Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George

When Ian Creswell tragically dies in a boating accident, his uncle, Bernard Fairclough goes to see his friend Sir David Hillier to organise for someone to have a closer look at the death. Sir David sends Thomas Linley to Cumbria, undercover, to investigate. Linley takes along his two close friends Simon and Deborah St. James and between them they uncover a web of lies and deception surrounding the Fairclough family.

But, should the lies and deception really be uncovered, or is it best just to believe the lies?

Ian Creswell has recently left his wife and children to live with his partner Kaveh, but Kaveh is now refusing to come out. This has destroyed Ian’s family, particularly his 14 year old son Tim.

Bernard’s son Nicholas is a recovering drug addict who will do anything to earn his father’s love and respect. He has returned to England with his beautiful wife Alatea. But, she has her own secrets.

One of Bernard’s daughters, Mignon, is disabled. But, what does she hold over her father’s head that allows her to manipulate him?

Meanwhile Barbara Havers is having her own problems back in London. Linley and Havers boss Isabelle Ardery has strongly suggested that Havers make herself more presentable. Barbara is also trying her best to get on with her Neighbour – Azhar’s partner.

And Linley has been having a not so secret affair with Ardery who is embroiled in her own set of problems and lies.


This was a huge book. I think I would have enjoyed it more were it about 1/3 shorter. There were a huge number of sub-plots and while they were all excellent and well developed, the overall story would have been easier to read with a bit less packed into it.

Nevertheless, there were flashes of the Elizabeth George brilliance that have kept me reading her books for over 20 years (this is novel number 17). I’ve decided to go back and re-read the lot, so my next Elizabeth George novel will be ‘A Great Deliverance’ where Linley and Havers are first introduced to readers.


Book Published 2012


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