Careless in Red – Audio CD Review

Careless in Red

By:  Elizabeth George

Read by Charles Keating

10 CDs 11 1/2 Hours

You may have run into Thomas Lynley in Mystery on PBS along with his partner Sergeant Barbara Havens (I may have this name wrong).

Lynley’s wife and unborn child have been murdered and Lynley has resigned and started on a trek up the bleak coast trail of Britain.  (Sort of like the Appalachian Trail with salt spray).  On the 43rd day of his treck (6 weeks and a day) he finds the body of an 18 year old man who appears to have fallen of the cliff and looks dead.  Lynley hikes up a trail that appears to lead up to the top of the cliff were he spots a cottage.  He hikes to the cottage (You will see that nothing is nearby).  pounds on the doors, gets no response and finally breaks a window, gets into the cottage and searches for a phone.

Of course there is no phone.  At that moment a car drives up and a young lady gets out and enters the cottage.  She walks to the kitchen, sees the broken glass.  Instead of burning rubber getting away from the cottage, she asks if anyone is there.  Lynley comes out of the bedroom and tells her that there is a dead body and the bottom of  the cliff, apologizes for breaking in and asks if there is a phone.  She replies “No phone because she only comes here occasionally.”

She then demands that Lynley take her to the body so she can render aid or make sure the guy is dead because she is a doctor.  They go down the trail, she checks for vital signs — Yup! He’s dead.  Then back up the trail, into the car, off to the local pub where the only phone is located and the cops are called.

The cops go do cop things with the body.  The Detective Inspector shows up and asks for identification.  Lynley has none.  He looks and smells like a very ripe homeless person.  He says his name is Thomas Lynley and that he will have to ask his mother to send his id by post.

The doctor turns out to be a veterinarian.  The name Lynley sticks in the Detective Inspector’s mind.  Lynley.  Lynley.  Eureka!  Detective Superintendent Lynley from New Scotland Yard.  She is polite,  buy will  not accept him until his id arrives.

In the meantime the Detective Inspector demand that Lynley and the Veterinarian turn in  their outer clothes, along with a couple of cops who also touched the body and put on forensic boiler suites.

The story is amazingly interesting.  If all of the people who are players in the story were put together you would have a good sized audience for a rock concert and many with names you never heard before unless you were a census taker in Cornwall.

The story is well-told with a complex plot.  There is excellent character development.  There are a bunch of surfers who surf off the coast and live for the right wave.

The reader, Charles Keating, is excellent He carries you through the dialog which is written without a lot of he said, she said by slight, but useful, changes in accent and voice.  You know a woman is speaking without hearing a falsetto voice.  I fould  that I did not have to go back to  try to understand who’s who.

I enjoyed it.  You will too.

I won’t tell you who  the murderer is even though he or she may have confessed to the Detective Inspector and a pretty good sized audience.

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