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Careless in Red (Inspector Lynley #15)
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Careless in Red (Inspector Lynley #15)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  10,741 Ratings  ·  953 Reviews

He found the body on the forty-third day of his walk . . .

Devastated by the senseless murder of his wife, Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley retreated to Cornwall, where he has spent six solitary weeks hiking the bleak and rugged coastline. But no matter how far he walks, the painful memories do not diminish.

Then, at the base of a cliff near a town better known for

Kindle Edition, 900 pages
Published (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 10, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2008
It’s been four years since we last caught up with Inspector Thomas Lynley and Sgt. Barbara Havers. Four very long years.

Four years made longer by the fact that at the end of With No One As Witness, Elizabeth George left Lynley and the entire series as a cross-roads. Something big happened at the end of the book that left me stunned at the audacity of George to contemplate it, much less pull it off. And it left me eager for more.

And then we got her last book, What Came Before He Shot Her, which w
Sep 04, 2011 L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Isn't Elizabeth George terrific?! I love her books and just wish she's crank them out more regularly and quickly. It isn't as if the woman isn't productive, either. It's just that fans want more, always more. Of course then they wouldn't be the same books, would they?

Here we have DS Lynley mourning the loss of his wife. Lynley takes mourning very, very seriously. He's been wandering the coast of Cornwall for weeks, living rough and not especially well. Just walking. Naturally he finds a body. I
Mar 30, 2013 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, I think we’ve got the train back on track. We have Lynley, we have Havers. Whew. This should go without saying, but after the dreck that was "What Came Before He Shot Her", you cannot take these things for granted.

Other than the presence of Lynley and Havers, though, I’m not that crazy about this installment. I didn’t like any of the other (secondary) characters, and actively disliked most of them. The few that I did like eventually ended up annoying me too.. And, after the first third of
Yvonne (It's All About Books)
Finished reading: August 30th 2016
DNF at page 80
qq 0 star rating

(view spoiler)
Jun 01, 2008 Samantha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers, readers of the Inspector Lynley series
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thomas Strömquist
Well-written, good characters, good plot. Even though I had read a few of hers earlier, I had somehow forgotten about the series. This book (a Christmas gift) was a real reminder of how good Elizabeth George is in her genre and I re-read the whole series following this read. I'm sure I'll do that again!
May 19, 2009 K rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing. For starters, the book was way too long and the build-up was extremely slow. Elizabeth George has enjoyed a successful career, with good reason mostly, and she seems to have reached the point where people are afraid to edit her. It happens to a lot of authors, and it's unfortunate. Even the best authors need editors, especially after they've started believing their own hype.

There were also too many confusing subplots. I kept forgetting which pairs were brother and sister and which
Dec 07, 2008 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read all the Thomas Lynley novels and found them all to be a cut above most detective series, partly because George develops complicated characters who lead complex lives. Careless in Red, despite the somewhat trite title, is more of a sprawling family novel than it is a mystery. Several family sagas are played out, incorporating the intergenerational conflict that binds individual family members to each other and intertwines them for good and ill with other families involved in the story. ...more
 EmmaLee Pryor
Jul 28, 2008 EmmaLee Pryor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up because I have watched Thomas Linley on Mystery (on PBS) and they were okay. The last one I had seen was where his pregnant wife (why do they always have to be pregnant) had been killed. They had also just gotten back together after being separated. (All the elements to make it truly tragic.) She was killed by a 12 year old with no motive, just a senseless killing. On TV they had a different storyline about what happened. Anyway, he is dealing with that tragedy by walking a ...more
Michael Cairns
May 11, 2016 Michael Cairns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Elizabeth George has a wonderful way of creating sympathetic characters out of horrible people. Her grasp of the human condition and all that entails lends her books a real richness that make them about more than the body found at the beginning and the resulting murderer revealed at the end.
Despite not being a reader of murder mystery, I find myself drawn back to her books again and again and I think that's why.
Careless in red is no different. Though a mystery in name, it is in reality a study
Jun 14, 2008 Redhedd496 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a great mystery with several plots intwined in the main plot
Elizabeth George at her very best! You begin to feel that the characters are people you know well, and the dead body, the person who committed the murder, had me fooled to the very end!I can usually figure out "whodunit" quickly, so this was a great surprise. The only problem with any of her books, when you're finished with it, you feel a sense of loss because the story is over, and the characters are now no longer a part of your life. I wish she would write the novels quicker, but then, they wo ...more
There are books meant to be read pool/beach side in the hot sun with sweat dripping down your face, one hand shielding your eyes from the sun all the while angling your book so that you may read it. They don't have complicated plots--Janet Evanovich comes to mind. As does any bodice ripper romance. Light, fluffy books that don't require much thought are for summer waterside recreation.

