Sunday, 16 April 2017

More depth on the page than the TV

A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley, #1) Barbara Havers is unattractive. The working class Detective Sergeant of Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley series is introduced as an unsympathetic character, prickly and prejudiced, whereas her upper-class boss, Detective Inspector Tommy Lynley has a past that haunts him. I'd only ever seen Havers and Lynley in the television adaptations, and it was a pleasure to discover the fictional police characters have a lot more depth on the page.

I knew Elizabeth George was not British before I started reading A Great Deliverance, and was pleasantly surprised that this made very little difference to the style of writing. I thought the Yorkshire setting was not very finely detailed, but this doesn't matter. The story is clearly about the characters, not the setting.

With that in mind, I found the passages that took Havers's point of view more engaging than those of Lynley, perhaps because the author is female. Indeed, Elizabeth George has expertly painted the many female characters of the story, which moves along at a fast pace.

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