‘With No One as Witness’ is the 13th book in Elizabeth George’s Inspector Linley series and once again it permanently changes the lives of the main characters.
A serial killer is operating in London – targeting 12 and 13 year old boys. But because the first 3 boys are of mixed race, it takes till the 4th victim, a white boy, for the police to even spot a pattern. So from the word go, Assistant Commissioner Hillier is on the defensive, trying to avoid accusations of racism within the police force. He takes his frustrations out on active Superintendent Linley and his team. Hillier tries to steer the investigation – firstly by promoting Winston Nkata to Sergeant (as the token black man), then placing a profiler within the team – against Linley’s wishes and finally embedding a reporter.
The regular characters all have their own issues outside of the main plot. Linley’s wife Helen is five months pregnant and Linley is still not sure if he wants to be a father. Nkata is still keen on Yasmin, but not making much progress, and Barbara Havers is desperate to have her rank of Sergeant reinstated but can’t seem to do what it takes to get there. Barbara’s interactions with her neighbours Azhar and Hadiyyah also get fairly intense.
The story took us inside the heads of the murderer and some of the members of a paedophile ring which included some pretty bazaar stuff.
Once again it is the stubborn pig-headedness of Havers that ends up leading the team to the killer.
Meanwhile an event occurs in the life of one of the main characters that is so shocking that it is difficult to see them continuing. If I didn’t know that there were more books in the series, I would have thought that this was the final one.
Since the series does continue, I’m looking forward to reading the next book – ‘What Came Before He Shot Her’.
Book Published 2005