2008: 127. In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner

“What David-King Ryder felt inside was a kind of grief and a secondary dying.”

In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner, Elizabeth George

This Lynley mystery highlights exactly what I don’t like about her books - what a total asshole Inspector Lynley is.  The book starts with an episode that must have happened in some book I haven’t read yet - Lynley’s sergeant, Barbara Havers, has been demoted because she disobeyed a direct order (to save the life of a small child - which hardly seems like a gray ares).  Lynley, who has been away on his honeymoon, comes back and is furious with her and will have nothing to do with her.  Accordingly, the entire mystery is about Havers sneaking around behind Lynley’s back trying to solve it while angrily trying to regain his trust, etc., and Lynley being a total asshole about it.  The disloyalty he shows to her is just appalling, and the fact that at the end he has an epiphany that his attitude is due to his problems with women is hardly satisfactory.  What makes it more maddening to me, is, because I am reading these out of chronological order, I just read Payment in Blood, in which a major subplot involved Havers covering Lynley’s ass when he let personal prejudices get in the way of solving the case.  Like, nice loyalty, Inspector.  

The thing is, I like the mysteries, and they are well written, and so I keep reading.  I don’t even mind reading a series about a huge jerk who is a detective (it would be like reading a series about House!) but I can’t help but think that we are supposed find Lynley dreamy a la Lord Peter, and that I cannot stomach.  He is a big old jerk. 


Date/Place Completed: 8/31/08; D.C.

Categories: Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017