What’s it about?
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.
Caroline Mitchell is such a multi talented author! Whatever the genre, let it be books with a touch of paranormal, a new detective series, just about everything she writes is a success. So I couldn’t wait to get my hands on an ARC of Witness, a new standalone novel with a completely different angle again. Is she able to write another compelling and spine tingling read? The answer is most definitely yes!
In order to escape a very abusive relationship, Rebecca had to do the hardest thing in her life: she had to testify against her boyfriend Solomon who’s standing trial for murder. As soon as he’s sentenced to prison, Rebecca pulls the door closed behind her on her old life and starts anew in a small town in the country where nobody knows her. After 10 years she’s settled with a new man, a toddler Lottie and a cute dog called Bear.
She thinks she’s safe but oh boy, she couldn’t be more wrong. He might have fooled his probation officer but he’s back with a vengeance and bullies Becky into a sick game where she has to witness crimes taking place.
Brace yourself for this novel. The characterisations are once again perfect, especially of the big bad wolf in this novel. Solomon is a manipulator of the worst kind. When they meet, Rebecca is at a low point in her life and he brutally takes advantage of her weakness in the most devious and sleek ways. He manages to insert himself into her life and from thereon his actions grow more and more alarming and unsettling. Through diary excerpts that reflect Rebecca’s honest feelings and thoughts we hear all about the time she was his prisoner. Because that’s what she really was if you think about their ‘relationship’, there’s simply no other word for it. I grew cold reading the account of what her life was reduced to.
Onto the now again, the tension builds with each new phone message because not only do the crimes become more gruesome, there are also the people who are targeted to take into account. How long will she agree to play by his rules and stand by and watch? She has to provide a name for each brutality but how many names will she be able to give, she has to know them so who is she willing to give up?
The only thing that bothered me just a little is that she doesn’t even give it a moment’s thought about going to the police at all, or confiding in someone. I can only imagine myself examining all options first and see if there really isn’t another way than to play his sick games. I was hoping she wouldn’t let herself be a victim anymore, but I guess it’s not so easy and I should be happy for the realism that modern-day heroines don’t just spring to life when it’s demanded. I think you will always carry this with you if you were the victim of such a manipulator.
Anyway, if you haven’t figured it out yet, there’s suspense and thrills in abundance in this novel. I seriously got the shivers when I read about Becky’s past and the actions of crime in the present were relentless. I didn’t know how this was going to end although I anticipated it couldn’t end in a good way. I wasn’t wrong, I was treated to a breath-holding finale!
Caroline Mitchell is a virtuosa with her writing and this was yet again a joy to read. If you can stomach reading a story about (mental) abuse, this is a highly recommended read!
I received a free copy of this novel from the author through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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