1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George delivers another masterpiece of suspense in her Inspector Lynley series: a gripping child-in-danger story that tests Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers like never before.
Penguin LCC US
This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof. The world is still deceived with ornament. In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt But, being season'd with a gracious voice, Obscures the show of evil? The Merchant of Venice 15 NOVEMBER EARLS COURT LONDON Sitting on a plastic chair inside Brompton Hall among a crowd of two hundred shouting individuals-all dressed in what had to be called alternative garb-was the last thing Thomas Lyn ley had ever expected to find himself doing. Edgy music was blasting from speakers the size of a tower block on Miami Beach. A food stall was doing a very brisk business in hot dogs, popcorn, lager, and soft drinks. A female announcer was periodically shrieking above the din to call out scores and name penalties. And ten helmeted women on roller skates were racing round a flat ring delineated with tape on the concrete floor. It was supposed to be an exhibition match only: something to educate the populace in the finer points of women's flat track roller derby. But it was a case of tell-that-to-the-players, for the women engaged in the bout were deadly serious. They had intriguing names. All of them were printed, along with suitably menacing photos, in the programmes that had been distrib uted as spectators took their seats. Lynley had chuckled as he'd read each nom de guerre. Vigour Mortis. The Grim Rita. Grievous Bodily Charm. He was there because of one of the women, Kickarse Electra. She skated not with the local team-London's the Electric Magic-but rather with the team from Bristol, a savage-looking group of females who went by the alliterative collective Boadicea's Broads. Her actual name was Daidre Trahair, she was a large animal veterinarian em ployed at Bristol's zoo, and she had no idea that Lynley was among the howling mass of spectators. He wasn't sure if he was going to keep matters that way. He was, at this point, operating strictly by feel. He had a companion with him, having lacked the courage to ven ture into this unknown world on his own. Charlie Denton had ac cepted his invitation to be enlightened, educated, and entertained at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, and at this moment, he was milling among the crowd at the snack stall. He'd made the declaration of
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