8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A huge disappointment to this former Lynley fan,
This review is from: Just One Evil Act: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 15 (Hardcover)
I loved all the other Lynley books (except for the depressing "What Came Before He Shot Her", which I put down to a mild aberration on Elizabeth George's part). But this latest title is another huge disappointment.
We've come to love Lynley, his prickly but loyal sidekick Havers, and his friends Simon and Deborah. We love reading about Lynley's moneyed background, the aura of class mingled with low-life London scenes, the often strained relationship between Lynley and Havers, and the various other English settings which George renders so believably. But with this latest novel, all that's gone. Lynley has apparently become infatuated, for no reason this reader could discern, with a rather coarse, boring vet whose hobby is - roller derby skating! And the elegant, distinguished Lynley has become a fan of roller derbys! Really???? It's totally out of character and unbelievable, as well as unbelievably boring. The vet herself never really comes to life and we have no clue as to why Lynley should suddenly become interested in someone so colourless and uninspiring. Especially after the loss of his beautiful, moody, difficult, but very likeable and totally credible wife.
And then there are the - far too many - scenes set in Italy, where the kidnapped child, Hadiyyah, has been living with her mother. George has been learning Italian, but forgetting how to write thrillers. Consequently, every other sentence in the Italian scenes contains an untranslated word or phrase in Italian, rendering the passages meaningless to those like me who don't speak Italian. Why on earth has George done this? Italian characters think entirely in Italian, of course, but their thoughts are given to us in English. They don't suddenly switch from English to Italian and back again! And why put in so many foreign words and phrases in an English-American thriller, whose readership can't be expected to know their meaning? I became exasperated at having to puzzle it out, and skipped whole sections.
The result is a muddled and boring novel, which seems to have been written too quickly and is unpolished, out of character, and often hard to understand.
I see from the author's afterword that her long-time editor has just retired and she has begun working with a new one. Clearly, the incoming editor neglected to tell George what to do to bring her work up to scratch, and it suffers badly as a result. It makes me wonder now how much of the excellence of George's previous novels was due to her own talent and how much to the inspirations of a clever editor.
Whatever, I was so disappointed that I won't be buying any more.
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Initial post: 1 Jan 2014 10:59:17 GMT
I have been forcing myself to read this and it is such a relief to find these negative reviews expressing my thoughts exactly. I had forgotten about lynley romance! I should have suspected something was wrong from the opening scenes at the stadium! The character of the vet has changed from the novel set in Cornwall which was also difficult to get through. I am disappointed!
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