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on 9 July 2017
Excellent second book by Colin Dexter and look forward to reading the book in the series i recommend others to read Inspector Morse you will enjoy them
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on 19 August 2013
If you love Morse - then you will love this book. You start reading the book and once into the story find yourself wondering you did it and with all great books/writers ... their twists and turns, you don't find out till the end. Good read :)
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on 9 September 2017
read it ages ago - this one was a present
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on 1 December 2013
I now have all 13 of the Morse books and have read them all several times. Good books that keep you on edge and wanting more. Hard to put down
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 June 2016
This is only the second of the Inspector Morse series, but is one of the very best of the thirteen books. Rarely has Dexter managed better characterization and the plotting is complex in the extreme.

The plot involves the disappearance of Valerie Taylor, a teenage schoolgirl on her way back from lunching at home. This occurred over two years ago and she has not been since since. The investigating officer continued to work on the case informally but is then killed in a motor accident. Shortly thereafter, a letter purporting to come from Valerie is received by her parents, and Morse and Lewis are asked to continue the investigation.

Morse initially has little or no interest in a mere missing person case and much of the dog work falls on Lewis. Only when he is confined to bed does the Chief Inspector take up the reins himself. This section of the story is fascinating as it allows Lewis to gain a much truer perspective of Morse’s strengths and weaknesses, after which he accepts the latter because of the depth and unconventionality of the former. From the beginning Morse is adamant that Valerie is dead and acts on that assumption. This dead or alive theme runs through the story and allows Dexter to confuse the reader with a number of red herrings and apparent dead ends. In time a corpse does appear, but it is older, and male.

The central characteristic of Morse is developed to the full; his constant formulation of more-or-less convincing theories, each of which is demolished when further evidence emerges or when Lewis points out inherent inconsistences, an action that causes friction between the two men. Dead ends stop further plot deveIopment, only for Morse to discover an alternative avenue leading to another major theory. In these early books, Morse is much more of a bully towards Lewis and the people he interviews, and is equally drawn towards pub and pornography [at one point he even considers stealing a hardcore Danish magazine]. He is also very much attracted to a range of women but feelings of guilt are never far behind.

His choice of Sunday reading [The News Of The World and The Sunday Times, and the agonizing decision of which to read first] and his fear of straying too far into modern music from his regular diet of Bach, Bruckner and Wagner emphasise the complexity of a very human person who is often racked by insecurity.

The reader is in exactly the same position as Lewis in trying to understand Morse’s reasoning and becoming irritated by his ignoring for far too long any facts that do not comply with his current hypothesis. Gradually Morse comes to realise that Lewis’s thinking is robust and that he is a tremendous asset to his boss. Already the seed of Morse’s self-destruction, his excessive drinking, is evident and maybe Lewis’s friendship and professional support helps slow its progression. Dexter establishes a latent sense of Morse’s brutality that occasionally surfaces, as when he talks with a Maltese doorman in Soho or interviews a witness. In later books, these aspects are much less evident.

The list of characters includes teachers and their spouses, the girl’s parents and other pupils, and the investigation takes Morse and Lewis around Oxford and to Soho and Caernarfon, the latter by far the least convincing. In this early book, the relationship between the two policemen is just developing and, in Dexter’s hands, their disparity is most engaging. Gradually the backgrounds of all the characters is filled in and their complex inter-relationships established. Whilst Lewis is always in the shadows, Dexter is nevertheless able to establish many details of his character in this story and he ends up as very much more than a foil for the great man.

The writing is taut and part of the enjoyment lies in the references in the narrative that indicates its publication date – football coupons, Soho spivs and barkers, the limited range of alcohol available in pubs. Short extracts preceed each chapter and there are the usual entertaining references to crossword clues and answers, correct spelling and grammar, and to arcane words and facts. Overall, engrossing but rather troubling.
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on 3 September 2017
I only started reading the Morse books earlier this year and this was my favourite one so far. We see a more fallible Morse as he investigates a missing girl who he is convinced is dead. He chases leads and more than once falls for red herrings and constructs scenarios that has him pursuing various suspects, and he just about stumbles on the truth.