There are also books to be read on the plane. See above considerations.

800 page novels filled with complicated
Faith Mortimer
Jan 25, 2010 Faith Mortimer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I last read an Inspector Lynley murder mystery, so I was looking forward to it. It was a massive read - 800 odd pages, and at first a little slow. Then as the book progresses the plot and subplots become well-drawn out and well executed. We have a tortured Lynley who has recently lost his wife Helen, and unborn child in a mindless myrder. It is his psychological state that we are subjected to in a very touching process, we wait with faint breath as he gradually begins to ...more
#15 of the Havers-Lynley series- This phase of the series follows the death of Helen and Lynley has left Scotland Yard and is walking aimlessly along the English coast. A section of coast that is known for surfing. That was an interesting aspect of this book. When Tommy reaches the area of Casvelyn, he finds a body on the cliffs by the shore. He runs up to a cottage hoping someone is there and breaks the window to get in. He finally finds Daidre who helps him find a phone to call the authorities ...more
Aug 25, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Elizabeth George is rightfully recognized as one of the most literary and literate of police procedural writers, but this latest entry in her Thomas Lynley series is too literary for its own good. Instead of creating an intriguing mystery, George chooses to explore a rather obscure subculture -- middle-aged surfers in Cornwall, England -- and their conflicts with their children over whether or not they should surf or rock-climb.

Tommy Lynley literally wanders into this world -- he is on a long w
David Brown
Apr 05, 2014 David Brown rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Careless in Red is all about relationships between parents and their child/children. Elizabeth George creates numerous plots and sub-plots all depicting this theme and spins them round and round in the readers head whilst trying to work Thomas Lynley and DS Havers into the story somewhere.
It’s a chaotic and inappropriate mess, barely a police procedural that is very difficult to maintain interest in. I can only assume that something was going on in the author’s life at the time that stimulated t
Aug 28, 2008 Susanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was waiting in eager anticipation for this book for a long time, which I think was part of the problem. I definitely wouldn't recommend this to anyone who hasn't read some of the earlier books in the series, most importantly the last one, because this is a follow-up of the dramatic ending of that book. I thought it had about the right tone- it felt appropriate to the situation in which George had put her characters. But there was something about it that just didn't grab me. I didn't find the m ...more
Nov 20, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've long been a fan of Elizabeth George and her Inspector Lynley mystery series. I found this book to be somewhat of a disappointment, however, for a number of reasons. First, I have to say the flaws have nothing to do with the writing style. George is one of the best mystery writers out there today and her writing remains as strong as ever, even though the first Lynley book was published more than 20 years ago.
My objections have more to do with the plot than anything else. Although I thought
Grady McCallie
Apr 21, 2012 Grady McCallie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This long, rich mystery does several things, all well. First, although well into the Inspector Thomas Lynley series, it opens shortly after the detective suffers a horrific and wrenching loss that in some sense serves as a reboot for the character. This is the first novel I've read by Elizabeth George, and so came to the novel without personally missing the characters killed off in the previous volume, but I still found the subplot of Lynley's grieving quite powerful, and very well done.

Feb 04, 2009 Sandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have one word for this book horrendous! I used to be a huge fan of her books. I gave up on her two books ago. A friend of mine gave me this book and told me that she had heard that the author was back to writing the way she used to…… compelling, multilayered good stories. Why oh why am I such a trusting soul???? I should have smelled a rat when she sent it to me to read first……. ( Actually I do still think she did it out of the goodness of her heart) Halfway through the book, I almost stopped ...more
Lewis Weinstein
I am a real fan of Elizabeth George's novels, and am very hopeful, as I begin Careless in Red, that she has regained the touch she lost so badly in What Came Before He Shot Her.

