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With No One As Witness (Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers Novels) Hardcover – March 15, 2005

327 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Acting Supt. Thomas Lynley and Det. Constable Barbara Havers face their most challenging and perilous case yet—the linked murders of four youths, three of black or mixed parentage—in bestseller George's absorbing 13th British police procedural (after 2003's A Place of Hiding). Crime fans will find plenty of forensic minutiae and details of police bureaucracy and politics, but it's characterization at which George really excels. The up-and-down career of Havers is at low ebb following her demotion from sergeant to constable, and her rocky personal life doesn't make that easier to bear. Lynley's professional life has become more difficult due to the continued absence of Supt. Malcolm Webberly and the need to deal directly with Asst. Commissioner David Hillier. The tension builds as the brutal serial killings continue and the pressure to solve them mounts. George expertly uses every device in the book from red herrings to blind alleys, from subtle twists to swift shocks. This is an outstanding and explosive addition to a popular series.
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Issues of racism within the police are brought to the fore when the ritualistic murder of a teenage boy is linked to the deaths of three other youths. It's clear there's a serial killer at work, and New Scotland Yard is called in to solve the case and quell accusations of police prejudice. Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley has his hands full----not only with finding the murderer but also with ensuring that volatile Barbara Havers doesn't further damage her career. Then there's the matter of keeping an eye on a tabloid reporter and a profiler whom intractable Assistant Commissioner Hillier has foisted on the team. Veteran thriller writer George, an American, is as at home with the social dynamics of the seedier parts of London as she is with the multidimensional personalities of Lynley and his colleagues (Winston Nkata, in particular, really comes into his own here). This is a riveting installment in a superb series--far more than just plain good. It's also a turning point for the series as George makes some bold, surprising decisions that permanently change the lives of the characters her fans have come to know. Stephanie Zvirin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Series: Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers Novels
  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (March 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060798459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060798451
  • ASIN: 0060545607
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (327 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #346,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Elizabeth George is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels of psychological suspense, one book of nonfiction, and two short-story collections. Her work has been honored with the Anthony and Agatha awards, the Grand Prix de LittÉrature PoliciÈre, and the MIMI, Germany's prestigious prize for suspense fiction. She lives in Washington State.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

169 of 190 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on March 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
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..

With "With No One as Witness" Elizabeth George is once again in top form. I was terribly disappointed with "A Place of Hiding," and began to wonder if the Lynely-Havers mysteries would ever go back to becoming the compelling, dark reads that they once were.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By coffee and books on March 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I was beyond thrilled when Elizabeth George's newest hit the racks. I consumed the others in the series. Her latest is fast-paced and very interesting. But after a surprising and unwelcome plot-twist 3/4 of the way through, I really had a hard time finishing it. Overall, it was depressing. Who wants to see your heroes bleeding thru the last page?
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55 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Judith Lautner on May 7, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of Elizabeth George's mysteries and one book of her short stories. When I first discovered her, I was delighted to find that she is still relatively young and likely has many long years of writing ahead. It was like learning that my favorite foods would be on the table for the rest of my life.

What I liked especially about the first book of hers was that it was complex and messy. There were details of the lives of everyone involved that were not necessarily related in any way to the detection of a murderer. And even the murder investigation itself did not end neatly, with everything wrapped up. We know from real life that this is more often how it is than not. In each subsequent book the complexities build and expand, sometimes with exquisite slowness.

The mysteries develop her main characters, Scotland Yard detectives Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers, as well as their coworkers, friends, and the main suspects. Through the span of George's books, Lynley and Havers have grown and changed. The changes in each book are significant, and in this one perhaps most of all.

George lives in two worlds: Huntington Beach, California and London, England. She is an American Anglophile. Her mysteries are set in London, and it appears that she spends every waking minute there soaking it up. Every page she writes is saturated with references purely English, including spelling, customs, food, buildings and places, and especially English slang. To my mind, she tries too hard. On the other hand, P.D. James, an English mystery writer whose characters also frequent London, doesn't feel called upon to demonstrate her familiarity with England on page after page, which is clearly the privilege of having been born to it.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. P. Kaiser on March 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Books in the 'Inspector Lyley' series have been a source of reading pleasure since I happened on one by accident, enjoyed it so much that I have searched out and bought a copy of each of the books in the series, and have read each of them several times over. For me, the characters in the series lend as much as do the plots of each of them. I liked that in some of them, Barbara was featured and in others, Simon and Deborah; we also became more acquainted with the facets of Helen. The plots were excellent and well-crafted.

Therefore, I was so looking forward to WNOAW that I pre-ordered a copy of the publishers. I wish that I had waited. The day my copy arrived, March 15 as scheduled, was the day that I read a review; of course, it would be one with 'spoilers'. It is a good mystery, which certainly took a lot of time, thought and effort.

However, the book as a whole is not cohesive. There are so many things going on in so many directions with so many plots, sub-plots, 'red herrings' that it was slow going to read. And, then the 'tragedy' -- it almost seemed that the author had so many words that had to be used and she came up with this as a solution. It has only a slight connection to some issues.

However, I think there surely had to be another, better solution if she wanted the series to go in another direction!!!

I would have rated the book as a 5, but must give it a 3, for the, to me, outrageous way of the tragedy.
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