Sunday, April 19, 2015

Careless In Red by Elizabeth George

After the tragedy in which his pregnant wife was shot and killed on their doorstep, Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley of Scotland Yard is lost.  The unimaginable crime has him questioning his career choice.  He has always been unconventional.  Lynley is also a titled peer; an earl who put aside his royal duties in order to pursue the career he loves and is good at, catching criminals.   Now he isn't sure what is true and where his life should lead.

Lynley takes off walking the wild trails of England, specifically in Cornwall.  One day he finds the body of a teenager who appears to have had an accident while climbing.  Lynley goes for help at the home of a local resident, a vet named Daidre Trahair.  She admits to knowing the youth and together they call the local police. 

The local police are woefully understaffed, and they request help from Scotland Yard.  Lynley's subordinate, Barbara Havers, is seconded to the investigation.  The local police in charge also ask for Lynley's help even though he tells them that he has left the police department.  Still, he gets pulled in as the witness who found the body and soon finds himself working on the case.

The youth, Santos Kerne, appears to have had several individuals who might have wanted him dead.  His parents are stuck in a tumultuous marriage that has repercussions on those around them, and might have led to a motive.  Santos himself has romantic entanglements that has left  several people with significant grudges against him.  The police will have to carefully work through all the motives and evidence to find the killer.

The death of Helen Lynley was one of the most heartrending literary deaths I can remember.  I had to put the series aside for several years, too crushed to read more about this man and his tragedy.  I'm slowly working back into the series and this is Lynley's first case after Helen's death.  Elizabeth George writes the type of involved, complex mysteries that keeps the reader engaged until the last page.  This book is recommended for mystery readers.

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