I’ll admit I wasn’t brimming with excitement at the prospect of reading the 15th installment of Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley mysteries. Partly this is due to my own disappointment at the previous book (that wasn’t really in the series at all but did relate to a character) and partly this is because reviews by people’s whose opinions tend to coincide with mine haven’t been glowing (see Maxine’s review from earlier this year). But mostly it’s because the damned thing is enormous.
I chose to listen to it rather than read the print version (I’m desperate for audio books and I’m too cheap to buy as many as I need so make do with what’s at the library) but it’s 23 hours and 15 minutes long! I have to assume she was paid by the word. I also have to assume she’s too ‘big’ to warrant an editor these days. I don’t know what else would account for the kind of wandering down rabbit holes and meandering off on tangents that have, so far, filled the book (I’m somewhere in the middle of CD13). No first time author would get away with this.
There’s not a whole lot of story to date and I’m not nearly as interested in the sex lives of a bunch of dreary Cornwall residents as George seems to be (seriously the woman’s obsessed). There have been some decent moments but the book doesn’t have nearly the punch (nor the brevity) of the excellent earlier books in the series like For the sake of Elena and Deception on his Mind. All the regular minor characters are missing (even good old Havers took until CD 11 to make her presence felt) and their replacements haven’t grabbed me much. The DCI investigating the case, Bea Hannaford shows potential but it’s a toss up whether I find out how she finishes up or pour superglue into my own ears to make it all stop.