Saturday, October 24, 2009

Careless in Red, by Elizabeth George

If you've perused the Bookshelf tab on my website, you know I'm an Elizabeth George fan. Recently I finished her latest mystery, Careless in Red. The story is a little different than some of her earlier novels, in that all the action takes place along the Cornwall coast rather than in London.
The opening line is a grabber: "He found the body on the forty-third day of his walk." He is Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley, who turned in his New Scotland Yard identification following events in a previous novel, With No One as Witness.
Happily for Lynley fans (I'm one of them), he's back in this book, having been dragged reluctantly into a murder investigation. George involves the lives of a dozen or so characters in a small village in Cornwall where everyone’s life is an open book (except the murderer’s). By doing so, Careless in Red becomes a novel in which a murder occurs, rather than a straightforward murder mystery. I loved how George took me into the character’s lives, worried me as to the outcomes, then in a satisfactory fashion wrapped up the secondary stories. The approach was a new one for her, at least concerning the number of sub-plots.
Careless in Red is general market fiction, so there is a bit of colorful language and some sexual situations. With her usual skill, George had me guessing until the final moments of the story. This isn’t a “stay up all night” book, because at 721 words, I missed several night’s sleep, not just one. I loved the story, but I have to confess prejudice. I read everything she writes.


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