I’m so pleased to finally be able to share my review of Witness by Caroline Mitchell as one of today’s hosts of the blog tour alongside Kate at Bibliophile Book Club. So without further ado I will tell you what Witness is about and my thoughts on it.
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 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 chose the victims.
‘Fail to respond and you get hurt. Talk to the 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.
Just how far would you go to protect your family? Rebecca finds herself having to answer this question in Caroline Mitchell’s searing new psychological thriller Witness.
When Rebecca’s abusive ex-partner Solomon is released from prison after serving time for murder, the new and safe life she has built up over the course of ten years comes crashing down around her. Hell bent on revenge after Rebecca’s testimony put him away, Solomon demands that Rebecca become a silent witness to ten crimes…with her choosing the victims. Afraid of the consequences of not complying with his demands and the impact on her family Rebecca feels she has no choice but take part in his sick game.
Witness had me totally hooked from the prologue and whispering ‘oh my God!’ to my Kindle at 3 percent. Caroline pulls you into the story from the first paragraph and she doesn’t let you go until you have devoured the whole book. A totally unique and compelling storyline Witness has you thinking about your morals and dying to have the ‘what would you do?’ discussion with someone else who has read it.
Perfectly structured with a dual timeline that switches between the present and the past, the reader is given real insight into the nature of Rebecca and Solomon’s past relationship – how it began, progressed and evolved – evoking empathy with Rebecca and adding to the understanding of Rebecca’s reaction to the situation she is in. Told by Rebecca in first person narrative and Solomon in third person narrative, Witness seamlessly flows while ensuring the reader stays with the predicament Rebecca is in while also getting a look at the mindset of Solomon. I always love it when the bad guy features as I’m intrigued by them and Caroline doesn’t disappoint. Needless to say the characterisation is great.
It is clear that Caroline has worked with those who have suffered domestic abuse as she writes with an insight and an understanding about the issue. Acknowledging that there is so much more to domestic abuse than physical attacks, the emotional, sexual, financial abuse and complete control that often features in abusive relationships are all demonstrated in the relationship between Rebecca and Solomon. The fact that their relationship begins when Rebecca is at a particularly vulnerable time in her life is realistically portrayed. Solomon’s tale is one of generational abuse and the impact of a child’s tenuous attachment to their parents.
I absolutely loved the premise of Rebecca having to decide who would be the victims of the crimes she is forced to witness. As Rebecca tried to make her decisions based on her morals and who is and isn’t deserving it becomes clear that appearances can often be deceptive. I really felt the dilemmas Rebecca faced each time a message came through on her phone, along with her guilt.
The tension is palpable throughout, along with the ever growing fear that Rebecca feels when her own safety and those she loves is put in jeopardy. The isolation of her home is the perfect setting to add to the unease the reader feels.
Caroline has written a first class psychological thriller and the absolute definition of a page-turner. Witness is all-absorbing, completely gripping and thought-provoking, I absolutely loved it. You really need to read this book!
A huge thank you to Caroline Mitchell and Thomas and Mercer for the advance copy and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.
Published on Ebook and paperback on 20 December 2016 by Thomas and Mercer.
You can purchase a copy HERE.
A massive thank you to Caroline Mitchell for inviting me to take part in the Witness blog tour. Be sure to catch the other bloggers on the tour.