Summary and book reviews of A Traitor To Memory by Elizabeth George

A Traitor To Memory

by Elizabeth George

A Traitor To Memory
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2001, 736 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2002, 1024 pages

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Book Summary

When Eugenie Davies is killed by a driver on a quiet London street, her death is clearly no accident. Someone struck her with a car and then deliberately ran over her body before driving off, leaving nothing behind but questions.

What brought Eugenie Davies to London on a rainy autumn night? Why was she carrying the name of the man who found her body? Who among the many acquaintances in her complicated and tragic life could have wanted her dead? And could her murder have some connection to a twenty-eight-year-old musical wunderkind, a virtuoso violinist who several months earlier suddenly and inexplicably lost the ability to play a single note?

For Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, whose own domestic life is about to change radically, these questions are only the first in an investigation that leads him to walk a fine line between personal loyalty and professional honor.

Assigned to the case by his superior, Superintendent Malcolm Webberly, Lynley learns that Webberly's first murder investigation as a DI over twenty years ago involved Eugenie Davies and a sensational criminal trial. Yet what is truly damaging is what Webberly already knows and no doubt wants Lynley to keep concealed.

Now the pressure is on Lynley to find Eugenie Davies' killer. For not only is he putting his own career into jeopardy, but he is also attempting to safeguard the careers of his longtime partners Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata. Together, they must untangle the dark secrets and darker passions of a family whose history conceals the truth behind a horrific crime.

It was the knowledge of a touch -- reserved for him but given to another -- that drove Ted Wiley out into the night. He'd seen it from his window, not intending to spy but spying all the same. The time: just past one in the morning. The place: Friday Street, Henley-on-Thames, a mere sixty yards from the river, and in front of her house from which they'd departed only moments before, both of them having to duck their heads to avoid a lintel put into a building in centuries past when men and women were shorter and when their lives were more clearly defined.

Ted Wiley liked that: the definition of roles. She did not. And if he hadn't understood before now that Eugenie would not be easily identified as his woman and placed into a convenient category in his life, Ted had certainly reached that conclusion when he saw the two of them -- Eugenie and that broomstick stranger -- out on the pavement and in each other's arms.

Flagrant, he'd thought. She wants me to see ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

USA Today

A superbly paced, all-consuming treat.... George has the ability to display and then dissect her characters in a painfully realistic way. If dogged police work is what you demand from mysteries, hit the sidewalk with these complicated British detectives.

Publishers Weekly

This can only add to her growing reputation as doyenne of English mystery novelists. ... [S]ome particularly moving moments.

Library Journal

An interesting twist from George her protagonist is a young violin virtuoso whose sudden inability to play while center stage leads him into a dark secret in his past.

Kirkus Reviews

Even at diminished strength, George still stands several rungs up the ladder from her more superficial rivals.

Reader Reviews

Jean Charneski

Gideon Davies is the intriguing protoganist of A Traitor to Memory. He appears very self aware in sessions with his female psychiatrist yet completely unaware of what has triggered his sudden inability to play the violin after years as a child ...   Read More

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