At least I've been reading

So I haven't posted much. Vacation, more work stress, etc but, thankfully also reading. Finished two books, make that three, and started a few more. One that I started that I've been putting off a little is Elizabeth George's latest Insp Lynley mystery. I haven't read her last two. The last wasn't a mystery and from the write-ups didn't appeal to me, and the one before, which was a mystery featured a serial killer. I don't get the whole serial killer appeal in mysteries or true crime. I like motives, real motives, not psychosis. To each reader their own, I guess.

From what I understand With No One as Witness killed off one main character and left another in a tailspin. That was unpopular but honestly I don't know what else George could have done. Her characters were getting a little stale. I say that with fondness but really, how much more could anyone have taken of Deborah obsessing over the fact that she can't have children or Thomas feeling oh so guilty about something. I think that's why I liked A Place of Hiding - most of that was limited and one of the characters pointed out to Deborah that her life wasn't so bad. Also, the mystery was satisfyingly twisty. And Barbara Havers wasn't on scene. I could do with a lot less Havers in any of these books.

Anyway, then George write a slice of life novel (or whatever) about the little urchin who shot poor Helen. And that, from what I understand, was even less popular. Well, bully for Elizabeth George if she wants to stretch her wings a bit. Not that I'm likely to ever read What Came Before He Shot Her but rock on anyway.

So now we roll into Careless in Red and Lynley is understandably a bit, well, insane (in a very upper class sort of way) but still has his wits enough about him to follow proper procedures when stumbling upon a dead body. Like most Insp Lynleys, this one starts slow but once all the characters have been introduced the plot hums along. Yes, everyone does think about everything verging on too much (turning on a light switch can send these people into long reveries about the past) and the MacGuffin that fascinates everyone this time around is .... surfing.

No joke, surfing. A change of pace from everyone being obsessed with World War 2 in A Place of Hiding and maybe because I went to high school in Florida, just a little giggle worthy. Half the town is either a surfer or vehemently opposed to everything surfing stands for. And who knew surfing stood for anything?

Then there is one of the main female characters - a large animal vet named Daidre. She has secrets. Or should I say SECRETS because her lack of apparent candor is noted by nearly everyone who comes in contact with her. Then there was an incredibly weird scene in which Daidre presumes to tell Insp Thomas Lynley that it's all ok that his wife is dead because she's in a better place, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. After knowing him for 2 or 3 days and after just admitting that she'd basically Googled him to get the goods on his background. If she's supposed to be his future love interest I swear this is my last Elizabeth George because who does this shit? You find out a stranger is recently bereaved and you ram your not too clear yet not exactly original spiritual beliefs on him!?! Calling the mess of tripe she offered up "spiritual beliefs" is too kind by half since Daidre avoids mentioning God or Allah or Buddah or Jesus or any other major spiritual figure and keeps referring to feelings. If a Wiccan wandered by during this speech I'm sure he or she would have advised Daidre to get a little structure in her beliefs already. A Unitarian would have giggled and told her to make a choice already. (Ok, I'll stop now.)

Enough complaining: I like the mystery, I'm glad to see Insp Lynley back with all his endless navel gazing and it's good to be spared Havers for a change.

No comments: