In With No One as Witness, Elizabeth George has crafted an intricate, meticulously researched, and absorbing story sure to enthrall her readers. Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley is back, along with his longtime partner, the fiery Barbara Havers, and newly promoted Detective Sergeant Winston Nkata. They are on the hunt for a sinister killer.
When an adolescent boy ' s nude body is found mutilated and artfully arranged on the top of a tomb, it takes no large leap for the police to recognize this as the work of a serial killer. This is the fourth victim in three months but the first to be white.
Hoping to avoid charges of institutionalized racism in its failure to pursue the earlier crimes to their conclusion, New Scotland Yard hands the case over to Lynley and his colleagues. The killer is a psychopath who does not intend to be stopped. Worse, a devastating tragedy within the police ranks causes them to fumble in their pursuit of him.
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February 28, 2006
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Excerpt from With No One As Witness by Elizabeth George
DETECTIVE CONSTABLE BARBARA HAVERS CONSIDERED herself one lucky bird: The drive was empty. She'd elected to do her weekly shop by car rather than on foot, and this was always a risky business in an area of town where anyone fortunate enough to find a parking space near their home clung to it with the devotion of the newly redeemed to the source of his redemption. But knowing she had much to purchase and shuddering at the thought of trudging in the cold back from the local grocery, she'd opted for transport and hoped for the best. So when she pulled up in front of the yellow Edwardian house behind which her tiny bungalow stood, she took the space in the drive without compunction. She listened to the coughing and gagging of her Mini's engine as she turned it off, and she made her fifteenth mental note of the month to have the car looked at by a mechanic who ' one prayed ' would not ask an arm, a leg, and one's firstborn child to repair whatever was causing it to belch like a dyspeptic pensioner.
She climbed out and flipped the seat forward to gather up the first of the plastic carrier bags. She'd linked four of them over her arms and was dragging them out of the car when she heard her name called.
Someone sang it out. "Barbara! Barbara! Look what I've found in the cupboard."
Barbara straightened and glanced in the direction from which the voice had chimed. She saw the young daughter of her neighbour sitting on the weathered wooden bench in front of the ground-floor flat of the old converted building. She'd removed her shoes and was in the process of struggling into a pair of inline skates. Far too large by the look of them, Barbara thought. Hadiyyah was only eight years old and the skates were clearly meant for an adult.
"These're Mummy's," Hadiyyah informed her, as if reading her mind. "I found them in a cupboard, like I said. I've never skated on them before. I expect they're going to be big on me, but I've stuffed them with kitchen towels. Dad doesn't know."
"About the kitchen towels "
Hadiyyah giggled. "Not that! He doesn't know that I've found them."
"Perhaps you're not meant to be using them."
"Oh, they weren't hidden. Just put away. Till Mummy gets home, I expect. She's in ' "
"Canada. Right," Barbara nodded. "Well, you take care with those. Your dad's not going to be chuffed if you fall and break your head. D'you have a helmet or something "