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The Perfect Witness

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  4,383 ratings  ·  508 reviews
She was the perfect witness--until they found her.

When Teresa Casali was young, she discovered that she could read people's memories. But this strange gift became a curse when her mob boss father used Teresa to gain the upper hand in his world of corruption and violence. Exposed by her own family to the darkest impulses of mankind, Teresa finds herself defenseless and alon
Mass Market Paperback, 359 pages
Published May 19th 2015 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2014)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,383 ratings  ·  508 reviews

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Bea Lynch
Aug 13, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-books
I received this book as an advanced readers copy, and I was really looking forward to it, especially after I learned how acclaimed the author was. However, the writing made me feel as if I was back in 5th grade. I stopped reading after page 200 because I realized I just didn't care what happened to the characters! They felt lifeless, and it was due to the writing, not the plot. I was tired of reading the short choppy sentences and unnecessary exclamation points, so I have moved on to better book ...more
Annastasia Sikel
Feb 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: johansen-iris
Sadly disappointed in Ms. Johansen. This book stunk.

I think the concept had great potential, but this book did not deliver. I couldn't get attached to any of the main characters. I found myself skipping many pages of irrelevant drivel, and was glad to reach the lackluster end.

Writing a bad review of one of my favorite authors now has me depressed and I must go find a bucket of ice cream to cheer me up. Dammit.
Book Addict
I am 2/3 of the way through this book and I have to say it absolutely awful. A more ridiculous plot and set of characters have never been combined before, I am sure of it... I wish I was the kind of person who could leave a book unfinished but if I set it aside now I will forget how incredulous I am. Next thing I know, I'm neck deep in the idiocy and ranting again. I may as well finish the torture now and save my future foolish self sanity :P

I always get excited to read books where the main char
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love Iris Johansen as an author. The novel was an entire cast of new characters. The beginning of the novel was not good at keeping my interest. However, I kept on reading and the second half was much more exciting. I don't know if these characters have been in follow-on novels or not. It was a good read.
Karyn Niedert
I'm not going to provide an in-depth review for this one, because to be absolutely fair, I didn't finish it. From the beginning, I was turned off by the idea of a middle aged man being drawn physically to a 16 year old girl. I know, I know, "What a prude, eh?" Bus alas...

Johansen did wait until Theresa/Allie was 23'ish before the main characters take "it" to the next level, but the whole time I was thinking, "Oh, how wonderfully perfect for a late thirties dude to be hot-trotting it with a 23
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. Iris is one of my favs. But there's non stop dialog between the two main characters and it's constant bickering. Allie has known Mandak for seven years but she argues with him and fights him at EVERYTHING. Even after so many tell her he's a good guy. I so wanted Allie to grow up and shut up. Four-fifths through it I was hoping the bad guy would get her and Mandak would find someone else.
This literally could've been a combination of every other Iris Johansen book I've read lately. I couldn't even get through the first half of the book because I didn't care about the characters. Disappointing!!
Good story line.
I just felt it was a little rushed at the end.
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a child, Teresa Casali discovered that she has a strange psychic gift - she can read other people’s memories. After growing up with abusive parents who used her abilities for their own gains she trusts no one. Her gift is a curse to her in many ways. At 16, her stepfather tries to have her killed because he feels threatened by her and she is rescued by a man named Mandak. Although she doesn’t trust Mandak she has no other choice but to go on the run with him.

Mandak has his own special psychi
Kate Murphy
Mar 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fail
I created a new category called FAIL just for this book. I lasted to chapter 3. Rarely do I give up on a book that early. It is really bad. Half way through the first chapter, I thought that maybe I was reading a book targeted to young teens - but, having read most of the books my young teens have read - it was still no excuse for such sub-par writing. Points repeat themselves beyond the annoyance stage. By chapter three, I was saying - out loud - "OK! ALRIGHT already! We get that she doesn't tr ...more
Marti M
Feb 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was so bad.

It seemed so promising. The cover was intriguing, the plot seemed good.

So disappointing. The writing was so stiff and wooden, and so boring. One character would say something like "this is what I'm doing. This is why I'm doing it. This is how you're reacting. Blah"

Seriously, a 10 year old would have written better dialogue.

