Not too much to say except that reading about the fallout from Haver’s actions in the last book drove this one a lot. Havers is still with the force, but demoted. Lynley feels as if Havers was not properly punished for what she did and is reluctant to work with her again. Through a new case though (the investigation into two young people who are found murdered) Havers works mostly with Winston Nkata in this one. So we get to see a new dynamic between long standing characters. And we get to see more changes between Lynley and Helen now that they are married. Per usual, Lynley is angry that Helen dares to act independent of him. I thought the case was interesting, but the why behind it was pretty ridiculous. Usually that would be enough for me to lower a star. However, I read the next book in the series already, and this one is practically Shakespeare compared to that one.
“In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner” has Lynley asked to investigate from a former undercover who was well renowned in the police force. The man’s twenty year old daughter is found dead and a nearby young man is also found. Through a lot of twists and turns, Lynley finds out about a darker life that the young woman was embarking on. What I thought was interesting about this one is that so many people were setting out to protect others, but in the end, if any of them had been honest about things, I think a different ending would have happened.
Lynley is a prig in this one. He’s pretty ticked that Havers disobeyed a direct order and he wants her to show some contrition about what she did. This of course gets back to Lynley not really liking it when the women in his life don’t act as he wants then to. Heck, this book sets up several unpleasant revelations regarding how he views his now wife. She is supposed to agree with him always and not take anyone else’s side. This view of marriage is quite grim.
Havers though she’s feeling thrown due to the ultimate decision about her police fate and now with Lynley not really talking to her or wanting to talk to her, is still focused on showing him what she can do. She also wants to prove him wrong and I can’t blame her. I loved her burgeoning friendship with Winston though. He truly sees Havers for how she is and how good she is. Something Lynley often does not.
The writing was good, but could have been cut way back. Per usual George throws in POVs via a variety of people I won’t get into here. The flow does work though because she keeps the book moving pretty crisply until you find out who the murder is and I really went what and shook my head.
The ending leaves things on a more hopeful and friendly note with Havers and Lynley though.