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Careless in Red Hardcover – May 6, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Sadly, "Careless in Red" falls into that category. The premise is that Thomas Lynley, in dazed mourning after the violent death of his wife, Lady Helen, just weeks earlier, and having resigned (he thinks) from New Scotland Yard, is hiking the Cornish coastline when he stumbles across the murder of a young man. Naturally, he is recruited by the investigating officer to assist, particularly by looking into the background of a female suspect, while around him swirl intrigue and conflict involving the family of the dead man and several other people associated with him. As is usual in a George novel, these many characters have secrets -- some decades-old -- along with sexual/marital problems, parent/child problems, hatreds, resentments, and neuroses, which are examined at great length.
Normally, George's large casts of dysfunctional characters add depth and psychological interest. Here, however, the cast had me rolling my eyes in boredom. Perhaps I've read too many George books, so that her approach and self-consciously very studied prose style have begun to pall; or perhaps the surfing/rock climbing theme just didn't excite me; or perhaps I felt that the setting, a relatively isolated area of Cornwall, felt a little claustrophobic. (I tend to prefer George's London-based novels over those that take us to rural locations.Read more ›
Thomas Lynley, aristocrat and Scotland Yard detective, has retreated to the wilds of the Cornish coast to cope with the loss of his beloved wife and unborn child. He has deliberately cut himself off from everyone he knows, heading off to a future that even he can't comprehend. But the real world is about to intrude and shatter his illusions.
A rock climber has fallen to his death in a remote cove, and unfortunately for Lynley, he's the one who discovers the body. Almost at the same time, the owner of the nearby cottage, Daidre Trahair, returns as he is breaking into her home, and together they report the death. The downside to all of this is that it presents both of them as potential subjects.
For Santo Kerne has been murdered, and as with a good thriller, there's plenty of potential criminals here. Santo was an energetic young surfer, mad for women, and still able to exercise a great deal of charm -- enough to where it's just odd that anyone would kill him.
And the local police chief, DI Bea Hannaford, has plenty of problems of her own. From an ex-husband who is also a police officer, to a teenage son that fill of fire and rebellion, and an assistant who makes mere incompetence look good -- she's not a happy woman. Especially when she finds out who Lynley is.
The victim's family are also not much of a treat either.Read more ›
In the course of his walk, Lynley finds the body of young Santo Kerne at the bottom of the cliff he had been climbing, and as the investigation of the death develops, the superintendent is drawn into it at the behest of local police Detective Inspector Bea Hannaford, who is having family problems of her own. DS Barbara Havers makes an appearance--and a somewhat unusual partner for DI Hannaford.
Cornwall and its surfing world are well handled in this new Lynley novel. (One minor complaint is that some terms of climbing are not explained.) While not all the characters are believable (voluptuous Dellen Kerne and her son Santo are among those who test that limit), most are fully rounded and lifelike; and several are very amusing. (I really savored DI Hannaford and company.) Some of the descriptive passages and dialogues are overwritten--meant, I think, to be poetic, but seeming instead over-literary. The resolution of the murder is not particularly satisfying, not because of the identity of the murderer, but because of the final mechanics of the solution.
I found the novel very enjoyable, and if you are a Lynley and Havers fan, I think you will too. The complications of parenthood are nicely explored, and the bittersweet consequences of love and loss, Lynley's and others, will draw you in.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I recall enjoying Elizabeth George more before she diverted with the book previous to this. Or maybe I have changed in the years since she last wrote about Lynley and Havers. Read morePublished 1 month ago by F Palmer
A wonderful world of the imagination, grounded in the rich reality of persons and places. Marvelous twists of plot, but most enthralling are the varied stories of the families... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Patricia R.
I like her books. This one followed a few too many false leads and the lengthy descriptions became somewhat tedious. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lane Rawlins
I have not read it yet. I am up to With No One As Witness. Every Elizabeth George book is a masterpiece. She is truly the very best author; her way with words is gift from above.Published 2 months ago by Charlie
Another enjoyable read from Elizabeth George, although things just end without any real resolution.Published 2 months ago by D. L. Smith
I've been reading the whole series and this was good but wasn't as engaging as the previous ones have been.Published 3 months ago by Pet Lover
Not E. George's best. Does she get paid by the word? It seemed to stretch out longer than the story supported.Published 3 months ago by Charlotte Bearden