Monday, May 21, 2012

The Burning Soul: John Connelly

This one wasn't nearly as exciting as Connelly's past novels.  PI, Charlie Parker is an extremely interesting character, and in The White Road, Every Dead Thing, and several previous novels, I couldn't sleep at night for page turning.  This one became a bit predictable.  Of course, Angel and Louis show up to save him-as usual.  Of course, the notorious bad boys arrive to guard his client.  There a few interesting twists and that makes it worth reading, but only just.

The story revolves around a man who has a prior history of child killing.  He's now being framed for a new child's abduction.  The town is primitive.  The Chief of  Police is a pedophile.  Although it all gets wrapped up nicely in the end, which is true to Connelly, it could have been longer and had a bit more of Parker's personality.  In earlier books of Connelly's, the gloves come off and there are all kinds of mind games and disturbing details of murder and mayhem.  This one just sort of carried on until it ended.  A bit ho-hum. 

The good news is that I'm currently in a completely different novel of Connelly's not in this series.  The Book of Lost Things.  I'll report on it later, but as of now, it's fantastic!

Believing the Lie: Elizabeth George

This rather large book was unfortunately, very disappointing.  I've read all of Elizabeth's Thomas Linley series and most captured my attention immediately and held it.  This story, however, violates the timeline of the series.  In Careless in Red, which takes place directly after Thomas's wife, Helen is murdered, Barbara Havers is divorced with a twelve year old son.  When did that happen?  Believing the Lie places her back at the cottage behind Hadiyya, no kid, no divorce, no nothing.  WTF?  Ms. George needs to keep her storyboard in tact.  That was the most frustrating thing about BTL.  Havers is a brilliant character and I want to know who she married, when it happened, how it happened, what caused the divorce, (other than her pugnacious attitude) and why the flip that entire scenario just disappeared out of the series!

In addition to this, there is no murder in the book.  There's a dead guy and it does take us out of London for a change and far North, but  to what end?  The ex is a complete nutter with no regard for her own children.  His lover is whom I suspect of actually murdering him, but that never gets resolved.  The only thing that does happen is that Deborah drives me insane with her insistence on pursuing a dead end lead in a mystery she has no right to be investigating.  You wind up embroiled in tales having zip to do with why the guy is dead and let's face it, if you're reading a murder mystery, you want the gory details!

The story is a blase read if you just want to read a story. But it's not taking you anywhere.  I hate the reporter.  I despise Linley's new alcoholic lover and I miss the delightful, intelligent interchange that used to happen in these books.  The series has become a slew of tangents and aberrations with no plot or definitive ending. Even the characters are no longer clearly defined!

If you are a George fan, the series was worth reading right up until "What came before he shot her."