"A Great Deliverance" by Elizabeth George
I don't think there has ever been a more unlikely pair of detectives than Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. Lynley is from the upper part of the upper crust, with a title and all. Havers hails from the lower income part of London, and carries a massive chip on her shoulders about it as well. Neither thinks highly of the other, but they are forced to work together for the first time when a sixteen year old girl is accused of decapitating her father in a barn in the countryside of the small English town of Keldale.
I've seen the Inspector Lynley Mysteries on PBS, but they did not prepare me for A Great Deliverance by Elizabeth George. This is the first in the Lynley/Havers series written by George. I will admit that, at first, I struggled through the first few chapters of this book. It is not that it is poorly written, but Elizabeth George tends to use quite elaborate turns of phrase in her writing that doesn't necessarily appeal to me. But, I pressed on and was rewarded in the end for my perseverance.
As Lynley and Havers come to terms with their forced partnership, they also make strides in solving the mystery. The final five chapters generated such emotional response that I found it impossible to put down. I must warn you, though, those five chapters are not for the faint of heart. There were moments where I wanted to throw the book across the room in hopes that it could inflict some form of imagined pain upon some of the characters as punishment for the unspeakable crimes committed. What started as a slower page turner ended as a roller coaster of emotion once the full extent of the crime is revealed.
You may have noticed that I have steered clear of revealing any plot lines. It is the kind of book that reads far better by not knowing anything when you crack open the cover. But, again, if you are faint of heart, you may want to avoid this one. The ending can be gruesome and heart wrenching.