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Careless in Red: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 12 Hardcover – 12 Jun 2008

2.6 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First Edition edition (12 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340922966
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340922965
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 4.9 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 495,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Her account of surfers' lives, with their terrifying techniques and almost religious passion is worth reading (Literary Review)

George is one of the best crime novelists around (Time Out)

Ms George is the connoisseur's crime writer (Sunday Express)

A first-class, page-turning read (The Times)

Book Description

Thomas Lynley returns in the thrillingly satisfying crime drama from bestselling author Elizabeth George.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I had a good look through the reviews once I'd read this and was a little surprised to see how low a rating it received in some quarters. I think the comments on Elizabeth George "showing off" are very unfair. It is unnecessary for a writer to have direct experience of a certain type of community and the research she has obviously done on the surfing fraternity, and indeed on typical West Country villages has been put to excellent use. As I belong to both I am surprised at the authenticity within the book given that, presumably, EG "belongs" to neither.

Because "belonging" is a large part of what this book is all about, both inside and outside direct family life. There are probably not enough murders to satisfy fans who like a higher body count and whilst the ending suited me beautifully (it is realistic apart from anything else) it wouldn't suit everyone. Lynley, recovering from his own personal tragedy, is not the front running feature which fans of Elizabeth George are maybe looking for but if you can separate this a little from the story then it is a beautifully claustrophobic book with more emphasis on relationships than on murder. Not having read the one in which the tragedy befalls him it has made me want to do so. It is full of undercurrents, angst, anger and passion all seething beneath the service and, whilst her use of overtly Cornish names can be a little irritating, surely it is worth seeing past this? There are some very good characters and their development, whilst slow, is revealing and frequently touching. Madness and love run throughout the pages.

I enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed all her early Lynley books but this is the first of the later ones which I have picked up and I wasn't disappointed. It is more stand alone than some of the others but none the less valid for that.
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Format: Hardcover
Careless in Red will surprise most fans of the Thomas Lynley/Barbara Havers novels. Elizabeth George doesn't return to her roots, but attempts a more literary novel that primarily explores how fragile husbands and children are without wives and mothers to love and nurture them. Those who just want a good mystery will wonder why all the extra characters and plots are in place until they realize that the mystery is secondary to telling stories that build the major theme.

As the book opens, Lynley is a wreck following the murder of his wife and unborn child. He's been trekking along the coast without thought to comfort and safety, becoming little more than a homeless man. That mind-numbed state is disturbed when he spots a dead body and is pulled into the investigation. His police instincts are alerted when a woman he meets begins lying and he wants to find out why.

The book is rich in character development, relying on many different interacting narrators. Ms. George uses this device to explore many family mysteries, which may or may not be related to the crime mystery. If you find it fascinating to think about all the ways that families can become dysfunctional, this book is for you.

Within all these stories, there is a deep tragedy . . . the kind the ancient Greeks would have appreciated. Lynley senses that something like that might be looming behind the current events and helps to bring it to light.

I would rate this book higher, but the breakdown of Lynley and his fairly quick recovery didn't ring true to me. I can't exactly tell you why, but it set a false note that undermined the rest of the story for me. I also found the endings (which don't let anyone hint about to you) to be unsatisfying compared to the scale of the foundation for the novel.

I did find the book to be compelling. I stayed up late on two nights to finish.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been so looking forward to the latest instalment in the Lyndley chronicles but I am sorry to say this book has been a complete let down. The main thing that I really hated were the names of the characters a minor point I know but this really irritated me. The book didn't ring true somehow ......when I think of her first books ,which were brilliant and unputdownable, it is hard to believe they were written by the same author, to be honest I think she has given us three dud books on the trot and I wonder if she has just run out if steam.I hope not .
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Format: Paperback
I'm surprised at the number of negative reviews for this book. Like many other reviewers I loved the early George books, but hated the last few. Here she's vindicated herself, and has managed to write what is essentially a story about families: what holds them together and what breaks them apart, hanging it on the structure of a crime novel.

If you're looking for a fast-paced thriller with plenty of murders, clues and blood then this will disappoint. In thriller terms it's slow, but that allows us to get under the skins of the various families (and non-families) touched, however lightly, by the death of an 18-year old.

Like the early books there's an emphasis on the centrality of sexual desire, in all its manifestations, to people's experience of life; and a wide spectrum of relationships are delineated.

Most importantly Lynley is back, and far more rounded in some ways than what he had deteriorated into.

So overall I think this is a departure for George, something far more subtle and complex than what she has written before. Yes, the Cornishness is irritating but once you get into the story the names stop mattering (although the number of mentions of Cornish pasties just so we don't forget where we are were worse!) She also demonstrates a very odd sense of the British class system, but leaving those caveats aside this was a dense and thoughtful novel that I really enjoyed.
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