The Inspector Lynley series is one of my favorite and this one of my favorite books in the series. Ms George's research is excellent and the book feels like each and every place should be "there", waiting to be discovered in person. As to the content...excellent story.
There are a number of contrivances and improbabilities in this book: Simon, on holiday, calling in Lynley and Havers (also on holiday) very unofficially, to investigate the case of a mysterious death that turns out to involve major coincidences of its own. Even so, the plot is interesting and complicated, and George handles it very well. But it's her characters that are the centerpiece. Those specific to the book, the locals involved in the story, are nicely drawn, but the "regulars"--Lynley, Helen, Simon, and Deborah--are the stars, and their struggles with their personal demons are touching and very real.
The story is not the type of mystery one might expect. There is no body. But there are quite a few interesting twists and of course the ongoing development of Deborah and Simon's and Thomas and Helen's relationships sprinkled throughout.