I'm about 400 pages in, and very pleased. The plotting is meticulous, as always with George. There were enough characters that I made a list; I guess if I did that, perhaps she should have.

There is a very touching process going on in this book. Thomas Lynley, who George has "lived with" through 14 other novels, has been
Nov 29, 2008 patience rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
One of my problems with Elizabeth George is that she writes books with so many characters it's hard for me to establish who is who at first. Also, as with so many other writers, she has put her characters through so many horrible personal tragedies she almost seems like a sadist. It's similar to a tv show that has been running for so long the writers feel they must shoot the main character, or his wife, or his best friend, or his keep things interesting...even if it's supposedly a bo ...more
Jul 18, 2008 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so happy to see another Thomas Lynley novel by Elizabeth George. After the last one that she wrote when she had his wife (Helen) and unborn baby killed, I was afraid that she wouldn't write any additional books about him. This one was really good, and I enjoyed it. I don't think that I enjoyed it as much as her other books about him, because I really loved the relationship he had with his wife. But now I have hope for being able to read about him and his co-hort Barbara Havers in future no ...more
Dec 21, 2015 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a book tough to rate. Closer to four stars, but once again, I felt like the book could have been pared back significantly - maybe by a third. The first half could have been shrunk significantly. Lynley and Havers are great, as always - but at the end of the day, not much time was actually spent on them - much to the book's detriment. All of the side stories of characters just made me miss the sections which focused on Lynley or Havers. But the final quarter of the book was great. Comple ...more
May 19, 2008 Samira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A very well done book, but it spent less time on the characters of Lynley, Havers, and the other longterm characters than I would have liked.
Mar 22, 2009 Karin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last book in the Thomas Lynly series. If you like a well written and good detective story read one of Elizabeth George's books.
Mar 03, 2015 Darcy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy reading Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series. It was great to get back to the Lynley story in this one after the last one, What Came Before He Shot Her, which was one of the saddest books I've ever read. It took me awhile to pick this one up, even though it was on my shelf, because I had to think about the last one. Lynley's trek to cope with the death of his wife Helen, his withdrawal from life, and his inability to stay withdrawn shows the humanity of his character, and wh ...more
Dec 24, 2008 Susie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, reading this back-to-back with The Private Patient was something of a relevation. Whoever called Elizabeth George the poor woman's PD James? (Besides me, that is.) Careless in Red was extremely good, and dare I say it, better than the latest PDJ. The cast of characters was more diverse, the setting (Cornwall) more distinct, and the dialogue more mysterious. Isn't a mystery supposed to be a mystery to the reader as well as the detectives in the story? E. George did a great job of keeping me ...more
Roderick Hart
Jun 02, 2009 Roderick Hart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover of this book tells us that ‘Inspector Lynley Is Back’. Regular readers will know what this means though I didn’t know he’d gone away.

The title is unusually good, but I can’t say why without giving away too much of the plot. It refers to a femme fatale by the name of Dellen, who likes to wear red. The ‘careless’ goes straight to the heart of the matter.

As crime writing goes, this has a lot going for it. First of all, and though there is a death, it occurs before the action begins so the
Mar 04, 2009 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #14 Careless in Red 1 1 Mar 05, 2016 01:37PM  
Careless in Red 11 80 Jan 11, 2015 02:34PM  
New Lynley novel coming in May! 3 50 Oct 14, 2008 06:16AM  
  • Where Memories Lie (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #12)
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  • Death Comes for the Fat Man (Dalziel & Pascoe, #22)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Susan Elizabeth George is an American author of mystery novels set in Great Britain. Eleven of her novels, featuring her character Inspector Lynley, have been adapted for television by the BBC as The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.

She was born in Warren, Ohio, but moved to the S
More about Elizabeth George...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Lynley (1 - 10 of 19 books)
  • A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1)
  • Payment in Blood (Inspector Lynley, #2)
  • Well-Schooled in Murder (Inspector Lynley, #3)
  • A Suitable Vengeance (Inspector Lynley, #4)
  • For the Sake of Elena (Inspector Lynley, #5)
  • Missing Joseph (Inspector Lynley, #6)
  • Playing for the Ashes (Inspector Lynley, #7)
  • In the Presence of the Enemy (Inspector Lynley, #8)
  • Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley, #9)
  • In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (Inspector Lynley, #10)

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