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This is NOT a Lynley/Havers mystery, BUT...
on January 30, 2008
It is, essentially, the anatomy of a murder. It describes the events leading up to the conclusion of E. George's last work "With No One As Witness", however the connection starts taking shape only towards the end of this book. As an E. George's fan and after having enjoyed all the Linley/Havers mysteries, I was truly looking forward to find out some answers to the unexpected and tragic ending of her previous book, but the more I read, the more my eagerness became deflated. Simply, I had mistakenly expected a sequel, and this is not it.
However, my feelings wre not hurt, so to speak, as it is also true that the more I read the more I appreciated the story line, which I would define, at this point, essential for the understanding -or, at least, for coming to terms- with what had happened previously. This is a well written tale of a dysfunctional and troubled family in North Kensington, London. As usual, I have appreciated and enjoyed the author's ever- present deep psychological insights. Also, the inclusion of slang language dialogues, where needed, represents the main characters vividly and real-life-like. Some descriptions and situations resulting from impossibly hard and complicated circumstances are simply heartbreaking.
I would categorize this book almost as a statement about those people born into less fortunate families and backgrounds. It is a work of fiction and simultaneously a sad reminder of how things can go wrong in real life if proper support lacks in many ways, for reasons that may be commonly be considered avoidable but are, more often than not, beyond control, despite the well meaning efforts made by most people (some families themselves, authorities etc.) to avoid degeneration and degradation.
Conspiracy of silence and exterior toughness as means of survival dominate the scene but, predictably, they do not lead to definte/satisfactory/proper solutions but rather contribute towards the perpetuation of a cycle hard to break. Easier said than done, in both fictitious and nonfictional events.
I am now most definitely anticipating E. George's next Lynely/Havers book, "Careless in Red", which should be the "real" sequel to "With No One As Witness".