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.
New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post and International #1 Bestselling Author. Shortlisted by the International Thriller Awards for best ebook 2017 and the Killer Nashville Best Police Procedural 2018. Over 1.5 million books sold.
Thank you to Netgalley, Thomas & Mercer, & Caroline Mitchell for my ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*
Would you be frozen with fear whenever you received a text? Probably not, but then you're not Rebecca and it's not Solomon texting you.
It's 2007 and Rebecca is taking part in a marathon in aid of cancer. Her mum is in hospital with terminal cancer and she feels as if she's doing something positive, even if it can't save her mum. She's finding the race really difficult but then a young guy called Solomon appears by her side,and encourages her to carry on each time she's ready to give up. He helps her get to the finishing line and then disappears into the crowd. She thinks of him constantly in the following days but fears she'll never see him again. While on a hospital visit to her mum, she's shocked to see Solomon, but he tells her that he too has had cancer and is there for a check up. She asks if he'll accompany her to see her mum and pretend to be her boyfriend, because mum's wish is to see her daughter happy and settled, and Rebecca just wants her mum to die happy. He agrees and charms her mum without any problem, even nipping out to buy her favourite flowers. As we'll find out, Solomon is very good at turning on the charm, but he's one very dangerous individual.
I won't give too much away, but Rebecca suffers domestic abuse at his hands and when he takes his temper too far involving another crime, she testifies against him and he's jailed for 10 years.
It's now 2016 and Rebecca has started a new life in another part of the country, but Solomon has been released from prison and he's ready to play games. He's determined to make her pay for betraying him. He discovers where Rebecca is living and tells her that a crime will be committed for each of the ten years he's spent in jail, and not only must she witness these crimes, but she must choose the victims.
OMG! This is one heck of a nail biting,nerve jangling journey that Caroline Mitchell has plotted here. Having previously had a career as a Police Detective, Caroline sure knows her stuff! The storyline is superb, the characters are perfectly real, the writing is excellent, and if you haven't read any of this author's books before, then trust me, you're in for a treat!
Caroline Mitchell is a fantastic writer. She has written this book on a difficult subject matter, domestic abuse. This is a tough book. She has spent several years of her career safeguarding high risk victims and their families. She has portrayed the strength it takes to escape an abusive relationship in this book. I usually don't like books about domestic abuse but this book was so different and clever. Rebecca made me so mad several times, but I don't know what I would do if I was in the same shoes as hers. I really enjoyed this book and it was so scary. It was one hell of a thrill ride.
Ten years later, Rebecca has finally got her life back in order. She is married and has a daughter and feels safe and happy. Until the day she receives a phone call. It is Solomon her abusive ex husband. He has called to seek revenge because she testified as a witness which put him in jail. He wants to make her life hell.
Rebecca is forced to confront a past that she hoped was gone forever. She receives a phone call from him to play a game. Then she receives messages from him threatening her that she has to be a silent witness in ten crimes. One for each year he was in prison.
This was an intense read for me and I hated Solomon so much. This is a chilling psychological thriller that will take you turning the pages throughout the night.
Thank You Netgalley, Thomas &Mercer and Caroline Mitchell for a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
I was biting my nails through out this entire book. In the beginning I have to admit.. I was a little weary. I thought, "where is this going?" Is this going to be just another ordinary psychological thriller (side note: my favorite genre used to be psychological thrillers, but one can only read so many before they start to sound like one in the same)? However, I quickly jumped on board and my cynicism melted away. You see, this wasn't just another psychological thriller. This was clever, authentic, and original. Caroline Mitchell clearly has her own unique voice. She wasn't merely echoing the words of another..Caroline Mitchell has successfully created her own space in the big, wide, world of psychological thrillers. I will be anxiously awaiting her next novel. Bravo!
No question about it. I am most decidedly in the minority here. Although this book has yet to be published it has earned a 4.6 average rating from 55 advance readers. 5 star reviews abound.
But first let me give you a short overview of the premise.
Ten years ago Rebecca was a witness in a murder trial. The man against whom she bore witness was also her boyfriend Solomon, and theirs had been an extremely abusive relationship.
