Four years made longer by the fact that at the end of With No One As Witness, Elizabeth George left Lynley and the entire series as a cross-roads. As shes done with the last few Lynley and Havers novels, George expands the focus beyond our two protagonists. Add that to mysterious ties to the past by his parents and youve got the usual George tapestry of colorful suspects, all of whom had a very good motive for bumping off Santo Kerne. In Careless in Red, George takes the time to develop each of the people of the setting into something more than just a standard suspect. And the book includes Havers, who may be my favorite character of the novels. Well-drawn characters, a well-executed mystery and our chance to explore more about Lynley and Havers. Instead, Id say if you want to find out why everyone loves Elizabeth George, start with her first novel A Great Deliverance and explore the Lynley and Havers universe from the beginning.
The few that I did like eventually ended up annoying me too.. Im still aggrieved at George for killing off Helen*, (pointlessly, I might add) and then forcing me, her loyal reader, to wade through the joyless mulch of "What Came Before." Elizabeth George OWES me, and this one didnt cover it. *My theory is that George wrote herself into a corner what drama comes from a happily married protagonist with a baby on the way?
There was one subplot in particular which took up a lot of room and was, in my view, completely unnecessary not to mention boring. Inspector Lynley, grieving for his lost wife and extremely vulnerable, is suddenly asked -- rather, compelled -- to participate in a murder investigation, even though he handed in his badge a while back, even though it's not his city, even though his capacity in the investigation is not an official one and he doesn't seem to be on the payroll so his actual level of responsibility is unclear, even though there are growing concerns about his ability to maintain balance in light of his recent loss. I realize it was a small town with an understaffed police force, but the whole thing seemed just a bit contrived -- a way to get Lynley into the picture and create dramatic conflict around his actions and emotional state at the same time. I've always enjoyed Elizabeth George's Lynley/Havers series for its psychological complexity and exploration of characters and relationships. Finally, one of the murder suspects is hiding her past in a way that appears incriminating.
Of course then they wouldn't be the same books, would they? There are many plot lines, but George keeps them from tangling up, so a reader is intrigued rather than lost; such is her skill with plot. George really gets a reader inside the heads of her characters in a way few can; such is her art. Perhaps the best example of this is early on, while Lynley is walking the coast and as he slowly, very slowly, emerges into the world. This reminded me of how much I liked the book.
Qualcuno ha detto che se in un romanzo c'è una pistola, prima o poi sparerà (è stato Cechov?
15 in a series, but after this sample I don't think I want to read the first book after all. Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley retreated to Cornwall after his wife was murdered. And this time, Lynley is not a detective but a witness, and even a possible suspect... I always enjoy reading a good mystery/detective story, but somehow I never managed to read but a few pages at the time of this fifteenth book in the Inspector Lynley series.
Soon enough, he gets involved in the investigation into the boy's death, which, of course, has been determined to be a murder. The story was good enough - a young man killed, but not for the reason you think, with suspects aplenty. The young man who had a thing for the boy's girlfriend? Tommy is still trying to find a reason to go on, but there are hopeful signs of life. And while it was great to "see" Tommy again and heartwrenching to discover what he's been going through, the book failed to reach my expectations.
This book was irritating in a number of ways, but I think the worst was in the portrayal of families and how dysfunctional all of them are. Of course he meets a woman who is hiding something and it is all a tragic past and he wants her to call him Tommy (his wife did), which she refuses to do and I didn't really understand the full implications behind this, but the author seemed to think it was a fairly big deal. The book has some vulgar talk (that doesn't seem needed) and some sensuous descriptions of intimate moments. Everyone is just so unhappy in this book. I, like the characters in this book, would have an occasional chuckle and smile from Havers comments, but then would revert back to moroseness.
I've read all the Thomas Lynley novels and found them all to be a cut above most detective series, partly because George develops complicated characters who lead complex lives. I've never been to England, but I have a sense that after reading George's book, I would have a familiarity with the place.
Susan Elizabeth George is an American author of mystery novels set in Great Britain. Her first published novel was A Great Deliverance in 1988, featuring Thomas Lynley, Lord Asherton, a Scotland Yard inspector of noble birth; Barbara Havers, Lynley's assistant, from a very working-class background; Lady Helen Clyde, Lynley's girlfriend and later wife, of noble birth as well; and Lynley's friends Simon and Deborah St. James.