REVIEWS - CARELESS IN RED

"At the start of bestseller George’s stellar new suspense novel, the grieving Thomas Lynley, a Scotland Yard detective who left the force after the murder of his pregnant wife, Helen, in With No One as Witness (2005), is filling his days with a long trek in his native Cornwall. During his ramble, Lynley stumbles on the body of teenager Santo Kerne, who apparently fell from a cliff onto some rocks, though it soon becomes evident that someone tampered with Kerne’s climbing gear. As the first on the scene, Lynley himself comes under suspicion, despite his lack of history with the victim, by the investigating officer, the capable but crusty Det. Insp. Bea Hannaford. Lynley fittingly plays a secondary role in the homicide inquiry as he continues to struggle to find a reason for living after his devastating loss. The plausible resolution of the crime leaves enough ambiguity to satisfy readers who prefer psychologically sophisticated plots and motivations." STARRED REVIEW
-- Publishers Weekly
 

“This is the first of Elizabeth George's novels I've read, and I finished it doubly astonished: at George's exceptional gifts and at my own dimwittedness in neglecting her work for the 20 years she's been publishing. Other readers, more vigilant than I, have long since made her elegant, complex novels international bestsellers. . .. the real interest of the book, to the reader and probably to the author, lies in its characterizations. It isn't simply that George carries us deep into the lives of 10 or 12 main characters. What's more remarkable is how much she does even with walk-on characters, whom she lovingly brings to life. . .. . American crime fiction, starting with Dashiell Hammett and continuing through James M. Cain, Ed McBain, John D. MacDonald and current writers such as Robert Crais and Lee Child, has tended to be terse, fast-moving and action-oriented. George has made herself part of an English tradition that is more leisurely and more given to psychological probing. . .readers who value writing that is intelligent, surprising, sexy, funny, compassionate and wise should find "Careless in Red" a delight. Her fans know that, of course, and those who don't know George's work can certainly start here, with what is essentially a transitional novel, as Lynley starts a new life. It would be a pleasure, however, to go back to George's first Lynley novel, "A Great Deliverance," and work one's way forward.”
--
Washington Post
 

"The family -- that cauldron of solidarity and rebellion, loyalty and betrayal -- looms large in the mystery novels of Elizabeth George. True to form, "Careless in Red," set along the rugged coast of Cornwall, features a number of trouble-fraught families whose members are pitted against one another as often as they are entangled in the intrigues of rival clans.

Even with Havers's aid, Lynley finds things hard going. "Cornwall had always
been a lawless place," one of its inhabitants notes; and its occupants tread their
own paths, carrying painful secrets and vengeful thoughts. "He longed for
simplicity where there was none," Lynley realizes. "He longed for answers that
were yes or no instead of an infinite string of maybe." But answers arrive in their
own good time, resolving matters in a satisfying but open-ended manner, in
keeping with Ms. George's psychologically nuanced approach to the evils that lurk
within the family circle -- and also the chances for redemptive love."
-- The Wall Street Journal
To read the full review, click here.
 

“Movie Pitch: The perfect Lynley? Pierce Brosnan. Lowdown: Vintage George: thick (623 pages), smart suspense with nary a hint of slickness. A-”
-- Entertainment Weekly


“George returns to her Lynley and Havers novels with a complex mystery saturated with a haunting and melancholy vibe. While the mystery is complex, and the crime nearly perfect, what really drives this emotionally riveting novel is the gradual reawakening of her hero.”
-- Romantic Times


"Elizabeth George's novels are so utterly British that some fans don't realize she's an American.  Careless in Red is No. 15 in her Inspector Thomas Lynley series, and its solid writing also will please newcomers to her books.  . . .  George, as always, pulls us into the vastly complicated lives of the locals, any one of whom could be the murderer.  Careless will make new readers instant fans who will then be tempted to read all of George's Lynley novels."
-- USA Today


“Elizabeth George's Careless in Red (HarperCollins, $27.95, 640 pages) is a mystery wrapped in a psychological enigma, which has become true to form for Ms. George…she has reverted to the classic scene of her favorite detective team probing the whys and how’s of violent death, yet she has put a twist in that trail…It's a chaotic and fascinating mix of the kind in which Ms. George excels and she manages to tantalize the reader by leaving a question lingering as to who did what to whom and will they or should they pay for it? Meantime, there are Lynley and Havers, clearly back in professional harness although Lynley insists he must complete his strange solitary walk in order to reach a point at which he can return to his normal life and work… Ms. George has outdone herself.”
--
The Washington Times
 

“Careless in Red" is so filled with detours and details (about the sport of surfing, for example) that it requires more than 600 pages and a considerable investment of time to read. But George's admirers won't complain. She has struck gold again.”
-- Tampa Tribune
 

“Stick with "Careless in Red" for the deftly drawn local characters, the alluring descriptions of Cornish country and custom, and for a fiendishly clever surprising ending.”
-- The News & Observer (NC)
 

"As usual, George has created a daunting novel (600-plus pages) that can't be read hastily or carelessly. Full of well-developed characters, the novel gives as much good reading as one would find in several ordinary mysteries."
-- The Oklahoman
 

". . .it's a "Murder She Wrote" suspenseful situation, sans Angela Lansbury."
-- Boston Globe


"... stick with "Careless in Red" for the deftly drawn local characters, the alluring descriptions of Cornish country and custom, and for a fiendishly clever surprising ending."
-- The News and Observer, Raleigh, NC
 

"Crime novelist Elizabeth George has an ability to insert herself into a community. What Came Before He Shot Her was set in black London. In this work, an inexpressed but simmering conflict exists between the native Cornish population and interlopers. To survive economically, Cornwall must become a tourist trap, enticing tourists and surfers. Into this background stumbles George's Inspector Lynley, bereaved and distraught. He finds a body on a beach, a local young Lothario. As the story progresses, characters circle like crows, with motives for killing, and hidden secrets. The boy was a heartbreaker, and so is his mother. Lynley detects a local woman in a lie; which leads him to investigate her, and then the murder itself. The novel operates on many levels, from travelogue to police procedural, and, ultimately, as a study of grief. A sub-theme emerges, of the differing values between the faithful and the promiscuous, and what happens when they pair up. At this level of ability, there is no difference between crime writing and the literary novel."
-- Sunday Age (Melbourne, Australia) - Lucy Sussex
 

"With measured and skillful pacing, George lays the secrets bare in an inevitable and convincing conclusion. But the real strength of any George novel -- her dazzling plotting notwithstanding -- is her sure-handed characterization. There's not a person in "Careless in Red" who's simply a backdrop; each is fully and carefully realized, and each is damaged, some beyond repair. George usually incorporates an overriding theme into each of her big and meaty novels. The issue here is family -- Lynley's lost one and the Kernes' and Angarracks' particularly dysfunctional ones. Not that family is a concept unfamiliar to George. Three years ago, she broke readers' hearts with Helen's death in "With No One As Witness." A year later, she touched them in "What Came Before He Shot Her," a deeply affecting account of the child who killed Helen. In "Careless in Red," she expands and reverts at the same time, first by focusing on the suspect families, then by bringing back Lynley. And her atmospheric prose makes the story accessible and entirely believable. Readers who have great affection for Lynley -- and their name is legion -- will be tempted to skip ahead to learn what happens. But resist the temptation. Savor every word, every nuance, every emotion in this hypnotically readable account of a man recalled to life. As is her wont, George will wrench your heart and return it enriched."
-- Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)


"George tells her absorbing story from multiple points of view, many of which come from those on the brink of adulthood. "Careless in Red" is a tale of fathers and sons, of revenge served cold, and, perhaps, of the perfect crime. But at its heart, it's a meditation on the importance of fighting every day for even a single, tiny scrap of redemption.”
-- Times Picayune (New Orleans)


"Elizabeth George's Careless in Red (HarperCollins, 626 pp., $27.95) is one of the most powerful, beautifully nuanced and honest novels to appear in ages; it's certainly a contender for best mystery of the year. . . . So here is "Red," and if it's a kiss-and-make-up offering, it succeeds wildly. Readers will not only savor the work itself, but also be satisfied with the book's several conclusions.”
-- Cleveland Plain Dealer 


“Thomas Lynley is the personification of grief in the latest of George's literate mysteries. Reeling from his wife's murder, Lynley has resigned from Scotland Yard and is walking with his anguish along the cliffs of Cornwall, England. For Lynley this is "a wager with fate." If he survives the "steep ascents" and the "sharp salt air desiccating his skin" then he'll know he's meant to be alive. This beautifully crafted metaphor for the state of Lynley's soul gives the narrative its mystification and its most engaging details. All the characters are in some way connected to climbing or surfing.. . . George takes her time with the development of her characters, exploring details that illuminate not only their relationships to each other and to the victim, but also their relationship with the natural world and how it defines an aspect of their lives.”
-- Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

 
"Careless in Red is no mere whodunit. Everyone in this novel has something to hide and something to admit.  . . .In Careless in Red, giving each character a crossroads, George lifts us up again. There is hope of renewal, if only we are strong enough to accept it."
-- St. Petersburg Times


" . . . quite simply George's most enjoyable book in years. A bereft Thomas Lynley has left the police to go walkabout along the Cornwall coast. When he finds a dead body at the bottom of a cliff, he's reluctantly drawn into the case. What follows is classic Elizabeth George -- complex, compelling, beautiful storytelling."
-- Calgery Herald (Alberta, CANADA)


“George is known for her complex, intelligence plotting, psychological stories and good characters. Her novels seem to be authentic British novels, although George is American. She is one of the best novelists writing today.”
-- The Daily American (PA)


“George delivers, once again, a mystery imbued with psychological suspense and in-depth characterization.”
-- Booklist


“It’s nice to have Lynley back.”
-- Kirkus Reviews


“This is the book Inspector Lynley fans have been waiting for....In keeping with George’s standards, both the inspectors and their many suspects are complex, fascinating folks.”
-- Library Journal


 "Careless in Red unfolds slowly, luring us in with realistic experiential details that heighten the suspense. Set on the rugged Cornish coastline, the mystery finds Thomas Lynley in an unexpected role as a witness."
-- Barnesandnoble.com


“Elizabeth George, one of the ablest literary mystery novelists on either side of the Atlantic (she’s an American who writes splendidly about British protagonists), is back with another thrilling adventure featuring two of mystery fiction’s favorite characters --- the dapper Superintendent Lynley and frumpy assistant Havers. . . .As in all of George’s novels, CARELESS IN RED is far more than a whodunit. She introduces us to the world of surfing, rock climbing and a cast of crusty characters who cling to the rocky coast of Cornwall with the tenacity of barnacles. . . . CARELESS IN RED builds to a literal cliffhanger of a climax.”
-- Bookreporter.com


“In addition to its colorful setting (of surfing and other outdoor activities in scenic Cornwall) the mystery is filled with interesting characters (with exotic names like Jago Reeth) and intriguing subplots based on difficult intergenerational relationships. . . . Elizabeth George's latest mystery - which leaves readers wondering how Lynley's relationship with Barbara will evolve and whether there's a new romantic interest down the road for him - proves that she's at the top of her game. Careless in Red is one of her very best yet in a series that has thoroughly hooked me and countless other fans.”
-- Bookloons.com
 

"Fans of Elizabeth George’s New Scotland Yard Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley series were shocked when his wife, Helen, and their unborn son were murdered by a 12-year-old boy in “With No One As Witness.”

“Careless in Red” picks up the story. Lynley has turned in his resignation and is hiking the cliffs in Cornwall. He hasn’t contacted his family or his former coworkers. On his 43rd day of hiking, he comes across the body of Santo Kerne, who may have been killed in a climbing accident. He walks to a cottage for help. Veterinarian Daidre Trahair owns the cottage and calls police. It was a homicide.

George is known for her complex, intelligence plotting, psychological stories and good characters. Her novels seem to be authentic British novels, although George is American. She is one of the best novelists writing today."
-- Daily American
To read the full review, click here.
 

"As always, George provides a suspenseful and challenging tale filled with comprehensive insights into her character’s lives. A master at defining the motivations and emotions that are being played out deep underneath the surface, she again justifies her place as one of the top writers in psychological suspense. This is more than just a simple tale of murder, it’s also a provocative look at the dynamics that exist between parents and children throughout each other’s lives; the regrets and pre-defined roles that seem to cycle through the generations, regardless of the best intentions to do it all differently."
-- New Mystery Reader
To read the full review, click here.
 

“George upholds the British tradition beautifully.”
-- Chicago Tribune


“Ms. George can do it all, with style to spare.”
-- Wall Street Journal
 

"Fans of writer Elizabeth George have had a long wait since Thomas Lynley's wife was gunned down at the end of "With No One as Witness," but that's nothing to what the New Scotland Yard detective superintendent has gone through. Battered by grief, Lynley has chucked his job and spends his days hiking through Cornwall. His solitude comes to an abrupt end when he finds the body of a climber, and the overworked local inspector presses him into helping her. As readers of George's top-notch mysteries have come to expect, the plotlines are dense, the characters complex, and there are enough dark secrets to fill Pandora's box."
-- Christian Science Monitor
 

"Though long novels call for a considerable investment of time, and of concentration, few readers will regret getting started on this latest thriller from Elizabeth George."
-- Chronicle Herald
To read the full review, click here.
 

"Careless in Red has numerous plot strands, and by the end the author manages -- as she always does -- to reveal them all and their connections. This novel is immensely satisfying for lovers of the genre and for Elizabeth George fans in particular."
-- Edmonton Journal
To read the full review, click here.
 

"Careless in Red is ... and awfully good time."
-- Elle Magazine

To read the full review, click here.


"George returns to her Lynley and Havers novels with a complex mystery saturated with a haunting and melancholy vibe. While the mystery is complex, and the crime nearly perfect, what really drives this emotionally riveting novel is the gradual reawakening of her hero."
-- Romantic Times
To read the full review, click here.


 


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