Careless in red A novel

Elizabeth George, 1949-

Large print - 2008

Scotland Yard's Thomas Lynley discovers the body of a young man who appears to have fallen to his death. The closest town, better known for its tourists and its surfing than its intrigue, seems an unlikely place for murder. However, it soon becomes apparent that a clever killer is indeed at work, and this time Lynley is not a detective but a witness and possibly a suspect.

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : HarperLuxe 2008.
Language
English
Main Author
Elizabeth George, 1949- (-)
Edition
HarperLuxe ed., larger print ed
Item Description
HarperLuxe larger print, 14 point font.
Physical Description
1024 p. (large print) ; 23 cm
ISBN
9780061562785
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

You can't keep a good detective down. George has put longtime series hero Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley of New Scotland Yard through quite a bit lately: in her last novel, With No One as Witness (2005), Lynley's much-loved wife was shot to death on the street, reducing him to a grief-stricken shell and leading to his resignation from the Yard. How to resurrect him? George uses a pretty klunky (but familiar to all mystery fans) deus ex machina device. Lynley has embarked on a walk along the coastal path in Cornwall; his rationale is that if he doesn't keep moving, despair will overtake him. Sure enough, on day 43 of his walk, he spots, far below, what seems to his trained eye to be the vivid red and crumpled shape of a man who has plunged to his death. The machine creaks into place, with Lynley (whose walk has made him appear like a homeless man) being treated as a suspect, then with grudging respect from the local, bumbling constabulary, and finally as someone his old associate Barbara Havers of New Scotland Yard seeks to restore to his post. Despite the obvious restoration device, George delivers, once again, a mystery imbued with psychological suspense and in-depth characterization.--Fletcher, Connie Copyright 2008 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

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. 10-city author tour. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

