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Final Witness

3.3  ·  Rating Details ·  400 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
The grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien makes a thrilling debut as a novelist in this suspenseful courtroom drama that will have you guessing to the veryend.
"Don't let the author's last name confuse you, for there are no Hobbits in this debut novel by the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, only a wonderful story offamily, relationships, and suspense. . . . Part English cozy, part family
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ebook, 0 pages
Published December 24th 2002 by Random House
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(showing 1-30)
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Chris
Dec 12, 2007 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fairly intriguing plot and some interesting, authentic courtroom scenes (the author is a barrister). The writing, however, is weak. There are a lot of pointless flashbacks and redundant exposition. It was a bad sign that on the back of the book cover, instead of quotes of praise or a plot summary, there was an explanation by the author, the grandson of JRR Tolkien, of how he was not just riding the coat tails of his grandfather. Whether that is true or not, it reeks of insecurity...
Mercedes Cordero
Well this was ok. Pretty interesting throughout, but very, and I mean VERY, predictable. The problem for me was that I was expecting a great twist in the end as advertised, but what I got was the ending that I had in mind all along. So it's a good courtroom drama, but don't expect to be surprised or shocked in the end.
Dee
Apr 18, 2010 Dee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tolkein's grandson. A Barrister. Good plot --- pretty good characters --- writing style improves toward middle of book. At first, he tries too hrd with too many adjectives, or desriptions that are off-putting.

Great illustration of Britain's trial system. His experience is really great here.
Joe
Jul 03, 2010 Joe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Awful. A waste of pages for what amounts to a poor plot, poor writing,and an obvious attempt to cash in on a famous name.
Clemens Jessner
Nov 14, 2016 Clemens Jessner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written, nothing like his grandfather's books but that made it even more enjoyable. Very predictable and sometimes stressful but that meant that the writing was very engaging.
Julie
Nov 01, 2010 Julie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
Not worth my time. Awkward writing.
Mary Anne
I dont' remember how it ends so that must mean that I wasn't much impressed. :)
Rebecca
A little hard to rate, actually. There were some aspects I really liked - the characters were very well done. Some other aspects just didn't keep me turning the pages. I put it down a few times and came back to it. I think I wanted to be really surprised by something, but ultimately I wasn't. Not even the "surprise" ending.
Nan Williams
Feb 11, 2017 Nan Williams rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
The plot was full of holes, the characterization was inconsistent and the courtroom finale (ie. "the final witness") offered no proof of the murderer.

It had its moments and kept me reading to the bitter end. However, it was really disappointing.
Steph H
Jan 12, 2017 Steph H rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
Thoroughly enjoyable listen. Although I thought I knew how it would turn out there were times when I really wasn't sure I'd got it right. A really good who/how done it.

My only criticisms would be that the reader (the author) wasn't necessarily the best choice. He's incredibly dry to listen to and there were times when the only thing that kept me listening was to find out how it ended. I'm also not a fan of swearing, there's really no need to use certain words and it could easily have gone withou
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John Marsh
Dec 29, 2014 John Marsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Syira
Mar 15, 2016 Syira rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
ohhh..i don't like this book..please
it did not surprised me at all..obviously the murderer had been told at the cover of the book.
i expect that the different murderer will show up at the end but...it's not
it's the same one that had been in the court from the beginning of the book.
the plot was not surprising seriously, nothing that will make your mind curious or mind blow as every criminal novel should be.
it was just a boring scene at court and the prosecutor asking the same question of the same
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Paulien
I picked this book up from the library because I was intrigued by the premise. A woman is on trial for the murder of her husband's first wife, accused by her stepson. Did she do it or not? This novel was presented as a legal drama.

There are different timelines in this novel - the happier times, the time of the murder and then the court case. It took a while to get used to jumping around, there didn't seem to be much of a pattern or reason to why the time jumps were made. As if the author wrote e
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Michael Shurtleff
I agree with several others on the disclaimers on the dust jacket. They come across as self-conscious and give the immediate impression that he really *is* riding in on Grandpa's coattails. This is still an okay legal thriller and a good start. The story hits the ground running, introducing all the key characters and story elements by page 10. It moves steadily forward from there at a good pace. It isn't without its rough moments; the events in Chapters 21 and 22, while necessary to move the plo ...more
Sandy
I picked this book up because I was intrigued by the idea of reading a legal thriller by J.R.R. Tolkien's grandson. This wound up being a one night read - it's a smoothly flowing book, but I also really wanted to see how it would be resolved - so I stayed up much too late to finish it.

