Final Witness Final Witness
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Final Witness Final Witness

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  243 ratings  ·  45 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...more
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Published December 24th 2002 by Random House (first published January 1st 2002)
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Chris
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
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
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.
Mary Anne
I dont' remember how it ends so that must mean that I wasn't much impressed. :)
Julie
Not worth my time. Awkward writing.
Alan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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...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
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

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 12, 2010 Carlissa rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liz Wilkins
**3.5 stars** Excellent legal drama.
Donald
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.
Emily
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.
Lara
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.
Liz
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.
Susan
A pretty good courtroom drama, although somewhat predictable.
Laura
Written by The Lord of the Rings' grandson; this is a different type of book. I like law/mystery combinations though. This one pitted a father and son because of a stepmother that allegedly killed the wife/mother. It was good because it sent you through a cycle of belief, doubt, belief.
Huong
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.
Gary
This builds slowly, but never without being interesting. But the whole thing comes to a truly climactic ending. If it wasn't for the frequent swearing and unnecessary erotic moments I'd have given this a good four. As it is, I'll award a strong three.

Liked it a lot.
Craig
A pretty decent crime story centered mainly around a courtroom and a trial. A little bit slow at points, with the story being slightly meandering, but at other points, gripping and exciting. Not the best I've read but a reasonably enjoyable read nonetheless.
Janet Richards
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.
Karen Patterson
A good, solid story and English courtroom drama, but the mystery wasn't "shocking" as the book's description would suggest, at least for me it wasn't. I kept expecting some final twist to make an appearance, but it didn't.
Marge
New Author - grandson of JRR Tolkien - but an entirely different genre.
Simon Tolkien is a barrister in England which shows in the trial and way the story progresses. Well Written and kept me hooked.
Maciek
I picked this book at an used book store for little money. It's your typical courtroom drama, if you like such stuff you might give it a try, but don't expect something overtly original.
Nona
Who was behind the killing of a wife and mother of sixteen year old Thomas. Tom seems to know but his father strongly disagrees and has married the main suspect. Great court room drama.
Sara Diane
A very good read from JRR Tolkien's grandson. A British crime novel, this reads better than Grisham. With the exception of one or two scenes that were unnecessary, it was a good book.
Elaine
This was a pretty good little mystery. Courtroom testimony interspersed with flashbacks was nicely done. A few weak links in the case, but still kept me guessing.
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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
More about Simon Tolkien...
The Inheritance (Inspector Trave, #1) Orders from Berlin (Inspector Trave, #3) The King of Diamonds (Inspector Trave, #2) RD Condensed Books: Final Witness; The Guardian; The Second Time Around; Between Sisters The Stepmother

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