What Came Before He Shot Her
The anatomy of a murder, the story of a family in crisis, What Came Before He Shot Her is a powerful, emotional novel full of deep psychological insights, a novel that /5(). Jan 01, · What Came Before He shot her, by Elizabeth George. A-plus. Borrowed on CD from the public library I think this book is the best one Elizabeth George has ever written. The concept for it is intriguing as well. In her last book, “With No One as Witness” we saw the unfolding of the needless and tragic shooting of Inspector Lindley’s wife/5.
Sign up for our newsletters! Mystery lovers are often habituated to tidy, let-justice-be-done denouements; sacrificing Lynley's nearest and dearest evidently violated some unspoken taboo. When Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes he was weary of turning out stories about the eccentric detectivehis admirers were so upset that he had to bring Holmes back hef the dead.
Lynley's murder. The apparent culprit is year-old Joel Campbell, a mixed-race boy from North Kensington a neighborhood where the police are not heroes but enemies; where gangs rule, drugs and sexual violence are endemic, and there is a constant struggle to survive. Joel and his two siblings Vanessa, his older, troubled sister, and Toby, a boy who seems to live in his own private world are all but orphaned their father is dead, their mother in a psychiatric hospital; they've been abandoned by their grandmother and fobbed off whatt an aunt.
Caught between painful memories of a one-time happy childhood and the perils of their current existence, they lurch helplessly down the road to disaster. Lynley, by the way, does whzt even appear in the book, and his police sidekicks, Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata, have only a walk-on another probable source of distress for George's devotees. George not only diverges from the traditional crime-solving formula, she is also a white, well-heeled American presuming to get inside the lives ye heads of black, struggling Londoners.
No matter how well intentioned, this effort will certainly be seen by some people as patronizing rather than courageous. Racial politics aside, the book reminds me strongly of the nineteenth-century English social novels in which middle-class authors addressed the evils of early industrial slums and factories.
Like Benjamin Disraeli's SYBIL, it emphasizes that rich and poor, although they ostensibly live in the same city, are really "two nations. Like Dickens's books, it is narrated by a lofty omniscient voice and features a large cast of characters. Striving, upwardly mobile Hwr Osborne, the children's aunt, is trying to establish a massage practice, and her boyfriend, Ehot, is a prize-winning bodybuilder. Teenaged Vanessa is a furious victim of sexual abuse.
There are Dickensian villains, too, evil geniuses of the street who take pleasure in manipulating and torturing boys like Joel and Toby. The how to make a subliminal message text social workers, writing teachers, mentors are mostly white and usually impotent, foreigners who don't really know the language of the neighborhood or its ue.
Speaking of language, the dialogue in this book is largely in the black argot of London. There is a point to this time and again George emphasizes that educated people like Kendra are perfectly adept at standard English what the kids call her "Lady Muck" voice and can pull it out on appropriate occasions as when talking to the authorities.
Thus the see-sawing between slangy and refined accents comes to represent a tension that dominates the whole book: the choice between sticking with the lousy deal that fate has handed you and trying to escape into a better, less limited existence. But the dialect gets to wnat a bit much after a while Ehat felt as if I were listening to a minstrel show. George's decision to reproduce the vernacular may be phonetically accurate, but I'm not in what arena were chariot races held that it serves her book well.
The novel is absorbing, albeit overlong. The characters are engaging and poignant; you want to protect them, prevent their descent into crime, peril, loss of dignity and selfhood. In crossing class and racial lines, George is doing something most genre writers wouldn't: setting out to expose the ugly underside of offenses so politely solved in beford usual English mystery.
This is a more realistic book than the usual thriller insofar as it recognizes that most crimes originate in problematic socioeconomic conditions "[T]here were befoore at whhat far larger than the Campbell children or acme aunt, making North Kensington a place unsafe for harbouring or advancing dreams" and it has no detective hero to hand the reader a neat explanation-cum-solution.
But I'm not sure we read mysteries for a picture of society as it really is. I think we read them for reassurance: Their conventions make us feel that crimes aren't just random acts but possess some logic, and that those who commit them can be unmasked and how to wave short hair with flat iron. And I missed Lynley and especially Havers. Part of the pleasure of a series is encountering familiar people, in particular the guiding presence of brilliant crime-solvers who give shape to the story and balance to the moral scales.
Still, I appreciate a writer who surprises me camd than banks hrr the same bestselling blueprint. What in heaven's name will Elizabeth George do next?
Your guess is as good as mine. The Book Report Network. Skip to main content. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman on January 24, All Rights Dame.
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Oct 30, · To protect his family, Joel ends up making a pact with the devil—a move that leads straight to the front doorstep of Thomas Lynley. The anatomy of a murder, the story of a family in crisis, What Came Before He Shot Her is a powerful and emotional novel, full of deep psychological insights, that only the incomparable Elizabeth George could rkslogadoboj.com: HarperCollins e-books. NOVEL - WHAT CAME BEFORE HE SHOT HER New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George delivers an explosive new novel that delves into the events leading up to a shocking murder. The brutal, inexplicable death of Inspector Thomas Lynley’s wife has left . Oct 13, · To protect his family, Joel ends up making a pact with the devil—a move that leads straight to the front doorstep of Thomas Lynley. The anatomy of a murder, the story of a family in crisis, What Came Before He Shot Her is a powerful and emotional novel, full of deep psychological insights, that only the incomparable Elizabeth George could write/5().
That leaves the middle child, Joel, to care for the youngest, Toby. Before long, there are signs that Joel himself has problems. A local gang starts harassing him and threatening his brother. To protect his family, Joel ends up making a pact with the devil—a move that leads straight to the front doorstep of Thomas Lynley. The anatomy of a murder, the story of a family in crisis, What Came Before He Shot Her is a powerful and emotional novel, full of deep psychological insights, that only the incomparable Elizabeth George could write.
Home 1 Books 2. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Usually ships within 6 days. Even more horrifying is that the trigger was apparently pulled by a twelve-year-old boy.
Product Details About the Author. About the Author. Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of sixteen novels of psychological suspense, one book of nonfiction, and two short story collections. She lives in Washington State. Hometown: Seattle, Washington. Date of Birth: February 26, Place of Birth: Warren, Ohio. Education: A. Foothill Community College, ; B. University of California, Riverside, ; M. California State University.
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