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What Came Before He Shot Her Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
When Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes (he was weary of turning out stories about the eccentric detective), his admirers were so upset that he had to bring Holmes back from the dead. George, in contrast, doesn't seem inclined to appease her fans: Instead, she takes an even bigger chance in her new book, WHAT CAME BEFORE HE SHOT HER, telling the story behind Mrs. Lynley's murder.
The apparent culprit is 12-year-old Joel Campbell, a mixed-race boy from North Kensington --- a neighborhood where the police are not heroes but enemies; where gangs rule, drugs and sexual violence are endemic, and there is a constant struggle to survive. Joel and his two siblings --- Vanessa, his older, troubled sister, and Toby, a boy who seems to live in his own private world --- are all but orphaned (their father is dead, their mother in a psychiatric hospital; they've been abandoned by their grandmother and fobbed off on an aunt). Caught between painful memories of a one-time happy childhood and the perils of their current existence, they lurch helplessly down the road to disaster. Lynley, by the way, does not even appear in the book, and his police sidekicks, Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata, have only a walk-on --- another probable source of distress for George's devotees.Read more ›
But the writing is brilliant. Time and again I found myself pulled along with the characters, wanting them to make better choices, even though I knew the ending in advance. If you're looking for a fun way to pass the time, this is not the book for you. But if you're looking for a book to make you think and feel and maybe cry a little; a book you experience, rather than just read; pick up What Came Before He Shot Her.
No, what was more interesting to me was why GEORGE chose to commit the murder in question. After lovingly crafting an interesting character over a series of books, she brutally kills her off for no real reason. Now George is forcing her readers to suffer through volumes of doleful mourning from a character who was never a barrel of laughs to begin with.
What's your excuse, Elizabeth?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I felt it got a little tedious. DI Linley was not in the book until the very end -- when they finally tied the boy's story to Linley's wife.Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
A wonderful twist in the murder of Lynley's wife, a good Helen in the middle of a vengeful plot. Most characters are survivors of life's atrocities that in the end catch up with... Read morePublished 1 month ago by nancy d. mendez
Ms George's writing is far above that usually found in mystery/detective stories. As the horror unfolds, one doesn't want to continue reading, but is forced to by the power of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sharron S
This is Elizabeth George's best book, in my opinion. I have been reading the series and my mind keeps coming back to this one.Published 1 month ago by Ian R. Thomson
The book is well researched in terms of how ordinary , sometimes struggling Brits with a Caribbean background love and live. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Sven Zalums
I did not want to read it, because I understood it to be a "not Linley/Havers" book. But I'm a dutiful reader of authors' works in sequence, and knew that once inside, the... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Elizabeth Harrell
Spoiler Alert: This review reveals some dramatic plot developments at the conclusion of "With No One as Witness. Read morePublished 2 months ago by AH
While read this some time ago, it is one of George’s book that I remember with clarity. I was fascinated with her delving in to the lives of unfortunate young persons. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ginger2