2.5Review coming (as soon as I can be objectively annoyed, instead of just plain mad)._____________**HIDDEN SPOILERS BELOW**I probably haven't shaken off enough of my ire enough yet to write a thoughtful, coherent review, but I have recovered sufficiently to say I do admire the way George created a 600 (fecking) page book around a million lies, by virtually every character and that is a pretty nifty conceit, BUT...The women in this novel drove me right out of my mind. All of them, that is, except my beloved Sgt. Havers, who showed up for all of about 10 minutes, more's the pity. (...and to those who say they are glad to see Deborah again, I can only ask in mystified wonder, ...why?!) Infantile, manipulative and downright nuts sums her up for me, but I suppose that in a novel primarily populated with gender stereotypes that belong to the 50s, her uninformed tenacity might pass for endearing. Well, maybe not.Besides the overwritten, unedited tedium of the Deborah Girl Dectective/Alatea dubiouslyrenderedtransexualobstetricalquicksandical subplot, we had a very oogy and explicit foray into kiddie porn (didn't she go here before in another book?) which was, for me, skirting the edge of what I find entertaining, but never mind. There was some tension, and a timely Deus ex Wheelie Bin so whatever.I plain old didn't buy the whole premise. That Lynley would engage MacMillan & Wife, under the counter, to help him unofficially investigate an accident at the instigation of some family matriarch, who set the whole schmeer in motion, possibly implicating her own (admittedly repulsive) children so she could humiliate her cheatin' husband?! Huh?Other minor annoyances involve Lynley boinking the most unpleasant character in the series -- a ridiculous Iron Lady archetype of a cardboard construct, almost more repellent than the kiddiediddler -- and then, when there is the opportunity to have a nice, messy, volcanic departmental blow-up of a break-up, they disappoint. Which finally leaves the infuriating ending, which made me want to hurl the thing at the Mignon/Manette/Niamh/Zedediah and the New Age Baby Name Book from whence they came. When I recover from my pique, I'll probably upgrade it to three stars. Fair's fair. Despite it all, I know I'll read the next one, dammit. >:(Oh, and while all the women [except Havers] were speaking in the same breezy idiom, darling, our Freddy was totally channeling Nigel Bruce. Pip! Pip! Righty-o! Steady on, old girl! ...what?