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Publisher's Summary

Hailed as the "king of sleaze", tabloid editor Dennis Luxford is used to ferreting out the sins and scandals of people in exposed positions. But when he opens an innocuous-looking letter addressed to him at The Source, he discovers that someone else excels at ferreting out secrets as well.

Ten-year-old Charlotte Bowen has been abducted, and if Luxford does not admit publicly to having fathered her, she will die. But Charlotte's existence is Luxford's most fiercely guarded secret, and acknowledging her as his child will throw more than one life and career into chaos. Luxford knows the story of Charlotte's paternity could make him a laughingstock and reveal to his beautiful wife and son the lie he's lived for a decade. Yet it's not only Luxford's reputation that's on the line: It's also the reputation - and career - of Charlotte Bowen's mother. For she is undersecretary of state for the Home Office, one of the most high-profile junior ministers and quite possibly the next Margaret Thatcher.

Knowing that her political future hangs in the balance, Eve Bowen refuses to let Luxford damage her career by printing the story or calling the police. So the editor turns to forensic scientist Simon St. James for help. It's a case that fills St. James with disquiet, however, for none of the players in the drama seem to react the way one would expect.

Then, tragedy occurs, and New Scotland Yard becomes involved. Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley soon discovers the case sends tentacles from London into the countryside, and he must simultaneously outfox death as he probes Charlotte Bowen's mysterious disappearance. Meanwhile, his partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, working part of the investigation on her own and hoping to make the coup of her career, may be drawing closer to a grim solution - and to danger - than anyone knows.

In the Presence of the Enemy is a brilliantly insightful and haunting novel of ideals corrupted by self-interest, of the sins of parents visited upon children, and of the masks that hide people from each other - and from themselves.

©1996 Susan Elizabeth George (P)2018 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"Combining the eloquence of P.D. James with a story John Grisham would envy, George serves up a splendid, unsettling novel." (People)

"Elizabeth George reigns as queen of the mystery genre.... [T]he Lynley books constitute the smartest, most gratifyingly complex and impassioned mystery series now being published." (Entertainment Weekly)

"Rich...and addictively readable...elegant and unsettling, classy and caustic...a page-turner with unusual breadth and generous depth." (USA Today)

What listeners say about In the Presence of the Enemy

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellant

George never disappoints with the Lynley books. The narration is superb, the characters come to life. Really well done, didn't want it to end.





















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  • Bella
  • 2018-11-28

Masterful

My favorite books in the Lynley series revolve around Barbara Havers, so for me this well-paced, well-plotted novel really gets going when Havers gets on the job. George creates two incredibly annoying characters in Dennis Luxford and Eve Bowen (oh, especially Eve), whose back-and-forths in the first part of the book about the disappearance of 10-year-old Charlotte Bowen were exasperating. Almost equally annoying are the familiar characters of Deborah St. James (whiny snowflake) and too-precious Helen Clyde, but their presence in the plot gets over quickly. When Lynley enters the picture and then Havers, well then it gets rolling. I was thoroughly engrossed and was kept guessing till the end who the evil-doer was. I also love the length of George's novels, as you really get a bang for your buck. I will always buy her novels, as I trust her to deliver each time. So, Elizabeth, a little less Deborah and Helen, and lots more Havers, please. The narrator was excellent, except in Helen's voice--she made her sound even more vapid than she normally is. All in all, fabulous! Was sorry when it ended.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Laurie Swanson
  • 2018-11-16

Best Elizabeth George book yet!

I've been a fan of Elizabeth George books for years and this is among the very best! Never figured out "who done it" until the end, which is unusual with most other mystery, thriller books. Outstanding performance too. A 20 hour book that never got slow, confusing or boring, it was hard not to stop listening as the story kept progressing throughout. Highly recommended!!!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Yankee Bookworm
  • 2022-07-17

Still one of my favorite series

Although the books are too long, and especially this one, I still love this series. This is my second listen. From the library at first, and now I've bought it, and am sure I'll re-listen in a year or so. For anyone who enjoys the St. Jameses and Helen Clyde, this is a treat. Also the Lynley-Clyde relationship moves along. The narrator is good with most voices most of the time. I myself don't care for her Havers, and sometimes Lynley.

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  • Shery Hill
  • 2022-05-11

Another Twisting Take of Murder with Some...

Kidnapping thrown in! Lindley and friends sre brought to life again by Donada Peters to find themselves among a puzzling group of parents acting quite oddly when children disappear.

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  • Mark Bennett
  • 2022-05-08

Better than last book

IMHO the last book had way too much of none a in character. I read these books for the recurring characters. This book had a good balance. And no gruesome descriptions - thank goodness. And reasonable mystery.

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  • Lynne White-Dixon
  • 2022-04-06

Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Love the humor mixed into the narrative. So great to see Havers with more of a role. The mystery of who done it keeps you wondering and catches you by surprise. I highly recommend this listen. I like this narrator of the Gilbert books.

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  • Andre J Mantha
  • 2022-03-14

A well-crafted tale expertly read by Donada Peters

Great continuation of the Inspector Linley series. Some of the social commentary may be a bit of a challenge to get through but the story is well-told with the right level of detail.

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  • Linda Brimmer
  • 2022-02-27

Words Fail Me

this is a superfragalistic mystery. Havers, oh Havers. give us more of Havers as she was in this series. And Lynly, well, Lynley is himself and always great. I never did figure out the perpetrator until George told and for me that's sort of unusual. I would recommend this book except on one merit, too much cursing, that's why 4.5 stars only reason. The Narrator was great.

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  • Glenda
  • 2021-11-21

Great book

I am an Elizabeth George fan. This has been my favorite so far of the Detective Lynley series.

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  • Christine Pembrook
  • 2021-11-01

One of the Best

This truly is one of the best in the series so far!!! Good storyline with great characters.