lady_of_clunn: (LOC Arnika)
[personal profile] lady_of_clunn
I've been reading the Inspector Lynley series for a bout twenty years now. Indeed, Missing Joseph introduced me to English language fiction and I haven't looked back.

George is an American writer but her scenarios are usually well-researched and her characters mostly realistic.

Her last book left me a bit baffled but hey, can't love every single book an author writes, right?

Was I excited to see that a new book had come out and - since I totally missed the launch for the first time in 10 years - was on sale for half price? Oh, yes!

As usual I devoured the book in a day.

I should be ecstatic.

Instead I feel bereft.

I can understand if a fanfiction writer does not want to go through BritPicking. It's another editing step and the author might not have any contact to somebody who could help or they might just want to enjoy the writing-posting-feedback process without further delay. Fair enough.

BUT. When I pay ten or twenty pounds for a book, I bloody well expect the author to research her plot. Especially if said author has been writing in a UK setting for a quarter of a century.

I checked and guess what - she has a new UK editor. That person seems to have done little more than running spell check on a British English setting.

If it's important to the plot that somebody is donating eggs, it would be worth checking whether one can actually live on doing this in the UK. As donating eggs is a bit more complicated than donating sperm, the 250 pound allowance that the NHS pays the donours will not enable a "struggling playwright" to keep afloat financially. Especially not in London.

But hey, an oversight.

After reading Just One Evil Act it seems more like the author simply doesn't care anymore.

It was quite clear that she had taken up Italian language classes and was eager to write about Italy and practice her language skills (risky - I hope she had a native speaker to check over the Italian dialogue for her!) and any part set in the UK seems to have gone onto the back burner.

The UK does not really have disposable mobile phones - check if this is important to your plot! Why throw away a whole phone if you can get a pre-paid sim card for free at every single newsagent? Get a handful of sim cards and keep using the phone you have!

Why would "a Pakistani national booking a flight to Lahore" alert MI6 to the fact? There are more than a million Pakistanis in the UK, many of them dual nationals. Thousands are flying to Pakistan to visit friends and family every single day. I doubt that MI6 does detailed background checks on every single one of them simply for booking the flight.

The UK does not have national ID cards. No need to constantly worry about people using fake ones for travelling to Italy, then!

AND if the entire plot hinges on the fact that the Pakistani father of a child is not on the birth certificate and has no proof that he is actually the father, then "flying to Pakistan from Zürich before the child's estranged grandparents can get to her" is not a solution to the whole thing! Believe me, Airlines check visas very carefully and a British child without a visa, travelling with a man who has a different surname and no proof of any kind of custody for the child is not going to board a plane to Pakistan. Not even in Zürich.

I am angry.

In one swoop fell she got rid of several main characters and side plots that were developing for years and years, wrapping things up in an unsatisfactory and unrealistic way.

If she wanted to write a book about Italy, she could have done so without forcing her general storyline into it with a crowbar. She has written a book that didn't involve the usual characters or surroundings before, to give the viewpoint of the murderer to what happened in the book before that. It was great. I would have enjoyed a book like that set in Italy.

Funnily, when reading reviews for Just One Evil Act, people mostly complain about the use of Italian throughout the book. I don't mind that at all. It is set in Italy and people will speak Italian. It's close enough to French for me to guess at what is being said and if not, she always explained what was happening, just like it would have to be done if I were in Italy with little language skills.

Gah. Not sure whether I will buy the next book.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-02 11:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hey sweety. How are you? I totally miss talking to you.

Speaking of book reviews...are you on goodreads?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-02 11:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

You are back!

OMG you are back!!!!

*takes your hands and jumps up and down*

No, I am not :( I can hardly keep up with a bit of LJ and reading - I think my boss is trying to kill me.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-02 12:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Wellllll, I'm not really back. This side is completly dead. I haven't seen an update from my friends in ages, but I check in every once in a while and I still get my gossip from ONTD! That's how I noticed your entry. ;)

Haha, I know how this goes. I'm pretty much only on GR right now. I discovered the magic of book reviews. I'm reading so much, it's not good. LOL.

How is work and the kids?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-02 12:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Eh, work is horrid, especially now since most of my colleagues are on holiday and I have to somehow fit their work in along my own. In two weeks I'll be on holiday, so I guess it's more or less fair.

Kids are doing great! Tania won a bursary for an outstanding private school, which means that she will have a superb high school education and that I am now shackled to my job. Can hardly tell her to stuff all the hard work and hope for a place in an oversubscribed Berlin Gymnasium.

Maybe things will be looking up after the holidays. I have talked to my employer and might be able to move to a term time job model from next year.

How are your studies?

Are you still in Innsbruck?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-02 12:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh that's awesome. So you're staying in Scotland? I would love to take a little Great Britain vacation next year. My bf and I want to do a 'Rundtour'.

Private school and Scotland beats Berlin by miles. :D I hope your work gets better.

I'm still in Austria. I love it so much. I changed my flat last year and now I'm right at the Marktplatz in an Altbau. It's beautiful. When I'm finished I want to go to Sweden for the Master degrees. Busy as always LOL
Edited Date: 2014-08-02 12:15 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-02 12:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Excellent! Tell me as soon as you know when and I'll make sure to be in the country. I can stick Tani into the bunk bed with Ida and you can have her room while in Edinburgh! If we are still in the same flat next year, you'd be right on the Royal Mile with us! *entice*

I've been travelling a bit lately (did put some posts up)and Scotland is definitely worth Rundtouring.

You really are busy! But I think it's great what you are doing! Marktplatz in Innsbruck also sounds like a fantastic place to be :)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-06 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Haha, I wasn't trying to invite myself. LOL. But we can most certainly meet when we get there. :)

Oh I have to take a look at those posts.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-07 05:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You and BF are still invited! Although I'd totally understand if you'd rather have your own space.

Do look :) I found some rather nice places.

Next summer I want to do Edinburgh - Pitlochry - Inverness by train.

And I still haven't managed to go on the Hogwarts Express! Gah.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-03 01:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Looking at reviews of this on Goodreads, it looks like a lot of fans agree with you. I see many complaints saying she needs an editor, and they are so disappointed because they've been reading Inspector Lynley mysteries for years.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-03 10:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think she is a bit bored with the Lynley characters, wanted to write a story set in Italy and her publishers said that she needs to write another Lynley because that's what sells.

Strangely, I didn't think it was too long or that the Italian was annoying. I really like the new Italian character she introduced (and will definitely buy the next book if he features) but the lack of real interest in the UK part of the story kind of struck me. Like it was something of a necessary evil to get through with the least amount of work possible.

Writing this, it strikes me that I might be in a similar situation. *meeps*

I need to get a Wizengamot hearing written and I don't feel like it. I think the readers deserve better. So. Now I am determined to put some serious work into that chapter during my holidays. Yes.


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