Book Review: Witness by Caroline Mitchell

witness-caroline-mitchell

What a fantastic idea for a storyline! Dark, full of tension and gripping – exactly how I like my crime reads.

Book Description:

To Rebecca it was a brave decision that led to her freedom from domestic abuse. To Solomon it was the ultimate betrayal.

It’s been ten years since Rebecca’s testimony saw Solomon locked away. Enough time for the nightmares to recede, the nerves to relax; enough time to rebuild her life and put the past behind her.

Then one day a phone rings in her bedroom—but it’s not her phone. Solomon has been in her home, and has a very simple message for her: for each of the ten years he has spent in jail, Rebecca must witness a crime. And, to make matters worse, she has to choose the victims.

Fail to respond and you get hurt. Talk to police and you die. Ready to play? You have sixty seconds to decide…

As the crimes grow more severe, the victims closer to home, Rebecca is forced to confront a past she had hoped was gone forever.

My Thoughts:

This is not a plot I’ve come across before so as soon as I read the synopsis, I had to read this one; Rebecca must witness a crime for every year Solomon spent in prison, not only must she chose the victim, the crimes get progressively worse. From the opening line, this book had my attention and it got delightfully darker as the story progressed.

Do you ever feel like you’re in a book, like you have to make the decisions the character’s face? That’s how I felt reading this one, I couldn’t help but think about the people I know, what would I do if I had to select a victim? This book screams tension, and I was so glad I was reading it rather than the one forced to make those decisions.

I give all the credit in the world to Mitchell for her portrayal of the character of Solomon, more so than the physical violence, Mitchell captures the manipulative character of abusers so well. Rebecca constantly looking over her shoulder (before she even knew Solomon was released from prison), is such an accurate portrayal, you can move home, live miles and miles away but you can’t move miles away from the memories and the fear. Mitchell was able to weave these themes seamlessly into the story, while still keeping the book enjoyable and not too heavy.

The suspense element of this story was exciting, what would the next crime be? And the twists along the way keep me thoroughly engaged, and the final plot twist was brilliant, it came straight out of left field and smacked me in the face! But I totally get it, very clever.

Book reviewing is not a battleground, and everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but I must say something about the minority of reviews I’ve seen saying this is not a believable story, especially due to the character of Rebecca, surely 10 years later she’d act differently and not play Solomon’s game. It doesn’t matter how much time passes, never underestimate the power of panic and fear. So yes, some of Rebecca’s decisions were extremely frustrating but they were keeping within the theme. And let’s not forget people, this is fiction.

Important themes of moral conciousness and domestic abuse wrapped up in a dark, tense and exciting read that I thoroughly enjoyed and have no reservations recommending. And can I say, I love this book cover, simple yet effective!

*Thank you to the author (Caroline Mitchell) and publisher (Thomas & Mercer) for granting me access to a digital copy of this book via Netgalley*

This book is available to pre-order from: Amazon UK (release date: 20/12/16)

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Author: Keeper of Pages

Blogging about books and other bookish ramblings

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