Review: Just One Evil Act, by Elizabeth George
Let’s get the ugliness over with right away. Just One Evil Act, by Elizabeth George is overwritten. At 719 pages it taxes the patience of even the most ardent fan. I had to check the book out of the library three times in order to get through it. The local color in the Italian portion is overdone, and the use of Italian words to describe the most common of items as well as conversations is frustrating and baffling. Other than that, it is a Thomas Lynley novel featuring his sidekick Barbara Havers, so all is sort of forgiven.
It bears repeating that the Thomas Lynley series is ongoing. Just One Evil Act is #18 in that series, so to break into the series at this point would rob the reader of all that came before to shape the main characters. It’s a very convoluted back story.
As this portion of the drama unfolds, Barbara finds herself overly involved in the life of a neighbor Taymullah Azhar and his daughter Hadiyyah. Angelina, Hadiyyah’s mother, had taken her daughter to Italy where she hopes to begin a new life. A kidnapping ensues, and the Italian police take over the investigation. Against the advice of her Superintendent, Barbara attaches herself not only to computer hackers but also a tabloid journalist . A flying fiasco follows.
What looks like a happy ending midway through the book is no such thing. It’s just a kick-off to more red herrings, twists, turns, introduction to more non-essential characters and lots of running around the Italian countryside.
To tax the patience of the reader even more, there is an open-ended conclusion so we have more of this to look forward to.
I have extolled the virtues of Elizabeth George’s writing for many years. Hopefully, she will take her time coming up with the further adventures of Thomas and Barbara, preferably in English and under 500 pages.
I give the book 3 telefonos.
Happy reading from Beverly!