Am höchsten bewertete positive Rezension
12 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich
Terrific Plot, Wonderful Character Development and Suspense!
am 26. Juli 2006
With No One as Witness is one of the most memorable of the Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers novels. If you haven't read this book yet, you have a great treat ahead of you. The book uses its over 600 page length well to deliver a deliciously complex plot in a detailed police procedural with lots of great forensics, action, suspense and interesting character developments.
As the book opens, a teenager who favors Boy George makeup and impersonating famous female singers heads out to meet with "friends." By the next morning, Kimmo Thorne has become a murder statistic, the victim of a strange mutilation that seems like the work of an unusually deranged mind. Clearly, this could be a serial killer at work . . . and the police begin to realize that three other young men have experienced a similar fate. But no one has taken their deaths seriously . . . they're just "throwaway boys" of black or mixed race parentage.
Anticipating a public relations firestorm tied to charges of racism in not investigating the earlier murders very well, the ultimately annoying Assistant Commissioner David Hillier focuses on managing press relations . . . even while he hampers the actual investigation with his "directions." While Acting Superintendent Lynley and Detective Constable Havers gnash their teeth in extreme frustration, Hillier pushes them to the brink of rebellion. Newly promoted Detective Sergeant Winston Nkata finds himself the token black in Hillier's playbook and doesn't appreciate this abuse of his identity, but usually manages to bite his tongue.
Throughout the story, the narration alternates among Lynley, Havers, Nkata, the serial killer and Ulrike Ellis, the head of a nonprofit agency for boys in trouble with the law. That makes the story more interesting by changing perspectives and varying the pacing.
Each of the major characters has the usual problems to deal with. Lynley's wife is expecting their first child and the in-laws are in an uproar about which christening garments to use. Havers is still smarting from her demotion, her car barely runs and she's annoyed with a neighbor who's too protective of his daughter. Nkata continues to be attracted to an unsuitable woman who spurns him while worrying about her son. The serial killer wants attention and is annoyed at how slow the police are to catch on. Ellis is losing her self-control with a married man, and her job is collapsing around her. Those touches humanized what is otherwise a very grim and dark tale.
As the investigation begins, the killer finds himself needing to kill again and again. That puts further pressure on the police to stop the potential rampage. How will it end? Badly, of course.
Police procedurals about stopping serial killers can be the most rewarding part of the genre if the author keeps the reader off balance about the who, what and why of the next step in the story. Ms. George does a commendable job of keeping the killer's identity shrouded until quite late in the book. Her misdirection is excellent and unforced. Yet she lets us in on the mind of the killer in a rewarding way that sets up the contest of hunted versus hunters very well. This is the best mystery I have read about a serial killer in many years.
I especially liked the way that breakthrough clues seemed to be about to unravel the killer's identity, but would actually turn into plot complications instead. These turns in the story were delicious in their ironies.
The book's main drawback is that the story involves the most disgusting types of sexual child abuse. If you have a weak stomach for that particular form of perversion, this story will thoroughly disgust you.
The book also achieves true pathos with a heart-rending tragedy during the investigation that will move all readers to sadness.
I seldom stay up past 1 a.m. to finish a book, but With No One as Witness kept me going last night until 2:17 with this one.