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    Review of WITH NO ONE AS WITNESS by Elizabeth George (see her website)


    Harper Collins, March 2005

    When an adolescent boy is found murdered in ritualistic fashion and left on a tomb, New Scotland Yard quickly looks for similar crimes, as the killing bears the hallmarks of a serial killer. They find other victims--several, in fact. Yet no one has paid much attention until now, and some say it's because the other victims were not white.

    With charges of racism threatening, New Scotland Yard scrambles to quickly solve the killing. Acting Superintendent Thomas Lynley and Detective Constable Barbara Havers lead the charge. Unfortunately, their efforts are hampered at every step by Assistant Commissioner David Hilliar, who is far more concerned about the department saving face than in the efficient solution to the hideous string of crimes. First Hilliar forces an unwanted profiler into their midst, then a tabloid reporter.

    Author Elizabeth George (see more reviews of novels by George) has an uncanny ability to crawl inside a character's head. She uses many, many points of view and as always weaves the various investigators' personal lives into their professional ones, and never once does the reader become confused because the characters are so strongly, realistically drawn. As always, contemporary London is so well drawn that I feel as if I could go there tomorrow and feel perfectly at home.

    As investigators gather the clues and draw closer, the tension rises to almost unbearable levels, with the conclusion of the mystery suitably dramatic and unexpected.

    The one thing that kept me from giving this book an unreserved four stars is that it's sad. Not just sad because adolescent boys are being murdered, but sad because of all the things going on in the characters' personal lives--things that go terribly wrong and can never be right again. Lives shattered, utterly ruined. Because the people are so real to me, I grieve right along with them, and I will feel sad every time I think of this book for a long time to come.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 1/07/05

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