I got caught up with the book and thoroughly enjoyed it but about a week after finishing it I suddenly realised that we never got a reason why the killer killed the victim!
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on 22 September 2012
There are two elements that raise Last Seen Wearing above usual police procedural fare. The first is the plotting and the second the characterization. Dexter maps out a wonderfully constructed story of feints and blind alleys as Morse stumbles from one line of reasoning to another, his theories constantly dashed on the rocks of empirical evidence. Every time it appears he has found a path forward, it turns into a cul-de-sac. This is not a tale of a genius cop who always finds his quarry, but is rather more Clouseau in his bumbling, much to Lewis' delight. Morse and Lewis are both well drawn, somewhat complex and paradoxical characters. Morse, for example, is both cultured and coarse, buying the Sunday Times and the News of the World as his Sunday papers and dragging Lewis into a strip club on a visit to London. The support cast of suspects were also nicely realised. As always, Oxford and its surrounds provide a scenic backdrop. Overall, a very enjoyable read.
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on 28 June 2007
Another good read from Colin Dexter. I really enjoyed LAST SEEN WEARING. The missing girl in the shape of the character Valerie Taylor had been missing for two years, three months and two days and had gone missing on her way back to school.

I liked the rapport between Morse and Lewis (Lewis in my mind as I read the book) had really got more confidence when talking to Morse and even when Lewis had to go to bed with the flu, he really thought about the case and gave Morse plenty to think about when he visited him.

I don't want to spoil it for readers who haven't read the book but what I can tell you is that the characters Baines and Phillipson were very dark and Colin Dexter invented twists and turns that were very surprising. This is what made the novel interesting for me to read and I was surprised by Mrs.Taylor's actions (Valerie's mother) and the big surprise was at the end but you'll have to read the book as I don't want to spoil it for anybody.

Congratulations to Pan (Colin Dexter's publishers) for the great covers) and to Colin himself for penning another great novel. Well done!
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on 3 February 2013
This is the second novel in the Inspector Morse series, which was a very popular tv series in the 80s. This novel had a much better plot than the last. The mystery was much more interesting, I actually felt interested about what was going to happen and how the mystery would end. It flowed much better than the last, I didn't feel so disappointed when I reached the end.
The plot was more puzzling, and I actually didn't have any idea who did it, it was a lot less obvious. There were also a lot of plot twists through out, just as you thought you knew "who-dunnit" Dexter threw in a twist and you're back to square one.
I thought in general the characters in this book were much better than in the previous one, there was a wide and diverse range of characters which were much more interesting than the last. It was also great to learn more about Lewis, Morse's sidekick. Lewis is probably my favourite character.
In the last novel I really didn't like Morse, I thought he was some perverted old man who spent more time leering at young ladies than actually solving the crimes. Unfortunately he was the same in this novel, his personality causes me to approach these novels with caution.
Overall I enjoyed this novel more than the previous one, but it wasn't anything special, and I wouldn't recommend unless you are a fan of the series.
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on 11 August 2016
This book is another entry in Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse series, and here we get to watch as the detective is assigned to a cold case. But maybe the case isn’t that cold, because some new evidence is discovered and he’s given a lead to follow up on.

But with no body, it’s difficult to prove that a murder has even occurred. It’s a tangled web of intrigue that we’re looking at here, and we get to see it through his eyes – of course, Lewis comes into it as well, and he actually provides some useful insights, although it’s ultimately Morse who does most of the investigation. But will he find the answer out too late?

One of the things that I liked about this book was that Dexter did a great job of introducing you to his world – Morse works in and around Oxford, which isn’t far from me, and I even spotted a reference to High Wycombe, which is where I live. Because of that, it makes the story somehow more enjoyable, at least for me. The characters also feel real, and even though it’s set very much amongst the generation before mine, they were also easy to relate to, in some ways.

And of course, there’s the fact that it’s easy to read this, and the pages just whizz past. I read the whole book across the space of a couple of days, and there was never a dull moment – even the initial build-up wasn’t as slow as it was in some of the other Morse books, and I felt like the motives were well-thought out and realistic, and introduced slowly, more like a dawning epiphany than a sudden slap in the face.

Overall then, I enjoyed this as much as – if not more than – the other Morse books that I’ve read, and it definitely left me wanting to read the rest of the books in the series. It’s not a bad place to start if you’re new to Dexter’s work. So go ahead – enjoy it!
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