So…we have a book where Havers is the lead and Lynley is only in it for a few moments. I don’t think the book worked without Lynley being included. Also Havers started to bug me since based on her character it made zero sense why she got so invested in her next door neighbor. I also thought the ending of who killed the murdered man was a reach and a half. It just didn’t make any sense from what we know. I honestly thought it was another character. Also there were too many loose ends that left me feeling unsatisfied.
“Deception on His Mind” takes place about two weeks after the events in the last book. Lynley has married Lady Helen and is now off on his honeymoon. Havers is recovering from the brutal fight she was in. With forced time off she is at loose ends and when she finds out her next door neighbors are going to Balford-le-Nez due to a family thing, Havers decides to go to keep them out of trouble. From there we have Havers being invited in to help by the local DCI into the murder of a Pakistani man named Haytham Querashi. Racial tensions are high and the local activist groups are demanding that whatever English person who did this be brought to justice. George follows several people in the village and we quickly find out that everyone has secrets they are hiding.
So Havers….nope. I honestly thought she was replaced by an alien in this one until the very end when she does something Havers like that may end up causing ripples in the next book. I didn’t even get why she was so invested in the case and wanting to follow Taymullarh Azhar and his daughter.
The DCI on the case, Emily Barlow is no Lynley. It takes Havers a while to see her for who she is, but once again, I think it’s going to take until the next book to unwrap that whole thing.
I do wonder at how things will go with Taymullarh and his daughter.
George also focuses on Taymullarh’s relations in this one, his cousins Malik and Sahlah are interested in this case since Salah was to marry Haytham. Sahlah has a lot of secrets in this one and her English friend Rachel who wanted her to stand up to her family and refuse to marry Haytham. We also have a local English matriarch, Agatha Shaw and her family that want the case to be dealt with so it doesn’t bring even more ruin upon the village.
Sahlah’s POV’s were the best in my mind in the book. However, George left a lot of loose ends with this character and I can guess at what is going to come next, but I hate that. I wish that George had been more explicit about things. Also there’s still loose threads with other characters and the whole thing made my head hurt last night when I finished this one.
The writing was all over the place in this one. I couldn’t follow a train of thought beyond Sahlah and Rachel’s honestly. When we switch back to the case I found myself bored. The flow was pretty bad throughout I have to say.
The ending definitely leaves things up in the air and I found myself thinking that this was just definitely the very definition of a filler book.