And the relationship between Allie and Mandak was so creepy. Like they met when he was a grown man and she was 16 and yet they kept talking about the "sensu
Jun 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Waste of brain cells to even listen at 3x speed. Just stupid
Oct 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea how this is averaging as many stars as it is. Super blah. I finished because I hate no to, but nothing was good about it. Jumpy and sketchy to read. Blah dialog. Blah characters. Kind of blah storyline. So not impressed. Glad I borrowed from the library for free. I feel pretty stiffed if I spent money on it.
I have always been a big fan of this author so when I saw this book I couldn't wait to dive in. I made it to page 169 and I just can't read anymore. There is no flow to this book. Every page of this has been a struggle. If I didn't know better I would think a middle schooler had written this. The characters are not well developed. I would find it very hard to believe that she did any sort of research before she started this book. I also wonder if she read it cover to cover before sending it out ...more
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oh, awesome, awesome book! Loved these characters and this plot, though it has changed from the first synopsis I read! And I do wish I'd read the earlier Iris Johansen books first, because this book has Megan from Pandora's Daughter in it, and Megan was also in an Eve Duncan book, so things are connected!
Aug 24, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was the dumbest, most poorly written book I've read in a long time. I only read to the end because my compulsive nature rarely lets me put down an unfinished book. What. A. Huge. Waste. Of. Time.
Feb 06, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really bad novel. The author, although highly acclaimed, repeated herself over and over. Very disappointing.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought that I would give one of Johansen's stand-alone books a try. I am NOT a fan of her Eve Duncan series but I thought this book might be better. I was not too impressed with this one either. There was so much conversation, and not enough action. I will agree with one of the other reviewers in that the short and choppy sentences were a real distraction. The characters lacked depth and I didn't care what happened to them. I better quit now before I take away a star!
Angel Natasha Lynn Hawkins
Well I finished it but there was a time there that I wondered if I would. It was an ok story... had some exciting times but mostly it was not very compelling. I wasn’t a big fan of the main character, I liked all the supporting characters, but not her. She seemed like a selfish, bitchy brat. I didn’t much care for her at all or her reactions to others in the book. It’s not a keeper for me.
Oct 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dear Ms. Johansen,

I liked this book, I did. I found it hard to put down at times and thought the idea behind it was great. It's not my favourite ever of yours, but it was definitely not the worst.

What I would love, in any of your next books, lets switch gender roles. Lets have a crazy intelligent (possibly with some psychic abilities), military trained/dangerous, alpha female come and rescue a male who is unsure of himself but will grow to be powerful and then they can fall in love and all that
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
** spoilerish rant ahead**

I like a good mystery.... This one started out fine, and as long as you can suspend disbelief that the main character can read memories, you may like the first half of the book. Past the halfway mark.....oy..... I really hate a lapse in logic and there is a doozy in this plot. Characters on the run from people who are TRYING TO KILL THEM do not go out into the open for a funeral fer cryin' out loud. It is even mentioned in the post-half clunky dialog that they are sitti
Nov 25, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I keep saying I'm going to quit Johansen, but the books written with her son get me back on board, but none lately have matched the early Eve Duncan books.
This was worse than most. Besides the off-putting — to me, at least — editing errors throughout, the main characters were boilerplate alpha male, young woman with attitude, stereotypical megalomaniacal villains, with some psychic woo-woo thrown in.
I sped-read through, because I just can't not finish a book, but it was torture doing so.
Glad I
Jan 12, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fail-to-finish
I wish I'd read the reviews first. Boring, melodramatic, repetitive. I rarely give up on books but I just couldn't get into it. I'm a captive audience too, I listen to audiobooks while driving for 12 hours at work, I found I would rather listen to the hum of the engine than subject myself to this drivel for a second more. I was shocked to realize this was Iris Johansen when I logged on to write a review, I've always liked her books. Save yourself some time and just burn it now.
Terry Audette weiss
Teresa Casali could read people's memories, the reason she considered herself a freak. She is taken advantage of by her father and betrayed by her mother. Her answer? Run away. With the help of Andre Mandak she is able to control her "gift" and help him complete a task he has been working on for many years. An OK storyline but at times the book gets wordy and the heroine becomes somewhat of a whiner. Also very graphic.
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just could not get into this book. I am usually a huge fan of Johansen but from the start of this book it felt like work to read and I found myself skipping to the end just to get done. I was lost from the start and over 150 pages in still lost and either I missed something or you had to work harder for the backbone of this book then I was willing to work.
. . . Oh my lord this book was awful. I mean, seriously. What in the name of the Flying Spaghetti Monster did I just read?

Before I go any further, I’d like to briefly explain how I fell into the terrible graces of this travesty of a book. I was at a small shop while vacationing in Montauk two years ago when I came across The Perfect Witness at the back of the store. Now I have a little “test” to see whether I’m going to buy a book or not.

Step 1: Read the blurb. If it’s intriguing, read the fi
Sep 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book was twice as long as necessary, lots of boring dialogue, flat characters, slow plot, no redeeming qualities.
Sarah Richardson
Dec 04, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Quite possibly one of the worst books I’ve ever read.
Andrea Bolton
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don’t think I’ve ever read an Iris Johansen book that I didn’t like. Good story, good characters, lots of action.
Jun 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't bother! Just read some of the other reviews...
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2015 Reading Chal...: The Perfect Witness by Iris Johansen 2 15 Jan 31, 2015 05:48PM  

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Iris Johansen is a New York Times bestselling author. She began her writing after her children left home for college. She first achieved success in the early 1980s writing category romances. In 1991, Johansen began writing suspense historical romance novels, starting with the publication of The Wind Dancer. In 1996 Johansen switched genres, turning to crime fiction, with which she has had great su ...more
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