You know from the beginning who seems to be the villain, since she's on trial. And it looks as if she did it, but it also looks as if she may get acquitted. So, the whole time I was reading this, I kept asking, "Is
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Farhan
Oct 22, 2014 Farhan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A just about decent novel which is, in part, a courtroom drama, and, in part, a family saga. A young boy suspects that his mother was killed by his father's secretary whom she subsequently married. The book keeps on tediously repeating the same facts over and over again, and despite the fact that Tolkien is an attorney himself, the courtroom scenes lack the punch and drama that make the really good legal thrillers sizzle. His resolution of the mystery was weak, too. He shows some promise, though ...more
International Cat Lady
This is Simon Tolkien's first book. Despite the fact that he's the grandson of JRR Tolkien, this is NOT a fantasy novel. Don't worry, I knew that going in. Simon Tolkien is a barrister, and has taken to writing legal thrillers set in England. This, his first, is a good book, but not a great one. The story was engaging, but I have to admit that I was hoping for some kind of twist or surprise at the end, and there just wasn't one. Also, the sex scenes were awkward. Part of it was that they were aw ...more
Danielle
Feb 10, 2015 Danielle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One summer night, two men break into an isolated manor house and kill Lady Anne Robinson. Her teenage son, Thomas, has witnessed the murder. Two days later he convinces the police that Greta Grahame, his father’s beautiful personal assistant, sent the killers. Thomas’father, Sir Peter Robinson, the British minister of defense, refuses to believe his son. Instead, he marries Greta and is prepared to testify for the defense at her trial. Is Peter right in not wanting to believe his son? Or is he w ...more
Fraser Coltman
I thought it was a pretty good story. Tolkien varies his means of telling it, moving from the witness statement of the son of a murder victim to descriptions of the court case against woman accused of arranging the murder to memories of the various characters. He does a good job of keeping up the mystery of the story by using the court scenes to cast doubt on the boy's testimony and to create sympathy for the accused. The conclusion is a bit rushed and left me wanting a few more chapters to fles ...more
Al
Mar 18, 2013 Al rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

One summer night, two men break into an isolated manor house and kill Lady Anne Robinson. Her teenage son, Thomas, convinces the police that Greta Grahame, his father’s beautiful personal assistant, sent the killers, but Thomas is known for his overactive imagination, and he has reasons to lie. Thomas’s father, Sir Peter Robinson, the British minister of defense, refuses to believe his son. Instead, he marries Greta and is prepared to testify for the defense at her trial. He will be the final w

...more
Carlissa
May 01, 2010 Carlissa rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes courtroom drama/mysteries
Shelves: ebooks, read-in-2010
I picked out this book because I had heard that his new book, The Inheritance, was coming out, and I was curious to see what else he had written. This book is part mystery and part court room drama. The story started a little bit slow, but picked up after awhile. It was told from the point of view of Thomas, a 16-year-old whose mother is murdered by two intruders and he believes that his father's personal assistant/second wife is behind the murder. I thought his father was a real creep for not b ...more
Adina
May 10, 2010 Adina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily
May 09, 2010 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Enjoyable enough book, but lacking towards the end, and has sometimes a strange overemphasis on sex that just doesn't add anything but awkwardness. Most of the book kept me guessing about the whodunit portion and the true angle of the court case between Thomas and Greta - but I was expecting/hoping for more of a twisty ending, a la Witness for the Prosecution.
Alan
May 25, 2014 Alan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liz
Jun 08, 2013 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is written by JRR Tolkien's grandson, but there is no whiff of Middle Earth to be found. It's a modern-day courtroom drama, whose two main characters have opposing accounts of the events leading up to and following a shocking crime. It was suspensefully told; I really wasn't sure which character was lying until the end.
Donald
May 23, 2008 Donald rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
I picked this up because - well - because he's J.R.R. Tolkien's grandson. Simon definitely has his own style in comparison. The chapters alternate between telling the story and dealing with the court case that results. One in past tense and the other in present.

It really is a well told tale narrated by the author. My only complaint would be that the narration seemed a bit flat and lifeless.
Lara
Sep 04, 2007 Lara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up on sale for $1.00 because it had been awhile since I read a legal mystery/thriller and I was intrigued by the fact that the author is JRR Tolkein's grandson. It was a quick read, relatively engaging, although only a handful of the characters emerged as multi-faceted individuals. Recommended "filler" (e.g. airplane) reading.
Eileen
A game of cat and mouse as the stepson insists that he saw his father's new wife with the murderer of the first wife. A court case ensues. Did he? Did she?
Cleverly written.
The author is JRR Tolkien's grandson, and if you take some time to find out about the family background you can see where this story came from. He is a barrister in London and has written more than one book.
Huong
Nov 13, 2012 Huong rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost 4 stars, but the ending didn't quite jive with me. All these professional law-men couldn't dig up Greta's history but two sixteen year olds can...c'mon! Everything up to that point was superb and had me on edge. I really enjoyed the buildup of the mystery and courtroom drama.
Janet Richards
Jul 09, 2013 Janet Richards rated it it was ok
Interesting story - but the book needed more work. Very annoying transitions from different points of view in the middle of a chapter made it hard to follow. And a very unrealistic closing scene seemed to fit better in a Columbo TV script than a novel.
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Simon Tolkien was born in England in 1959 and grew up in a small village outside Oxford. His grandfather was J.R.R. Tolkien, professor of philology and the author of The Lord of the Rings. Simon was educated by Benedictine monks at Downside School, and then went on to Oxford University, where he studied Modern History at Trinity College. Since 1994, he has been a successful barrister in London, sp ...more
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