I have read the 126th book for the book challenge. It was This Body Of Death: An Inspector Lynley Novel by Elizabeth George.
Inspector Thomas Lynley has returned to work after the murder of his wife Helen. He is second in command to Acting Deputy Superintendent Isabelle Ardery. Ardery is a no-nonsense authoritarian superintendent. She maintains a tight control over the unit and the team is having a difficult time adjusting to her style.
A young woman named Jemima Hastings has gone missing from Hampshire. She disappeared from her home. She went to London and had been in contact with her brother but recently she has not had any contact with him. Her brother and best friend Meredith Powell are worried.
The body of a young woman is discovered in a cemetery in London. She has been stabbed in the neck. The body has no identification but the young woman has two different colored eyes. After a description of the young woman is released, a landlady comes forward to say that her tenant is missing and she identifies the young woman as Jemima Hastings. Superintendent Ardery’s team starts their investigation. They have a description of an Asian man who was seen running from the cemetery at the time of Jemima’s death. They also send Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata to Hampshire to investigate the death there.
Lynley and Ardery investigate Jemima’s lovers in London, Paolo di Fabio and Frazer Chaplin. Both have alibis. They also investigate a psychic as well as the landlady. They find the Asian man, Yukia Matsumoto, playing violin in Covet Garden and chase him but he hit by a car and put in hospital. There is much publicity about this because he is the schiophrenic brother of a famous cellist. Ardery wants to talk to him about the murder because the murder weapon, a thatcher’s crook, was found in his room and the victim’s blood was found on his shirt. But the killer’s shirt and the victim’s purse were found in a recycling bin in front of the landlady’s house.
The detectives visit Gordon Jossie, Jemima’s former boyfriend and his girlfriend Gina Dickens. Gordon claims he was in Holland at the time but Gina finds train tickets and hotel receipts that prove Gordon was in London when Jemima was killed. Inspector Whiting of Hampshire is also involved with the cover-up of Jossie’s whereabouts. Barbara Havers tries to investigate Whiting and finds that the Home Office is involved in the Jossie affair.
Meanwhile, Ardery has an alcohol problem. Lynley is talking to her, trying to get her to seek help, but she is adamant that she does not need help. She makes many mistakes in utilizing her staff. She interviews Yukio Matsumoto and gets a description of the two men he saw with Jemima Hastings that day in the cemetery. One was probably Gordon Jossie. The other sounds like Frazer Chaplin, who probably killed him.
But how to break his alibi? That is the task that Lynley and Ardery have before them. And what is the secret that Gordon Jossie is hiding that has the Home Office involved?
The ending of the book in action packed and filled with surprises. This was a marvelous book and I loved the story. The detectives are tenacious and Lynley is superb. I don’t know what he sees in Isabelle but there it is. He is a mentor to her. He helps her through this difficult time, both professionally and personally. This is a splendid book.