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by Elizabeth George
Bantam, October 2002
245 pages
ISBN: 0553802585

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Elizabeth George is the author of about a dozen British police procedurals featuring Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. I, RICHARD is a collection of five stories that the author has written throughout her career during some hiatuses between novels. The strongest element in each of the tales is a strong sense of irony and only one of them, EXPOSURE, has a cameo appearance of Inspector Lynley.

Aside from the title work, the other three stories in the collection are THE SURPRISE OF HIS LIFE, GOOD FENCES AREN'T ALWAYS ENOUGH, and REMEMBER, I'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. Most of the stories read like tame versions of Tales From The Crypt or something from The Outer Limits. Each story carries a surprise element reminiscent of those classic television shows. They are not bad, but one has greater expectations after such strong works like WELL-SCHOOLED IN MURDER and IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ENEMY.

The author also takes the unusual step in giving an introduction to the genesis of each story. She also takes the time to write an editorial of an infamous case with a celebrated trial held in 1995. The author makes very little attempt to disguise the case, like a hypothetical, and give us her opinion about it. It is okay if a character in a book says it, but when one is reading fiction one does not care about the author's thoughts. Leave the editorial for the web site or a magazine article. Fiction should let readers think for themselves.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, April 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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