Once Solomon is found guilty and sent to prison, Rebecca sells her house and escapes to a remote village in Wales. Over time she meets a wonderful local man. Becky, as she is now known and Sean get married, have a beautiful little girl and live a quiet, happy life.
But now Solomon has been released from prison. He blames Rebecca for all the time he has spent incarcerated and immediately begins to plot his revenge. Apparently she likes to be a witness and he plans to put this to the test.
Mitchell’s portrayal of Solomon as a devious and manipulative psychopath is brilliant. He is one scary dude. His behaviours, obsessiveness and cruel, controlling persona leaves no doubt in the reader’s mind just how far he would go if pushed..
No the real problem I had here, mostly, was with Rebecca. With the choices she made, her inner justifications and her response to Solomon both from their first meeting and most especially ten years later. For me there was always something off about this woman.
And before you start typing furiously, explaining battered women syndrome to me and how that can readily explain Rebecca’s behaviour, I have to tell you that I know. But this……..well it just doesn’t play. I do not want to say too much for fear of spoiling this for would be readers so I will put my more specific thoughts under a spoiler tag.
As for the final denouement, I can’t say that I was overly surprised. What did surprise me was that after all was said and done……...
Like I said I am clearly in the minority here, so don’t let me dissuade you. Could be it’s just me..
My thanks to Thomas & Mercer, NetGalley and Caroline Mitchell for an opportunity to read an advance copy.
My review - It is no secret that I love anything this lady writes. I find that her style carries me along beautifully. From the very first moment I felt Rebecca’s tension and did not breathe properly until I read the very last word. So engrossed in this book I found myself shouting warnings to the main character at my kindle. Just when I thought the tension could get no worse the story found another gear as we entered into a sick and twisted game. I finished this book at 1am and found thoughts of Solomon were still running around my head. As ever I was entranced by the sharp characterisations that convinced me I knew these people personally. This book was thrilling, tense, exciting, dark and twisted in the best possible way. It is only now, the following day, that I am able to breath normally again.
I received a copy of Witness through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Thomas & Mercer and to Caroline Mitchell for the opportunity.
You just can't un-do, un-see, un-live your past.
Rebecca's story is told in a "then" to "now" concept. We open the door on a bloodied male body on the floor with life oozing out of him rapidly. Rebecca hovers over him. Within moments, it's over for Jake, but it is just the beginning for Rebecca.
It's 2016 and Rebecca has moved to Pontyferry and is living the life of a vet's wife and being the mother to four year old Lottie. Her days are filled with long hours in the vet's office and leave not much time to breathe. But something will leave Rebecca even far more breathless. Her former fiance, Solomon, has been released from prison after ten years. He was found guilty in that brutal death of Jake. That was left long ago in the past. But Rebecca knows better.
Solomon will serve Rebecca a revenge sandwich and heavy on the terror sauce. He's salivating at the chance to make her pay for his ten years of confinement. Oh, and he has a sinister plan. His dearest Rebecca will have to "witness" crimes inflicted upon her friends. And Rebecca has only seconds to respond to the text.
Caroline Mitchell depicts Solomon as one of the most dastardly creepers on record. I still can't listen to one of my favorite songs by Leonard Cohen, "Hallelujah", without conjuring images of this nutjob. (Oh, Caroline, if only you would have chosen a tune from the bottom of the charts!) He is relentless and a walking nightmare.
However, I had problems with Rebecca. A marching band wouldn't even have been enough to veer her away from the voltage produced by Solomon. It's like sitting in a movie theater and you keep shouting at the screen: "Don't go into the basement!!" And there she goes.....
With that aside, Caroline Mitchell still produces a chill-filled storyline. This is my first experience with this author. She has an uncanny finesse for sliding characters in at just the right moment. They certainly fulfill their sharp-ended obligations to carry out this creepy plot. I know one thing for sure. I'll be back for more!
How far would you go to escape an abusive relationship?
