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Careless in Red
By Elizabeth George

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Careless in Red

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Careless in Red
By Elizabeth George
HarperLuxe Large Print: 2008
Distributed by Thorndike Press
ISBN 10: 0-061-56278-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-061-56278-5
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Suspense

Reviewed by Simon Bonim - July 2, 2008

Careless in Red is Elizabeth George's newest entry in her beloved Lynley and Havers detective series. Following hard on the heels of What Came Before He Shot Her, the focus of the story is on Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley, who is still wallowing in grief after the grisly murder of his pregnant wife. As the story opens, Lynley is in Cornwall, where he has been spending his timey tramping about the countryside and, in general, letting himself go to pot. He may have continued his trek indefinitely, but he is forced back into the present when he stumbles upon the body of a dead man. In short order, Lynley makes the leap from witness to possible murder suspect.

What Came Before He Shot Her, reads more like a psychological profile of a juvenile offender, rather than a psychological thriller. However, in Careless in Red, George returns to her traditional plotting format, and has crafted a thrilling psychological drama that kept me glued to the pages from beginning to end. This story is not only suspenseful, but you really get to feel Lynley's pain and you understand how simple it would be for him to lose himself in the past. George, however, is not so kind to her characters, and she forces Lynley to come to terms with his loss by making him focus on tracking down a sinister criminal.

Interestingly, in Careless in Red, Lynley is technically, no longer a detective. He has resigned from Scotland Yard, and is forced to take a back seat to the local copper, Detective Inspector Bea Hannaford, who is charged with investigating the murder in question. Working in an official capacity, or not, Lynley's instincts soon come into play and he eventually entices Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers to join in on the hunt for the killer.

Full of eccentric characters, an intriguing locale, loads of suspects, and some unexpected twists, Careless in Red is vintage George that will be a real treat for her fans who did not care much for her recent forays. I found Careless in Red to be a gripping good read and I hope that George continues in this vein with her next offering!


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