This is the book Inspector Lynley fans have been waiting for ever since George dropped the bombshell of Helen Lynley's murder at the end of With No One as Witness. Thomas Lynley, grief-stricken in the wake of the death of his wife and unborn child, sets off walking around the southwest coast of England. On the 43rd day of his walk, Lynley comes upon the body of a young climber who has fallen to his death. When police discover that the equipment of the fallen climber has been tampered with, Lynley gets caught up in a murder investigation. New Scotland Yard sends Lynley's old friend and foil Barbara Havers to help with the case (and to keep an eye on Lynley). The victim--16-year-old lothario Santo Kerne--had many enemies in the small Cornish town of Casveyln, so the investigation of his murder is satisfyingly intricate. In keeping with George's standards, both the inspectors and their many suspects are complex, fascinating folks, and, also as usual, they all have dramatic, if a bit unbelievably dire, back stories. Highly recommended for all mystery collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/08.]--Jane la Plante, Minot State Univ. Lib., ND (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Thomas Lynley, formerly acting superintendent of New Scotland Yard, returns to his Cornish roots to grieve for his wife Helen and finds a body. Resolutely tramping the seaside cliffs of Cornwall to come to terms with the murder of his pregnant wife (With No One as Witness, 2005), Lynley spies a fallen rock-climber and heads for the nearest cottage to call in his discovery. The cottage belongs to veterinarian Daidre Trahair, who claims not to recognize the victim. She's lying, of course, but Lynley doesn't relay this information to DI Bea Hannaford, now in charge of the case. Instead he calls his former partner, Barbara Havers, and asks her to check out Trahair's background. Havers, under orders from the Yard to help the understaffed Hannaford and nudge Lynley toward returning, heads for Cornwall, where there's no shortage of suspects as to who cut Santo Kerne's climbing gear: discarded lovers, disappointed fathers, surfing experts, long-ago school chums and a demented mum. Every one of them has a secret worth lying to protect, including familial circumstances far more lowly than Lynley's patrician background. As you'd expect from George, a windy exploration of angst, grief and the feelings that pass for love. Much surfing and rock-climbing, but also many wretchedly oblique confrontations and overwrought similes. Even so, it's nice to have Lynley back. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Careless in Red LP A Novel Chapter One He found the body on the forty-third day of his walk. By then, the end of April had arrived, although he had only the vaguest idea of that. Had he been capable of noticing his surroundings, the condition of the flora along the coast might have given him a broad hint as to the time of year. He'd started out when the only sign of life renewed was the promise of yellow buds on the gorse that grew sporadically along the cliff tops, but by April, the gorse was wild with color, and yellow archangel climbed in tight whorls along upright stems in hedgerows on the rare occasions when he wandered into a village. Soon foxglove would be nodding on roadside verges, and lamb's foot would expose fiery heads from the hedgerows and the drystone walls that defined individual fields in this part of the world. But those bits of burgeoning life were in the future, and he'd been walking these days that had blended into weeks in an effort to avoid both the thought of the future and the memory of the past. He carried virtually nothing with him. An ancient sleeping bag. A rucksack with a bit of food that he replenished when the thought occurred to him. A bottle within that rucksack that he filled with water in the morning if water was to be had near the site where he'd slept. Everything else, he wore. One waxed jacket. One hat. One tattersall shirt. One pair of trousers. Boots. Socks. Underclothes. He'd come out for this walk unprepared and uncaring that he was unprepared. He'd known only that he had to walk or he had to remain at home and sleep, and if he remained at home and slept, he'd come to realise that eventually he would will himself not to awaken again. So he walked. There had seemed no alternative. Steep ascents to cliff tops, the wind striking his face, the sharp salt air desiccating his skin, scrambling across beaches where reefs erupted from sand and stone when the tide was low, his breath coming short, rain soaking his legs, stones pressing insistently against his soles . . . These things would remind him that he was alive and that he was intended to remain so. He was thus engaged in a wager with fate. If he survived the walk, so be it. If he did not, his ending was in the hands of the gods. In the plural, he decided. He could not think that there might be a single Supreme Being out there, pressing fingers into the keyboard of a divine computer, inserting this or forever deleting that. His family had asked him not to go, for they'd seen his state, although like so many families of his class, they'd not made any direct mention of it. Just his mother saying, "Please don't do this, darling," and his brother suggesting, with his face gone pale and always the threat of another relapse hanging over him and over them all, "Let me go with you," and his sister murmuring with her arm round his waist, "You'll get past it. One does," but none of them mentioning her name or the word itself, that terrible, eternal, definitive word. Nor did he mention it. Nor did he mention anything other than his need to walk. The forty-third day of this walk had taken the same shape as the forty-two days that had preceded it. He'd awakened where he'd fallen on the previous night, with absolutely no knowledge where he was aside from somewhere along the South-West Coast Path. He'd climbed out of his sleeping bag, donned his jacket and his boots, drunk the rest of his water, and begun to move. In mid-afternoon the weather, which had been uneasy most of the day, made up its mind and blew dark clouds across the sky. In the wind, they piled one upon the other, as if an immense shield in the distance were holding them in place and allowing them no further passage, having made the promise of a storm. He was struggling in the wind to the top of a cliff, climbing from a V-shaped cove where he'd rested for an hour or so and watched the waves slamming into broad fins of slate that formed the reefs in this place. The tide was just beginning to come in, and he'd noted this. He needed to be well above it. He needed to find some sort of shelter as well. Near the top of the cliff, he sat. He was winded, and he found it odd that no amount of walking these many days had seemed sufficient to build his endurance for the myriad climbs he was making along the coast. So he paused to catch his breath. He felt a twinge that he recognised as hunger, and he used the minutes of his respite to draw from his rucksack the last of a dried sausage he'd purchased when he'd come to a hamlet along his route. He gnawed it down to nothing, realised that he was also thirsty, and stood to see if anything resembling habitation was nearby: hamlet, fishing cottage, holiday home, or farm. There was nothing. But thirst was good, he thought with resignation. Thirst was like the sharp stones pressing into the soles of his shoes, like the wind, like the rain. It reminded him, when reminders were needed. He turned back to the sea. He saw that a lone surfer bobbed there, just beyond the breaking waves. At this time of year, the figure was entirely clothed in black neoprene. It was the only way to enjoy the frigid water. He knew nothing about surfing, but he knew a fellow cenobite when he saw one. There was no religious meditation involved, but they were both alone in places where they should not have been alone. They were also both alone in conditions that were not suited for what they were attempting. For him, the coming rain--for there could be little doubt that rain was moments away from falling--would make his walk along the coast slippery and dangerous. For the surfer, the exposed reefs onshore demanded an answer to the question that asked why he surfed at all. Careless in Red LP A Novel . Copyright © by Elizabeth George. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Careless in Red by Elizabeth George All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.