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Topic: Lynley/Havers discussion ** SPOILERS** Don't read if you don't want to know

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Subject: Lynley/Havers discussion ** SPOILERS** Don't read if you don't want to know
Date Posted: 10/17/2008 10:37 AM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I just finished "Careless In Red". I have to say that I was a little disappointed. I felt like there were WAY too many little subplots cluttering up the book and not nearly enough of Barbara and Tommy. Elizabeth George can write and I always enjoy her books but I found that I was skimming a lot to get to the parts with Tommy and Barbara. I do think that George has perfectly set up the next novel though and I can't wait for that one!! (As long as it is nothing like "What Came Before..." *****I was getting very frustrated with the interaction between Tommy and Daidre Trahair. I'm glad Elizabeth George had the sense to nip that one. ****Am I the only one who sees Tommy and Barbara together? (There! I said it!) :)
Date Posted: 10/17/2008 4:15 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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I was a little disappointed in Careless in Red too. For me, the story just plodded along and it didn't seem to have the element of suspense I enjoyed in her earlier novels. I also agree about too many subplots and not enough of Barbara and Tommy.

I'm in the vast minority, but I didn't mind What Came Before He Shot Her. I knew before I read it that Tommy and Barbara appeared minimally in the book so I didn't have any expectations on that front.

I don't know if I want Tommy and Barbara together! I think I like them apart :-)

Barbara was seeing her neighbor a bit . . . maybe George could get them back together again.

I like Simon but Deborah, not so much.

 

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I thought the scene in the pub at the very end was interesting. Tommy ate from Barbara's fork, remember? That is a very intimate act. How many coworkers would you share a fork with? For me, the answer is ZERO!!! LOL! I do like Barbara with her neighbor and that would be the only reason I wouldn't like to see Barbara and Tommy together. I have to admit that I adore Barbara. She is SO complex and extremely intelligent. She is one of my favorite characters of fiction. She needs to quit smoking, though! LOL! :)
Date Posted: 10/17/2008 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2005
Posts: 295
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I've always wondered about whether they would work as a couple, especially b/c I didn't like the character of Helen. But, to be honest, I don't believe Barbara would ever feel comfortable with Tommy once they left the house.

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Oh, I totally forgot about Tommy eating from Barbara's fork. I remember raising my eyebrows at that one!

I really like Barbara too - she's a very original and, as noted previously, complex character.

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 10:21 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I dunno, Linda, Barbara is pretty grounded and self-assured. At the end of "Careless..." she deftly explains to Tommy the difference between herself and Daidre. Barbara doesn't CARE what people ("posh", upper-class, aristocracy) think of her but Daidre does. I don't know that Tommy and Barbara would really work out but, to me it is clear (as it was to DCI Hanneford) that there is something between Tommy and Barbara and both of them are clueless about it. It will be interesting to watch!
Sharon C. (Mamu) - ,
Date Posted: 10/17/2008 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2007
Posts: 1,152
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I enjoyed both "Careless... "and "What Came Before..."  for different reasons.   Like Sheila, I knew "What Came..." was going to be an aberration from the usual story line. 

What totally fascinated and almost possessed me, if  you know what I mean, was the view into the reality of the lives being led in England by the so called "lower class" --. improverished, some forced into criminal behaviors almost against their wills and natures, some happily or at least acceptingly living "off the dole" and others (just as here in the US) finding their element in drugs and gangs. I don't know of any other books I've read since maybe Oliver Twist that have so dramatically conveyed all that to me.  It was almost suffocating to me it was so real.  I thought it was magnificently written.  I liked Barbara and Tommy making almost cameo appearances but saw it as a compleley different work from her usual.

I loved "Careless" because it seemed a profound way to bring Tommy back to life.  He was so completely out of character in some ways in the beginning of the book--filthy, tattered in body and soul.  She had to create a huge process by which he could come back to himself.  The plot did meander and even plod sometimes but in this book, the plot seemed secondary to his slowly, bit by bit, becoming mentally healthy, in spite of his trying to hang on to his disabling grief.  I was surprised that Barbara didn't call in reinforcements with Simon and (?) Deborah when she saw the state he was in.

I find it really hard to imagine Barbara and Tommy together in THAT sense, but I think they love each other in their own ways.  I adore Barbara's character.  There are very few characters in long-running series that are as original, complex and delightful, IMO.  

I'm just itching for the next one!!

Date Posted: 10/18/2008 8:53 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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I'd never thought about the two together, but I agree with Sharon that they do love each other, and I think my favorite thing about George's books (which I feel are sometimes overwrought) is the friendship between Lynley and Havers.