I'm so glad that I read the comments about this book before attempting to read it. I did manage to get through 70 pages before skipping to page 520, where I picked up the story line quite seamlessly. Then, after reading another 35 pages, I jumped to page 742, where I was able to jump right in again. From there, I skimmed to the end to read a foregone conclusion on page 805. So, I'm left to wonder, what exactly is the purpose of a novel? I found this one very depressing, and not very enlightening (if anyone who has bothered to listen to the the world news could attest). Most novels build up to a climax, and try to keep the reader interested in the story along the way. This book basically was a dry accounting of what went on in the days leading up to Helen's murder, and we already knew the climax. We definitely could have done without 804 pages of explaining the human condition. I had thought that perhaps the author would have let the reader know what happened to Joel's aunt (and his brother Toby) after he was arrested. I mean, we were dragged along in a story where we became interested in what happened to these characters, so why just drop the narrative when Havers and Nkata meet Joel? Maybe this part of the story continues in the next book of the series, but I'm not counting on it.
Together with "with no one as witness" this is a master book; one really must love to read to absorve all the nuances of her story. Perfectly crafted, as most of her books. Elizabeth George, a master writter!
I want my money back! Bitterly disappointed with this book. E G abused our love for her Linley series with this book.
Totally agree with "anon-reader"s comments. Very frustrating to read -- all the more so as I was expecting Ins. Lynley et al. and was disappointed. (My fault for not reading the book description.) Skipped more pages than I read from mid-way to end: the sociological treatise was too much!
The story was compelling and touching, although hard to read. I don't like dialogue that tries to imitate an accent or local vernacular. I found it quite distracting. At the core however, is a gut-wrenching expose of life as an unwanted child in a racially divided society. George's insight to the human condition made it worth the heavy slogging to get through this sad sad tale of the futility of trying to better onesself.
I know a lot of Lynley fans didn't care for this book but I feel it was ine of her best. I also feel that there will be a sequel to this as I can't see Lynley not looking further into Helen's death.
Miz George loves t’imitate de English accent. Even more, Miz George loves t’imitate de accent as she imagine it being spoke by de black residents of London, innit. Problem is, readers may b’come vexed by all de “dat” and “innit” and “slag” she use. I t’ink she overdo it wit’ de accent and slang. ‘N some readers may t’ink it a bit rascist dat ever’ black person in de book is either a drug dealer, delinquent, slag or male hottie. It b’ecome vexing, innit? ‘N I t’ink she even use de contraction “innit” incorrect. “innit” is used only in sentences where ‘n interrogative is appropriate, innit?
‘N if de language don’t vex de reader, de story will. De story meander along. T’ings happen. Miz George tug at de heart strings wit’ family tragedies dat would make even Charles Dickens embarrassed t’include. ‘N if de reader already read de previous book in de sequence, well den, d’reader know how it goin’ to end, innit?
Dis reader become very vexed wit’ de book. If you lookin’ to read a Miz George detective mystery, skip dis book and read de next book in de series instead. Innit?
I love this series and the writing, but this book's different and I really didn't like it or get "into" it.
I wasn't sure I wanted to read this after being so disappointed with the ending of her last book; however, Ms. George has done an excellent job of telling the other side of the story.
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