Thomas Lynley y Barbara Havers

 

 “And those terrifying words: “I did it. I’m not sorry.”

A Great Deliverance (1988), de la escritora estadounidense Elizabeth George (1949), es un muy buen thriller policiaco que nos sacude por el problema que se aborda: el abuso de niñas.

A Great Deliverance, traducida al español con el título Una gran salvación, es la primera de la serie de 21 novelas policiacas con los detectives de The New Scotland Yard: el inspector Thomas Lynley, octavo conde de Asherton, aristócrata, guapo, elegante y muy culto, que contrasta (y se complementa) con la sargento Barbara Havers, “working class”, desaliñada, socialmente resentida e insegura.

“He was a miraculous combination of every single thing that she thoroughly despised: educated at Eton, a first in history at Oxford, a public school voice, and a bloody family tree that had its roots somewhere just this side of the Battle of Hastings. Upper class. Bright. And so damnably charming that she couldn’t understand why every criminal in the city simply didn’t surrender to accommodate him. His whole reason for working at the Yard was a joke, a flaming little myth…”

“At thirty years old, Barbara Havers was a decidedly unattractive woman, but a woman who appeared to be doing everything possible to make herself so…The entire effect was that of a woman stubby, sturdy, and entirely unapproachable”.

Las novelas de Elizabeth George trascienden la novela policíaca. Desde su perspectiva americana describe con profundidad el ambiente social en el que se desarrollan sus novelas, contrasta la personalidad de personajes de desiguales personalidades y de opuestos orígenes, de tal manera que sus novelas son también estudiosos sociológicos de la Inglaterra de los últimos treinta años.

A Great Deliverance empieza con Lynley en la boda de su mejor amigo con la mujer a la que él ama.  Mientras el Departamento de Investigaciones Criminales de Scotland Yard, está sumido en la investigación de un asesino serial en Londres. ·”…twelve recent murder victims, all of them killed in an identical manner in or near London train stations. Thirteen murders now in just over five weeks…”  

Y con la extraña decisión del Superintendente Malcolm Weberly, de regresar nuevamente a Barbara Havers, quien había sido degrada, para que trabaje con el inspector Lynley en la investigación del asesinato de William Teys a manos de su hija Roberta Teys, sucedido en un pequeño pueblo del condado de Yorkshire en el norte de Inglaterra.

“Havers proved herself incapable of getting along with a single DI for her entire tenure in CID. She’s been back in uniform these past eight months and doing a better job there. Leave her.” “…I didn’t try her with Lynley.”

Lynley y Havers se trasladan al pequeño pueblo de Keldale en la región de Yorkshire.

“The village was surrounded by woods, by the upward slope of meadow, by the feeling of absolute security and peace. Once St. Catherine’s bells ceased ringing, the birds took up, tittering from rooftops and trees. Somewhere, a fire had been lit and woodsmoke, just the ghost of its fragrance, was like a whisper in the air. It was hard to believe that three weeks past, a mile out of town, a man had been decapitated by his only daughter”.

Para la comunidad de Keldale, William Teys era un hombre de campo, trabajador, muy religioso. Dedicado completamente a sus hijas, al trabajo y a Dios. Su esposa lo había abandonado poco después de nacer Roberta, la segunda hija. La hija mayor Gillian huyó cuando tenía dieciséis años.

“And both of them, of course, were taught from the Bible—Teys’s careful selection of passages and his twisted interpretations of them—that what they were doing was not only right but written by the hand of God as their duty as his daughters.”

Las novelas protagonizadas por el Inspector Thomas Lynley y la sargento detective Barbara Havers, de The New Scotland Yard, han sido adaptadas para la televisión por la BBC bajo el título de “The Inspector Lynley Mysteries”.

Susan Elizabeth George. U.S. 1949.

Elizabeth George. A Great Deliverance. (Inspector Lynley Book 1). NY: Bantam Dell. Random House Publishing Group. 1988. 416 p. Edición de Kindle.

1988.