That’s Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley of New Scotland Yard. Never mind that Lynley is the creation of talented mystery writer Elizabeth George. Never mind that none of her books start with the letter L. Lynley IS a capital character, as are the other fascinating individuals who populate her well-written thrillers. Be warned: Elizabeth George has such a remarkable gift that you will find yourself enmeshed in the lives of Thomas Lynley; his wife, Helen; colleagues Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata; and Azhar and his daughter, Hadiyyah. I admit I have sobbed my way through some of George’s stories, stayed up until 4 AM to see all the puzzle pieces fit neatly in place, and mourned the last book in the series.
Barbara Havers is probably my second favorite character in the Lynley series. She’s a headstrong, brilliant detective who forges her own path towards self-destruction. Guilt-ridden yet arrogant, she’s one of the many broken individuals in George’s books. George manages to capture the ugly side of human nature without losing sight of our unique strengths and gifts. I’m not sure I would want to live in Elizabeth George’s head. But look at her! She seems quite benign, even friendly! She has also started a foundation to support artistic endeavors by unpublished writers, especially those which benefit disadvantaged youth.