Rebecca thought she had found the perfect boyfriend meeting Solomon It was at a time in Rebecca's life where she was feeling vulnerable and alone, so when Solomon appears, Rebecca is really happy.
Supportive, loving but assertive he can do no wrong, even Rebecca's mother approves.
Little did she know that Solomon may not quite be her knight in shining armour.
Now she is free of him, with a new identity and a family... life is good.... but after 10 Years Solomon is back and he wants revenge....
Because revenge was what he lived for...
Ah, little Lottie. He tapped the screen, his cracked lips broadening in a smile. I’m coming for you.
My thoughts... I'm a huge fan of Caroline Mitchell's writing, from her first book Don't Turn Around it was going to be very clear that this author can write a book that slips out of the normal thriller box and Witness is no exception.
Set in the past and present, it was a clever thriller. Tense and chilling.
I love it when I can feel a character because at times Rebecca drove me sometimes to scream out loud at some of her decisions, maybe she was doing what she thought was the right thing to protect those she loved. Rebecca
Now SOLOMON controlling manipulative and dangerous as he took control of Rebecca. He fascinated me and he was a fantastic character, I do love a villain. Terrifying, edge of a seat plot which keep me in suspense till the end.
I would not be a victim anymore
Complimentary Copy provided by Caroline Mitchell in exchange for an honest review ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>
Another excellent novel by author Caroline Mitchell and I feel a little mean not giving it the top rating of 5 stars. I did really enjoy this book and it certainly had me gripped right from the very beginning and this author is quickly proving to be one of my very favourite writers. Ten years after testifying against her abusive boyfriend Solomon, Rebecca tries to rebuild her life and finally put her past behind her. But when she receives a phone call from a phone left in her bedroom she quickly realises that Solomon has been in her home and is once again a threat to her. His message is that 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 and each subsequent crime gets increasingly more severe. Great novel by an exceptional author. I would like to thank Net Galley and the author Caroline Mitchell for supplying a copy of this novel in exchange for a honest review.
This is my second book by Caroline Mitchell and though i am not so keen to start a new series, I am hooked on her writing style and will have to give one of her series a try soon. "Witness" like the book I read before it "The Silent Victim" are standalones and real page turners. I was immediately engaged by the story and remained so until the end of the book. The writing was good, the atmosphere taut and the characters well developed. Yes, there were a few clichés and I guessed a few of the reveals beforehand, but overall, I found this to be a really satisfying psychological thriller. Recommended!
This is my third Caroline Mitchell novel. Loved the first one and gave it five stars. Wasnt gone at all on the second and gave it three stars, so I went into this one with hope but not sure what to expect. I really neednt have worried.
Rebecca is in a very abusive relationship with Solomon. We start with a murder and Solomon going to prison as Rebecca ups and moves herself to Wales to start a new life. Married now with a child her horrible and secret past is behind her, or so she thinks. Solomon is released from prison after ten years and he has one thing on his mind - revenge.
What an absolutely fantastic read. Chapters told from Rebeccas perspective, from her past through her journal and in the third person from Solomons perspective in the present, we have a beautifully told story that will keep un-nerved right up until the final page. Rebeccas is a fantastic central character who, despite having her flaws and having to make some impossible decisions, you have total empathy with. Solomon as well is a fantastically written abuser. A scary character, possibly a sociopath, he isnt a two dimensional villain as we find in so many stories, but a genuinely scary and believable character.
I loved the pacing of the book as well. Fleshed out little by little, it never dips as you turn the next page in anticipation. The tension throughout is palpable. Yes its a real page turner, one more chapter...one more chapter...
The ending as well was fantastic. I wont go into any detail but I loved it. An easy five star review for me. I just loved it from start to finish.
I would like to thank NetGalley, Thomas And Mercer and Caroline Mitchell for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
When I found out Caroline Mitchell was publishing her first psychological thriller with Thomas and Mercer I just knew I had to read it as soon as possible. She’s firmly cemented herself on my list of auto buy authors and fans of her work will be totally floored by Witness.
