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Crescent Blues Book ViewsBantam Books (Trade Paperback), ISBN 055338242X

For a writer on a good day, Elizabeth George's work will inspire the desire to produce better work, forcing the writer within to strive to new heights. On a bad day, her work will make the struggling author think that they might as well not even try to write anything worthwhile, as George's work will outshine even the writer's best efforts. On either day, George's work will entertain and provoke thought long after the reader sets the book down -- all without ever stooping to pedantry.

Book: Deborah DOnnellyt, may the best man die
I, Richard, George's collection of short stories, possesses the same hallmarks as her novels: intricate and intriguing plots, unnervingly real characters and heart wrenching plot twists that hurt even if the reader sees them coming. George introduces each of the five stories herself, giving the reader a glimpse into her writing process. George, renowned for her incisive depictions of the human psyche, gives readers a glimpse of her own inner workings, making the book worth reading for the introductions alone.

The stories, all a perfect, one-sitting length, delve into the darker side of human nature, while still highlighting some of the best human qualities: compassion, empathy, humor and sacrifice. Each story contains perfectly formed and constructed characters and tight plots with not one word wasted.

One of the stories, "Exposure," features two of George's characters from many of her novels, Inspector Thomas Lynley and his friend and lover, Lady Helen Clyde. The remaining stories are peopled entirely with new characters so richly drawn the reader feels as if they know them from somewhere, making the revelation of their darker sides that much more disturbing.

A slim volume that carries great intellectual and literary weight, I, Richard possesses the advantage of being short enough to read in one day. Current George fans will love this collection of short stories that packs all the drama and dark fun of her novels into very accessible short stories and those not yet familiar with her work will be easily drawn into her world by this collection.

Ceridwen Lewin

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