With No One as Witness Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of With No One as Witness

    Two main characters inhabit the British crime novels of Elizabeth George. They are Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. They are assisted by Detective Constable Winston Nkata.
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   With No One As Witness finds this team involved in the murders of young boys in London, England. The boys are 12 and 13 year olds. The boys have been murdered over a period of 4 months. The first 4 boys were of black or mixed race and no connection was made between their deaths. When a 5th body, a white boy, is discovered and similarities in the manner of their deaths are noted, DCI Lynley and DS Havers are given the case along with DC Nkata.
   The investigation centers around the employees of a Center for Troubled Youth when it is discovered that there is a connection to the center and 5 of the boys.
   The Assistant Commissioner of Police gets involved in the press releases of the investigation and a feud developes between him and Lynley which hampers the investigation. Feelings run high because of the very young age and the brutality perpetrated on these boys and the race is on to find the sadistic killer before another boy is victimized.
The review of this Book prepared by Leonore waluk

Harper Collins, March 2005, 26.95, 624 pp.
ISBN 0060545607

Three teens are killed in various locations around London, England. Nobody realizes that the murders are connected until a fourth homicide occurs; the latest victim being a young white teens as opposed to the black or mixed races of the first three homicides that the polices generally ignore. To prevent the press from spewing venom at Scotland Yard, Assistant Commissioner Hillier promotes black Officer Nkate to Detective Sergeant so that nobody could accuse the Yard of racism.

Acting superintendent Thomas Lynley is ordered by Hillier to cooperate with a profiler and a reporter to show the public they are doing everything in their power to catch the killer. As the investigation moves into high gear, two more teens die with each one connected to Colossus, a youth outreach program. All the murders have the same modus operandi including the cutting open the victim's chest, putting a mark on their foreheads and cutting out their navels. Lynley, Police Constable Barbara Havers and the rest of the task force follow one false lead after another. Just when it looks like they are about to break the case wide open, one of the officers is taken by the killer who intends to make him his next victim.

While the police pursue the killer, they stumble across a child pornography ring and a sixth killing that has nothing to do with the Colossus murders.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of With No One as Witness

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Difficult, but some clues given Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   90% Kind of investigator    -   police procedural, British Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   feelings towards family/friends Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   police/lawman    -   champion of justice Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes City:    -   London

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references Unusual forms of death    -   asphyxiation Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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