So as I mentioned here, I didn't like the new Elizabeth George, Careless in Red. In fact, I haven't really thought she's produced a decent book for several years. So why read it, you might ask? Well, I am a voracious reader and my to-be-read pile is perilously low and Mom gave me her copy when she'd finished with it; also, in order to pay for the cleaner who comes in twice a month, I've stopped buying books ... and, uh, haven't gotten to the library yet either.
So that's why I persevered with Careless in Red despite thinking it was badly written and knowing from the outset that I'd find so much wrong with the book. My initial expectations were not disappointed, I assure you. I think she suffers from Best Selling Author Syndrome, wherein an author is such a huge cash cow for a publishing house that their editor becomes afraid to actually edit the work. The prose is overwritten and full of way too much explication about people's motives. She's doing that thing that writing teachers say not to: telling rather than showing. And while I do think she's got some psychological astuteness, it's overshadowed by the clunky writing.
Kerra felt as if she would weep, and the very thought of weeping because of this, because of her, because of them, caused all of her anger to come roaring back, swelling within her to such an extreme that she thought it might explode from her mouth, a foul effluent capable of polluting whatever remained between her and this man she'd chosen to love. Because she did love him, only love was dangerous. Love put one where her father was, and that she could not begin to bear.
All I can think is that during George's early years she must have worked with a better editor, because I'm guessing that if she hasn't learned not to write crap like that after about twenty books, she's probably been writing like that all along.
But bad writing can be forgiven if you've got a zippy, interesting plot ... which this doesn't. George ties the plot threads together capably enough and plants a few red herrings, but she takes six hundred pages to accomplish something that would have been better at a third of the size. I didn't find the whodunit to be particularly plausible, but I was totally out of patience by the end of the book anyway, so that might have been my bad.
So ... if anyone still wants to read this, I have a copy that you're welcome to! The book passed the time, just not as enjoyably as it could have.