March 6th, 2008

I finished 'What Came Before He Shot Her' by Elizabeth George today.

I've never been much of a fan of Elizabeth George. In her early books, her usual central characters came across as too stuck up (Linley) or too much of an inverted snob (Havers) for their own good.

In this book, George moves away from Linley and Havers to a book that can be best described as one that examines the 'psychology of a murderer.' In a previous book, Linley's wife was killed by a 12 year old. In this book we find out how the child came to murder someone.

It's a depressing book, if a little far fetched. It deals with the unremitting horrors that some kids have to see, and that's often unpleasant reading. The book is also a little strange, in that it seems to want to excuse the child for what he did, when for most of the book he could have stepped back and said 'No thanks, not for me.' I'm not sure she communicated the inevitability of it all too well if I'm honest with you.

The twist in the tail is rather clever and was one I didn't see coming, which is a change for me. I can usually spot them coming a mile off these days. The unexpected twist made it worthwhile for me to read the book I think and might cause you to enjoy it too.