After the love child of a Liberal black MP and a white conservative newspaper editor is kidnapped, they're blackmailed into publishing details of their affair.



(novel), (screenplay)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Hazeldine ...
Dennis Luxford
Rodney Aronson
Eve Bowen
Alistair Harvie
Bennet Thorpe ...
Personal Secretary
Natalie Freegard ...
Charlotte Bowen
Simone Bendix ...
Fiona Luxford
Joseph Friend ...
Leo Luxford
Jayne McKenna ...
Newsreader (as Jane McKenna)
Anjalee Patel ...
Alex Stone
Damien Chambers


The conservative editor of a major newspaper, Dennis Luxford, receives a ransom demand: publish the details of his first-born child or else. Some years earlier, he had a weekend tryst with a left-wing politician, Eve Bowen, now a government Minister and by mutual agreement his paternity has never been publicly acknowledged. In a strange twist the girl is killed before Luxford has a chance to publish the story. Inspector Lynley and Sergeant Havers are in charge of the investigation but are also soon dealing with another kidnapping when Luxford's young son Leo is taken and he again received the same ransom demand. The solution lies in uncovering events from long ago. Meanwhile, Lynley and Helen Clyde's relationship becomes even more complicated due to her friendship with Luxford and her attempt to assist him. Written by garykmcd

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Not Rated




Release Date:

17 March 2003 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


James Hazeldine died before broadcast. See more »


Barbara Havers: Not a popular bloke then, your boss?
Rodney Aronson: You don't get to the top in Fleet Street without picking up a few enemies along the way.
See more »

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User Reviews

very good Inspector Lynley
2 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

From season 2 of the Inspector Lynley Mysteries is "In the Presence of the Enemy," which concerns kidnapping, murder, politics, and mental instability.

The editor of a newspaper, Dennis Luxford (James Hazeldine), finds out that his child by a left-wing black politician, Eve Bowen (Sophie Okonedo), has been kidnapped. Luxford himself is a conservative; Bowen is a government minister and the two have never revealed their connection or that they have a child. Luxford is warned that he must publish the details of his first-born, or she will be killed.

Unfortunately, the girl is found dead, and later, his son Leo is kidnapped. Lynley (Nathaniel Parker) and Sergeant Havers (Sharon Small) have to go back into the past and to another town to solve the mystery and hopefully get Leo back in time.

Lynley's love interest, Helen Clyde (Lesley Vickerage), is a friend of Luxford's and tries to help him, which in turn complicates her relationship with Lynley.

Excellent entry into the series, with everyone in top form. I can never figure out what Parker sees in Clyde, but that's another story. The script and production values in this episode are excellent. Highly recommended.

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