mystery, and are used to keep the perpetrator hidden in plain view.Elizabeth George never talks ¿down¿ and she has little patience with characters who indulge in obscurities ¿ her heroine is a no-nonsense Sergeant working for a Supervisor who brooks no fools. However, without pretension, there are plenty of words unfamiliar to some of us which are drawn from the argot of the place¿the street filled with new immigrants. Along with the ¿English¿ scarpered, slag, coif, aggro, suss out, caff, rozzers, poofter, rolling in lolly, bricking it, done a bunk, cosh, recce, ginger look, we also have Pakistani meri-jahn, dupatta, lena-dena, and the traditional references, Allahu Akbar, J¿uma, halal, mirab, shahada. We also have a smattering of German and French, where an international smuggling operation is unraveled. We are given the wonderful pun using fete and fait accompli. The hero, Barbara Havers, juggles her job, her hopes, her loyalties. But she uses words to mean what they say, despite the complications in her immediate circumstances, and ¿despite the uncertainty they gave to her future¿.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very long. I fell asleep numerous times during long dull stretches. I love eliz george but i didnt care for all the race issues. I missed lynley. Det havers was good but i didnt like many of the other characters esp the detective havers worked with.
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Tigerpaw70 More than 1 year ago
Book 9 in the Inspector Lynley series Elizabeth George plunges us once again into a gripping and twisted "Whodunit" plot based in Balford-le-Nez, a dying fictional sea town on the coast of Essex. True to her style, this book in the series is beautifully written, the plot well-crafted and the characterization excellent. This is a complicated mystery which may be a tad too long and a bit slow-moving at times but one that will not fail to draw you into the story immediate. You will be caught up in the web of suspense and deception till the end. Finally Inspector Lynley and Helen have tied the knot and are on their honeymoon and Barbara Havers has been granted an extension on her convalescence, her plans where to spend a little time in Balford-le-Nez. . Balford-le-Nez has a growing Asian community and when a member is found dead near its beach, his neck broken...The normally sleepy town ignites...Hearing of this Barbara can't help but get involved and quickly becomes a prominent figure in the murder investigation of this recent immigrant from Pakistan. The case has a personal side; her landlord Taymullah Azhar and his daughter Hadiyyah have connections to the dead man. In typical fashion the writer has the murder investigation as the focal point while exploring the hardships new immigrants face in a country foreign to them. With Lynley out of the picture, Barbara must use her own sound investigative skills and leave no stones unturned. People are quick to tag this murder as a racially motivated crime. What really happened and for what reason? This book is an absorbing read, however, some important threads are left dangling leaving questions as to the outcome of some events and the fate of some characters....maybe the answers are in a future sequel....