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Cover image for What came before he shot her
Format:
Title:
What came before he shot her
ISBN:
9780060545635

9780060545628
Publication Information:
New York : Harper, [2007], ©2006.
Physical Description:
722 pages ; 18 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: New York : HarperCollins, ©2006.
Summary:
Three abandoned children--Ness, who loses herself in drugs, alcohol, and fast boys; Toby, who harbors problems nobody is willing to acknowledge; and Joel, who forges a pact that sets a terrible crime into motion--become the focus of a murder investigation.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
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GEORGE Inspector Lynley #12
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MYSTERY - GEORGE
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M GEORGE, E. LYNLEY BOOK 14
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George, E.
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FIC (M) GEORGE 2006
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MYSTERY GEORGE
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M GEORGE
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MYSTERY George, E.
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MYS GEORGE
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GEORGE
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On Order

Summary

Summary

#1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George delivers an explosive novel that delves into the events leading up to a shocking murder.



The brutal, inexplicable death of Inspector Thomas Lynley's wife, Helen, has left Scotland Yard shocked and searching for answers. Even more horrifying is that the trigger was apparently pulled by a twelve-year-old boy.

That story begins on the other side of London in rough North Kensington, where the three, mixed-race, virtually orphaned Campbell children are bounced first from their grandmother to their aunt. The oldest, fifteen-year-old Ness, is headed for trouble as fast as her high-heeled boots will take her. That leaves the middle child, Joel, to care for the youngest, Toby. No one wants to put it into words, but something clearly isn't right with Toby.

Before long, there are signs that Joel himself has problems. A local gang starts harassing him and threatening his brother. To protect his family, Joel ends up making a pact with the devil--a move that leads straight to the front doorstep of Thomas Lynley.

The anatomy of a murder, the story of a family in crisis, What Came Before He Shot Her is a powerful and emotional novel, full of deep psychological insights, that only the incomparable Elizabeth George could write.


Author Notes

Elizabeth George was born on February 26, 1949, in Warren, Ohio. She received a bachelor's degree in education from the University of California in Riverside and a master's degree in counseling/psychology from California State University at Fullerton. She taught English in high school for about thirteen years before leaving to become a full-time writer. She is the New York Times and internationally best selling author of twenty British crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his unconventional partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. Her novel, A Great Deliverance, won the Anthony Award, the Agatha Award, and France's Le Grand Prix de Literature Policiere in 1989. Her crime novels have been translated into 30 languages and featured on television by the BBC. She is also the author of a young adult series set on the island where she lives in the state of Washington. Her title's include Edge of Light, The Edge of the Shadows, The Edge of the Water, I, Richard, and The Punishment She Deserves.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller George (With No One as Witness) departs from the usual investigative nuts and bolts of her Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers mystery thrillers with this searing examination of the lives of one horribly dysfunctional family and their immigrant London milieu. Switching uncomfortably at times from dialogue in a rough patois to exposition in a language both formal and sociological, George delivers a stinging indictment of a society unable to respond effectively to the needs of its poorer citizens. Kendra Osborne, a 40-year-old woman with modest ambitions and plans to achieve them, has no idea how to cope when her mother "dumps" her sister's three children on her doorstep and heads for Jamaica. Fifteen-year-old Ness, 11-year-old Joel and seven-year-old Toby each have a wealth of problems exacerbated by their mixed-race heritage. It's no accident that George refers to Dickens on the first page of this earnest but perhaps overly didactic novel, which focuses on the burdens borne by Joel as he's swept by forces he can neither understand nor control into a fatal encounter. 8-city author tour. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Kirkus Review

How many wrong decisions can a 12-year-old make? Joel Campbell is a kid with too many responsibilities. His dad has died in the wake of a drug deal gone wrong, his mother drifts in and out of psychosis in a locked ward and his granny's decamped for Jamaica, leaving him, his in-your-face sister Ness, 15, and their loony brother Toby, 8, in a scruffy London flat with their aunt Kendra. It's up to him, Joel thinks, to make things right for everybody. But how can a 12-year-old compensate his sister for five years of abuse that's led her into drugs and indiscriminate sex? How can he be Toby's principal caregiver and protect him from gang dust-ups without admitting to his aunt that anything's wrong? And how can he stop the social worker from sending Toby into foster care; keep the guy Ness shagged, then humiliated, from taking revenge; and prevent the cops from labeling him a troublemaker when all his plans go belly-up? Inexorably, every decision Joel makes leads to tragedy. A barge fire almost immolates Toby. A gang rape turns Ness from victim to knife-wielder to convict. The bad luck stretches all the way to Belgravia, where Inspector Thomas Lynley's wife Helen meets Joel and a handgun on her doorstep. Despite a bit too much chirpy art-as-savior philosophizing, this is George's best since A Great Deliverance, her 1988 debut. Read it and weep. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Fans of George's popular Inspector Lynley series were stunned by the brutal slaying of the Scotland Yard detective's wife in With No One as Witness 0 (2005). Her new novel unveils the events leading up to this bold, bloody event (though Lynley himself is conspicuously absent). Life is traumatic for mixed-race siblings Joel, Ness, and Toby Campbell. With their father murdered in the street and their mother in a mental institution, the trio is left in the care of Aunt Kendra, a twice-divorced fortysomething with the will but not the wherewithal to raise three kids. Teenager Ness and 12-year-old Joel do their best to cope with their new life in London's often-menacing neighborhood of North Kensington. Ness ditches school, does drugs, and becomes romantically entangled with Blade, a nefarious local drug dealer with a cobra tattoo on his cheek. Joel strives to keep the peace in a precarious domestic situation; he watches out for his younger brother, Toby, whose odd appearance and slow wit make him a frequent target of cruel peers. After numerous run-ins with the law, Ness is assigned to a promising community service project. Meanwhile, Joel seals his fate by bravely defending his brother and sister from a bloodthirsty young thug. George deftly depicts the palaver and predicaments of middle- and working-class Brits in this dark, chilling tale of desperation and revenge. --Allison Block Copyright 2006 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Waving good-bye (if only temporarily) to Thomas Lynley, George deposits three orphans with a desperate aunt in North Kensington. The trouble that follows is bigger than you think. With a one-day laydown; an eight-city tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.