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A Place of Hiding
By Elizabeth George

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A Place of Hiding

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A Place of Hiding
By Elizabeth George
Random House Large Print, (2003)
ISBN: 0-375-43227-2
Genre: Mystery

Reviewed by Auggie Moore - January 5, 2004

In a departure from her fast-paced Lynley and Havers mysteries, Elizabeth George has crafted a fine, slow-paced mystery that highlights two of the supporting 'stars' of the Lynley and Havers mystery series - Deborah and Simon St. James. Simon is a forensic scientists and longtime friend of Inspector Lynley, and Simon's wife Deborah is a photographer. She is also Lynley's former girlfriend. The two have appeared in most of George's books featuring Lynley. A Place of Hiding is the first time that they have had a 'book' of their own - and it is about time! Simon is an intriguing character who is often overshadowed by Lynley. In A Place of Hiding he is finally allowed to stand at center stage and received the accolades that he deserves.

In this novel, the St. James' are called upon to help prove the innocence of China River, who has been arrested on the charge of murder. China River is an old friend of Deborah's, and it is River's brother, Cherokee who initially asks for help to free his sister. River has been accused of murdering Guy Brouard, a wealthy landowner on the Island of Guernsey. At the time of his death, China River and Cherokee had been on the island to deliver a set of architectural drawings to Brouard.

Why anyone would want to kill Brouard, let alone why River would want to, is a mystery to everyone involved. Nonetheless, the police are convinced that she is the guilty party. The St. James' search for the truth leads them to discover that the island's residents seem to have more skeletons in their closets than is the norm. Many of these skeletons are related to the Nazi occupation of this English island during World War II. In delving into the current mystery surrounding Brouard's death, they find that the past and the present are inexorably entwined.

A Place of Hiding is a rich, well-wrought mystery that takes you into the minds and hearts of the characters. Rather than relying on explosion and chase scenes to hold the reader's attention, George presents the reader with a complex puzzle that not only holds your interest, but which keeps you guessing until the very end...

Despite the fact that Lynley only makes a cameo appearance in the book, and Havers not at all, I highly recommend this book to all Lynley and Havers fans! Not only does A Place of Hiding offers the reader a satisfying read, but it also offers an intimate glimpse into the life, and mind set, of two usually overlooked, yet influential characters in many of George's novels.

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