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A Silent Witness by R. Austin Freeman

A Silent Witness (1914)

by R. Austin Freeman

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I read this book on my Droid, with the Aldiko app.

Same general principle as the rest of the Thorndyke books - apparent open and shut case (but wait, there's a twist!), Thorndyke solves it brilliantly, a bit of proper romance. Awesome. ( )
  liz.mabry | Sep 11, 2013 |
I am a huge fan of this series of mysteries, all written during the Golden Age of Mystery writing.

A Silent Witness is Freeman's fourth full-length novel featuring Dr. Thorndyke, a barrister, doctor, and all-around solver of intriguing mysteries. In this installment, the action centers on one Dr Humphrey Jardine, who is the narrator of the story, and who himself is the focus of several strange events that happen to him just after he has finished medical school and begins his career as a physician. Jardine's troubles begin with a casual walk in Hampstead Heath (London), where he comes across the body of a man and runs to fetch the police, only to come back and find that the dead man has disappeared. The police can find no trace that the man was ever there, so Jardine takes it upon himself to examine the scene for clues. His findings lead him into a very strange adventure which can only be solved with the technical expertise of Dr. Thorndyke, but not before Jardine finds his life in danger, and not just once.

There is a lot going on in this novel, but the strands all come together quite nicely and offer a mystery that will have you scratching your head. Nothing is as it seems here, so the mystery element starts off strong and continues to keep the reader scratching his or her head throughout the book.

If you like old-fashioned mystery stories, the Dr. Thorndyke series is a good one. The verbiage is somewhat archaic for modern readers, but character and plot development are both nicely done. You could read this one as a stand alone, but it's better if you start with the first book and read them in order to better understand the thinking process of Dr. Thorndyke.

Overall, nicely done and another worthy addition to my British reading room library. ( )
  bcquinnsmom | Dec 31, 2009 |
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The history upon which I am now embarking abounds in incidents so amazing that, as I look back on them, a something approaching to scepticism contends with my vivid recollections and makes me feel almost apologetic in laying them before the reader.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0755103777, Paperback)

On a wet and windy silent night in the sleeping city of London, the body of a man is found sprawled across Millfield Lane. So begins an ill wind and the puzzle of an intriguing stranger in this enchanting Dr Thorndyke mystery.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:44 -0400)

This early work by Richard Austin Freeman was originally published in 1914 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introduction. 'A Silent Witness' is one of Freeman's novels of crime and mystery. The first story featuring his well-known protagonist Dr. Thorndyke - a medico-legal forensic investigator - was published in 1907, and although Freeman's early works were seen as simple homages to his contemporary, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, he quickly developed his own style: The 'inverted detective story', in which the identity of the criminal is shown from the beginning, and the story then describes the detective's attempt to solve the mystery.… (more)

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