Death of an Expert Witness Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Death of an Expert Witness

Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his associate Detective Investigator the Honourable John Massingham come to the Hoggatt's Labratory to investigate the murder of Dr. Lorrimer, who was found dead one morning in the lab he works in, with his skull smashed in.
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The suspects of this murder are all limited to the lab, but they are all intelligent beings. So who is lying? For what purpose? We follow Commander Dalgliesh through a perceptive process composed of complex motives, logic, forensic science evidence, and insightful observation of human behavior.
The review of this Book prepared by Deirdra Dan

Enter Chief Inspector Adam Dalgleish of Scotland Yard. Dr. Lorrimer is an intensely
disliked expert scientist, who doesn't seem to be short on people wishing him dead! And
dead he is in P.D. James' “Death of an Expert Witness.” James is at her best here. It takes
the brilliance of Dalgleish to flush out the real murderer--after all, there's no short list of
suspects. James in good at exploring human behavior (she's called the “queen of crime ”!)
and with the chief inspector she presents a work that is intriguing, compelling, and fun to

The review of this Book prepared by Bill Hobbs

Chapter Analysis of Death of an Expert Witness

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 30% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Murder of certain profession?    -   doctors/patients Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect    -   Big focus on forensic evidence    -   Big focus on autopsies Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, British Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings of fear/loss/inadequacy Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   finding a known killer

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   government investigator    -   police/lawman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Misc setting    -   scientific labs

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references A lot of techno jargon?    -   Yes Kind of jargon?    -   biology/medical Unusual forms of death    -   hanging    -   crushed Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Death of an Expert Witness

P.D. James Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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