Book Review -With No One As Witness by Elizabeth George


This being my first book from the Author, I had the impression that she was a native British writer since the story was set in England. Boy was I sorely mistaken, she was actually born in Warren, Ohio (USA) and was a high school English teacher for almost fourteen years or more.

It took me quite a while to finish reading this book. Apart from it being 662pages long, I had to look up and learn at least forty plus new words. Then there is the character rich storyline in which she has an uncanny ability to delve into the intricacies of the mind of practically all her characters. You hear their spoken and unspoken thoughts, their relationships with others all deliciously laid out on an emotional platter.

The overall storyline moves at quite a slow place from the beginning to past midway but with the compelling investigation and some nice unexpected twists the reader is engaged to the very end. Some may find the little shocker towards the end brutal and unnecessary but I beg to differ, I applaud her for it as not many Authors are willing to add that extra touch of realism.

When the naked body of a dead young boy is found mutilated and artfully arranged on top of a tomb, it opens up a whole can of worms for the Metropolitan Police Force of London, for it turns out that this is just the latest in a string of similar murders. The thing is that the previous victims had been either black or of mixed race and had been written off as gang related killings. This latest victim, however, is white and is inviting a whole lot of interest. Hoping to contain the accusations of racism and callousness, AC Hillier appoints acting Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley to the case, assigning him newly promoted Detective Winston Nkata (window dressing in Hiller’s mind for the public as Nkata is off Jamaican background) and allowing Lynley to keep fiery Detective Constable Barbara Havers on the team. Everyone quickly realises that they have a serial killer on their hands; and as they race to discover how many prior victims there were and identify them, and to try to establish a pattern of sorts that would give them a clue as to the killer’s modus operandi, Lynley also has to contend with Hiller’s need to direct the investigation and his desire that Lynley and his team cooperate with the newspapers. As the killings continue to mount, and as the police officers race to get a result, things take an unexpected and explosive turn, one that perhaps neither Lynley nor Havers will ever recover from. – Story Outlined By Tregatt

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