There are a number of characters in Death of an Expert Witness. Most of them carry one secret or another. Considering all the characters, which one intrigued you the most? Why?
Readers will see a number of characters and suspects in the novel Death of an Expert Witness, and will be curious to find out which one committed the crime, since most of the characters do have one secret or another. In considering all the characters to decide on the one who intrigues you the most it might be useful to analyze them in the light of the various themes running through the novel. There are many to choose from, as this proves to be a complicated case where motives could include jealousy, money, revenge, hatred, sexual rivalry, and ambition. Students will be probably influenced by their own life experiences and unique curiosity around certain personality traits or life challenges.
In the novel, a forensic science laboratory is in trouble and waiting times are getting longer. The standard of work is falling, there is an atmosphere of anxiety and stress, and the workforce is divided on many issues. Things are getting serious because the police are having to wait longer and longer for crucial pieces of evidence to be examined. Tension levels rise and in those circumstances it is common for people to act out out of character and to consider courses of action they would not normally take. This is exacerbated by the arrival of disruptive new staff and characters. Once perfect professionals can often begin to act strangely when in fear of losing their job, particularly when there are other stresses at home, so the transformation of Dr Kerrison would be an intriguing one to chart.
As a pathologist he is a professional who would normally be looked up to, so it is an intriguing human interest story to see how and why the behaviors of these rational respectable people can sometimes plummet to new lows due to varying motives and anxieties. For example, he would love a new prestigious role as the 'Home Office Pathologist,' which would also provide him with more money. Kerrison is middle-aged and is getting a difficult divorce that involves child custody conflicts. He also has the stress of worrying about his job, which is doubly upsetting because it is closely related to his sense of self-esteem and he feels he is nothing without it. Dr Kerrison is one of the most intriguing characters because he represents the type of criminal many people find most shocking: the one who seems so respectable that people cannot believe it of him.