Lynley and Havers are called in to solve the mystery of why a sixty-two year old woman is murdered by a hit and run driver. There are several suspects, most of them involved in a murder twenty years earlier when the victim's two year old baby was drowned in her bath. The child's nanny was tried, convicted and sentenced to twenty years jail, now she is out and top of the suspect list for this current murder.
This report prepared by Penny
Violinist Gideon Davies, 28, has suffered a total block in his solo concert career. A psychiatrist accepts him for treatment and instructs him to keep a journal about all he can remember from the past. Many levels of history -- about his father's first marriage and child, the murder of Gideon's retarded sister, his mother's desertion of the family, and his father's current pending marriage to a young, pregnant TV producer -- come into play. Other players from the past surface, and a 23-year-old American lodger (female) also complicates the present. Inspector Lynley and Constable Havers join the team who investigate the hit-and-run deaths of two women, which leads not only to the Davies family's long-kept secrets, but those of their own boss, Detective Supt. Malcolm Webberley, as well. Gideon Davies, the clear center of this story, is not a terribly likable protagonist, nor is the journal ploy an entirely convincing narrative device; also, the roles of Lynley and Havers (and by necessity, Helen, Deborah, and St. James) are correspondingly downplayed. But as compensation, black Detective Winston Nkata gets more playing time (George would do well to explore this personage further in future books), and the plot complications are characteristically bewildering.
This report prepared by David Loftus
Bantam, Jul 2001, 26.95, 736 pp.
He made his public debut at the age of six and a half and almost two decades later former child prodigy Gideon Davies remains internationally renowned for his music. One day just before a performance, the music vanished and Gideon could no longer even play a simple note. After a complete neurological work up that showed no physical cause, his doctors recommend a psychiatrist.
Following several intense sessions over the next few weeks, Gideon concludes that he suffers from repressed memories. He did not remember that he once had a sister Sonia who suffered from Down's Syndrome before being killed by her nanny when she was two. While Gideon struggles to adjust to his recollection, his mother who deserted the family years ago is murdered in front of the London home of a man who one lodged with the Davies family when Sonia still lived. DI Inspector Lynley and Constable Havers begin an investigation to keep the surviving Davies kin safe even though it means digging deep into a family's darkest secrets.
Elizabeth Gorge has written a monster sized, yet fascinating police procedural that allows numerous subplots to fully develop and characters to feel both real and complex. Unlike their usual appearance where Lynley and Havers play center court, Gideon is the star of A TRAITOR TO MEMORY. Although it takes a while for the meat of the plot to be served the soup and salad is as tasty as the delicious main course. Ms. George provides sub-genre fans with a psychological look at a family in crisis wrapped inside a strong police procedural that will bring the author much acclaim. Set aside a few days and enjoy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner