Careless in Red (Lynley Series) – (Elizabeth George, 2008)

Lynley and Havers are finally back and I just realized how much I missed them. Right now I’m tempted to start reading the whole series from the start once more, but the pack of unread books on my shelf should prevent that. I might do it one day though. During a sabbatical or something. :-)

With this novel Elizabeth George once more proved why she is one of my all-time-favorites. Its a perfect combination of a compelling crime investigation and a moving tale about Thomas Lynley trying to cope with the tragedy of his life. There were moments when it was rather painful to read, because his pain and despair was so real to me, and I never thought that he could ever recover from that. But maybe the people he met in Casvelyn and the events he witnessed might help him to recover. Slowly, but surely.
There were a lot of interesting and accurate developed characters and the narrators point of view switches a few times, which all helped to explore the mysteries and secrets of the families involved. And the plot took quite a few turns, that I didn’t see coming. Thomas Lynley on the other hand was the one to take these turns in the first place. Reluctantly, because he didn’t see himself as a cop anymore. But the local police was understaffed and he found the dead body and as witness was not allowed to leave, so the Inspector in charge, got him on board, wether he liked it or not. And as much as he wanted to resign from the police, he is a cop after all.
For about 2/3 of the story I didn’t have any idea how the different family disputes and secrets were connected to the crime or to each other. But it all fell into place in the end in a rather unexpected way. And then there were these personal secrets that didn’t have anything to do with the crime, but were compelling and touching nonetheless. And I think what even helped Lynley to come to terms with what happened to him, was to see, that he wasn’t the only one, who had terrible things happen to him. And that other people found a way to cope with their tragedies as well.

Still, my heart went out to him on numerous occasions. For instance whe he asked Daidre to call him “Tommy”. Twice. I don’t know, why that touched me as much, but it just did. And then there was Havers of course, who really cares about him in her own way. Who always is 100% loyal to him, although it could get her into trouble, because he was not leading the investigation and thus she actually had to answer to somebody else. I loved how both of them objected when DI Hannaford talked about “your superintendent” or “your seargent”. Because even though they officially don’t belong to each other – in a professional and even less personal way – and thus they have every right to object this, they do in fact belong to each other very much. In a “great team / strange sort of friends / people who deeply care about each other” kind of way. And that will never change. Just like some other things will never change.

“Barbara…” He spoke in a fashion to warn her off: Stay out of my life.
She said, “Don’t flatter yourself, Superintendent.”
“Tommy. Or Thomas. Or whatever. But not superintendent.”
” ‘Tommy’? ‘Thomas’? Not bloody likely. Are we fine with ‘sir’?” And when he shrugged, “Good. [….]

They are just the best and I’m glad to see them back working together. To see them back. Period. And I dread the long long wait for another story. I might read the series again after all. But I guess I’ll start with continuing to watch the BBC series based on the first few novels. Yes, I think that will be the plan for tonight.

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