1. I can live without the topos of 'we need your help so we'll kidnap you, drug you, beat you up, kick in your teeth, threaten everyone near you, and then ask you to work for us.' Does anyone think this approach actually *works*?
2. It was not I who said that biting your lips till they bleed is not as easy as it sounds. I mean, try it yourself.
3. I know that immigrant culture preserves customs long after they've disappeared in the old country. Am informed that old ladies in Italy do *not* all dress in black from the moment they're widowed, but they do in Toronto. Thus the Anglo reticence and good manners of yer average WASP Torontonian may indeed have disappeared from England. I'm still a bit kerblonxed when someone in an English novel, whether Francis' or Griffin's, behaves with a bare-faced rudeness and aggression that would read like caricature if put in the mouth of an American.
But the appearance of archetypes (you know who they are) pleased me mightily in this one, and London felt rather more Londonish than in the other book. That's a bit more like it, that is.