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Date Posted: 16:49:27 05/22/04 Sat
Author: Syl
Subject: Traitor to Memory

Well, after me playing Shirley Valentine and going to Greece, then the boards go down, we finally have a new book review, thanks to Susan G/McPudel. Read on!

TITLE: Traitor to Memory

AUTHOR: Elizabeth George

GENRE: Mystery/crime


Like some of us hosers, Iíve been trying to feed my Lally-addiction by following the excerpts Herself metes out. The excerpts Herself posts are sometimes a paragraph, sometimes as long as six or eight pages, but because she tries to hold back major plot twists, Iím not sure if I could even assemble them into a strict chronological sequence.

Well, imagine a whole book like that (but without Claire and Jamie spoilers!). The theme of Traitor to Memory is memory, the past, and how our memories of the past are fragile and affected by what others tell us.

The book, like so many mystery/crime novels, opens with a victim, something happening suddenly to someone we donít know. Unlike the typical mystery, no reference is made to the character for another few hundred pages. Yes, this is a meaty long book like Gabaldon fans enjoy. And like Gabaldonís work, itís not a turn-the-crank member of its genre.

As the story unfolds, multiple points of view and story lines interweave. Gabriel Davies is a violinist, a former child prodigy. His father Richard has devoted his life to his sonís music career. One night, Gabriel goes on stage and finds he cannot play Ė he canít make himself play a note on his priceless Stradivarius.

A therapist enlisted to ďcureĒ him starts him on the process of keeping a journal and thinking about his childhood. Meanwhile, the body of a woman has been found, killed by a car. The investigating officers recognize her name and her involvement in a sensational case from twenty years ago. The police officers also have their own histories and interactions.

Elizabeth George skillfully interweaves the story lines and time lines. The effect left me a little dizzy at points but so does putting together memories of the past.

This is the first Elizabeth George book I have read. Although the story is ďaboutĒ the violinist and his family, the most well rounded characters and relationships are among the police force, and it looks as if their continuing story has been told in previous books. I look forward to enjoying them in the future.

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Replies:

[> Syl, great review! Especiallly how you summed it up w/o giving anything away.I love EG's books, they're all very well written, and the continuing characters have developed into very interesting people. She has a new book in the series, I forgot it's name, it's just out in hardback. I think her writing is beautiful. -- Brookita, 22:34:26 05/22/04 Sat


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[> [> I'm sorry, I meant thanks, Susan! -- Brookita, 22:35:45 05/22/04 Sat


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[> Thanks so much for the review! I have never been an Elizabeth George fan, too plodding, but this one looks worth giving her another try. -- beccabee, 11:19:18 05/23/04 Sun


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[> Sounds very interesting!!!! Thanks, Susan. -- Judie, 21:36:58 05/24/04 Mon


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[> Thanks for this review and recommendation. I think I've only read one book by her in my life, and that was years ago. Thanks for bringing her back to my mind! :-) -- Antje, 22:13:05 05/24/04 Mon


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[> [> Mary, thanks for the links! I loved the interview, and I'm glad she addressed the issue of the actors not looking like the book characters. It would be hard for me to watch these shows, I have a very definite idea in my head of what Lynley looks like. -- Brookita, 23:18:38 05/26/04 Wed


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[> I found out about these books on the Reading Rec. board last summer and plowed thru all of them as fast as possible. I was pleasantly surprised to find that PBS stations here in the US are broadcasting BBC productions of some of Elizabeth George's books. To read about the ones that are already filmed you can go HERE. And to find broadcast days/times on your local PBS stations, go HERE Hope the linkies work! -- MaryC in KY, 11:03:29 05/25/04 Tue


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[> I just found the newest, A Place of Hiding, at the Goodwill! After scanning through it, it appears it centers more on Deborah and St. James than Lynley and Barbara.Either way, I'm so happy I get to enjoy this book now, I wait for her books with anticipation (not as much as DG's of course). -- Brookita, 11:37:36 06/02/04 Wed


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[> I'm definitely adding this to my TBR list - thanks! -- GinC, 08:16:25 06/04/04 Fri


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[> This sounds great, I must look out for it. Its on my to read list, which is getting out of hand now. Must make time for some reading one of these days. -- Gwen, 04:55:32 06/19/04 Sat


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