REVIEWS - WITH NO ONE AS WITNESS
Over the past three months, three adolescent boys
have been killed in London. The victims are black or of mixed racial heritage,
and neither the police nor the press has taken much interest in the cases.
However, when the fourth victim is white, the detectives at New Scotland Yard
suddenly recognize that they are dealing with a serial killer and that they have
a potential media nightmare on their hands. After taking a backseat to other
characters in George's past few mysteries (e.g., A Place of Hiding), Thomas
Lynley and Barbara Havers return, along with detective Winston Nkata. Their
task: to find the killer targeting boys enrolled in a program for at-risk youth.
This is George at the top of her form; the story is well plotted and
suspenseful, and some absorbing developments occur in the lives of her sleuths.
George's many fans will love this one. Highly recommended.
Thomas Harris casts a long shadow over any
contemporary mystery writer who dares to try a serial-killer plotline, and at
first, George's 13th novel featuring British cops Thomas Lynley and Barbara
Havers, this time investigating a string of pedophilia-related murders, seems to
nod in particular to Red Dragon. But George's appetite for unerring detail,
complex plotting, and probing attention to issues of class, race, character, and
disenfranchisement has always made her an original, and Witness confirms her
mastery. Although George unravels the case at hand with customary skill and
elegance, the real shocker for longtime fans is a stakes-raising, stunningly
effective plot twist that changes the entire series in a heartbeat.
Elizabeth George, an American who sets her crime
novels in England, doesn't lack for courage. She trusts readers to pay close
attention to her hefty, complex, smart books. She's also not afraid (as our
British cousins say) to throw a spanner in the works; there are some surprises
in the closing pages of "With No One As Witness," and they're doozies.
...George, a part-time Seattle-area resident, has created a less intricate
structure for "With No One As Witness" than for the last entry in the series, "A
Traitor to Memory." But the new book is just as delicately textured, just as
achingly compassionate, and just as gripping. Perhaps even more so; it's one of
George's best, and that's saying something.
Elizabeth George, an American master of the
British mystery, has always required a serious commitment from fans. ... in
"With No One as Witness" ... she strafes the lives of her small band of
continuing characters while delivering an absorbing police procedural.
"I'd very much like someone to explain the human
race to me," says New Scotland Yard's acting superintendent Thomas Lynley. The
mutilated bodies of mixed-race adolescent boys are being discovered throughout
London, setting in motion for Lynley's journey to humanity's dark side. His slow
progress frustrates his image-conscious boss, who wants to dispel any appearance
of institutional racism. The pressure is on. George's 13th Lynley mystery,
Witness is a satisfying blend of suspense and psychological case study. The
reader is afforded glimpses into the killer's mind, the twisted nature of which
becomes clearer as the narrative unfolds. Weaving issues of race, gender, class
and politics into her skillfully crafted prose, George creates a morally complex
world that illuminates the ways in which everyone's motives are suspect-even our
own. (4 STARS)
Once upon a time, detective fiction series
afforded readers dependable visits to self-contained worlds ... Despite a
periodic crisis or a changing calendar, things and people stayed more or less
the same. But times and tastes have changed. In this chancier millennium,
readers know not to count on a forever-stable series universe. So it is that a
disconcerting sense of unease permeates American author Elizabeth George's "With
No One as Witness."
Elizabeth George's thriller With No One as
Witness is like a sugary Tootsie Pop. You need plenty of time -- and dedication
-- before you finally get to the chewy center of this protracted but ultimately
juicy serial killer whodunit.
British writer Elizabeth George always can be
relied on to produce multilayered stories that focus on more than just crime and
punishment while providing seductive glimpses of the inbred lifestyles and
prejudices of the English upperclasses. In With No One As Witness (Harper
Collins, $26.95), the aristocratic Scotland Yard Inspector Thomas Lynley and his
distinctly working-class sergeant Barbara Havers deal with race relations, love,
loss, grief, loyalty and blind ambition.
New Scotland Yard detectives don't grill scumbags
to hunt down a killer; they interview sods during an inquiry. And unlike their
U.S. cop cousins, Brit cops never have a gun when they need to blast a bad guy.
Their cars can break down. Even finding a parking spot can be a problem.
Those are a few reasons why police procedurals by British authors can be so much
better than those of their U.S. counterparts.
For Anglophiles and mystery-lovers, it doesn't
get much better than Scotland Yard's Detective Inspector Lynley and his
sidekick, Barbara Havers, solving grisly murders in England. In this case,
there's a serial killer on the loose, a psychopath who leads the detectives on a
gruesome chase that lasts for 640 glorious pages, which includes a tragedy in
the Yard. Part of the allure of George is her ability to create enthralling
characters with actual personal lives, as well as bring all that we love about
the British into our homes (despite the fact that the author lives in Huntington
In a stunning installment in her Lynley-Havers
series, Ms. George delivers a shocker that will change her work in ways her
readers could not have expected.
Fans of mystery writer Elizabeth George are
burning up the Internet with complaints about a cruel plot twist at the end of
her 13th Inspector Lynley mystery, ``With No One as Witness.''
Elizabeth George continues her page turning
series featuring Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his unpredictable partner
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