Finished December 9
A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George, read by John Lee
This is the 19th book in the series featuring Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers. Barbara is behaving herself at work, with the threat of a transfer hanging over her head, but those who care about her see that she is not the police officer that she can be. With Isabelle Ardery holding the threat and not willing to give it up, despite Lynley's urging, it is civilian secretary Dorothea Harriman who recognizes that Barbara needs something else to concentrate on. At first Dorothea thinks that it is sex that Barbara needs, a man in her life and she takes Barbara on an outing to ready her for that. Naturally, Barbara doesn't fully cooperate, but the outing does lead Barbara to attend a talk by feminist Clare Abbott. Clare has some issues in her life and her friend and editor Rory knows that things aren't right. When someone dies, Rory reaches out to Barbara for help. Barbara sees this case as a test, a way to prove herself to Ardery, and perhaps to herself again as well. While Lynley pairs her with Nkata and the two go to Dorset to get to the bottom of things.
There is a backstory here, which is partly set up for us as the book begins, where we see Caroline Goldacre and her two sons, Charlie and Will. Will has issues that drive him from an independent life to one where he relies on Caroline. Charlie is married to a caring young woman, India, but he too has been influenced by his mother. Caroline's behaviour is driving her husband Alistair away as well, and her manipulative behaviour is something that Barbara is quick to focus on.
This book has a lot going on, with many interesting characters, and plot lines going off in many directions. I found myself hoping for a particular ending, but worried that it wouldn't go that way.
The interesting part is the growth of the main characters, particularly Barbara as she begins to see that her attitude affects her outcomes, and I really enjoyed seeing this.
A great read.