The premise of this book simultaneously creeped me out and intrigued me. Imagine having a psychopathic creep from your past come back only to force you to play a sick game. That’s what happens to Rebecca, it’s been ten years since she played a huge role in sending Solomon to prison but now he’s back, and he’s out for blood. He wants revenge in the worst way possible and toying with Rebecca is one of his favorite games to play. She must pick someone she knows to be the victim of a crime, ten different people, one for each year he was locked up.
This is told from both Rebecca’s and Solomon’s point of view and there are also entries from Rebecca’s diary that she kept back when her and Solomon were engaged. The details of their twisted and frightening past are told in brief snippets which had me hanging on every word. I was desperate to know what had really happened back then and could feel Rebecca’s fear and hopelessness leaping from the pages. Solomon is such a creepy and menacing character, the part that scared me the most was that he was able to blend in when it suited him and most people had no idea how sick and depraved he really was.
Mitchell has a tricky writing style that is alluring as she ends almost every single chapter with a mini cliffhanger making it a quick read as you can’t bear to put it down. I found myself holding my breath plenty of times while reading as I contemplated just how Rebecca would get herself out of this terrifying situation? The poor thing had already escaped Solomon once and now she has to do it again? Except this time it’s worse as she has a husband and a daughter to worry about and every decision she makes has the power to not only affect the ones she loves the most, but it also makes her question herself. She struggles with her morality and sense of what’s right and wrong and is constantly faced with impossible tasks. I’m shivering just thinking about it again!
Fans of psychological thrillers will enjoy this one, and fans of standard mystery/thrillers will also love this as there are twists and secrets hidden along the way. The tension was constantly mounting right up until the end and I just now finally feel like I can breathe normally again after that suspenseful ride!
I personally found this great story tense, exciting, sad, unforving and very very addictive.
Rebecca had finally escaped from Solomon and was convicted of abuse and jailed.
But even though the conviction of Solomon, it meant that Rebecca had to gain a new start in life, a new existence. Her life settled with a husband and her child. But she was looking over her shoulder once Solomons release from prison. Would she ever be free?
Her husband didn't know much about her past.
I loved how the author brought us up to date with Solomons thoughts of now and the past and Rebecca's, including her journal.
The tense ...on the edge of your seat, biting your nails.....wondering what reply she would give each time Solomon text her was not only sad, in that she was still beholden to him but, the fact she had to reason out her decisions and then justify why she chose who she did.
With the background Caroline Mitchell has it's no wonder she weaves such astounding breathtaking stories that are so real.
I need to thank bookoutour for my digital copy via Net galley
Witness is a thriller about a woman named Rebecca who found herself in an abusive relationship, but was able to escape and send her abusive controlling fiancé to prison. Ten years later, he's released from prison and is contacting her again. Angry about her testimony against him, he forces her to watch him commit crimes against people she knows and loves, and threatens to kill her if she goes to the police.
Rebecca, living now as Becky is now married and living in a new city has tried to put her ex Solomon in the past, and move forward with her husband and daughter. When she finds a phone in her house that wasn't hers, she realizes Solomon has not only found out where she lives, but has been inside of her house. When she starts receiving texts on the phone, she realizes he's playing with her. Each text lists a crime that will be committed against someone she knows unless she nominates someone else to be attacked. As the crimes grow increasingly more severe, Rebecca has to find a way out of this before he comes after her, and on top of that, she doesn't tell her husband what's going on, so their relationship becomes strained as she starts acting strange.
The book is told in alternating timelines, flipping back and forth between present time and the past, as told through diary entries, when she first meets Solomon, up through the point where she gets him arrested. I loved reading the flashback chapters and understanding how her relationship with Solomon starts and how he ropes her in before the abuse starts.
I think most people who have known me for a while know that I'm obsessed with books about stalkers/someone being stalked (I don't know what it is about them, but I love them!!) so I was so excited to get approved for Witness on Netgalley.
I adored this book, and when I wasn't reading it, I sure was thinking about it! I found myself checking the locks on my doors, and pulling my curtains closed because it was such a creepy book (in the best possible way!) It had me terrified for Rebecca, and on the edge of my seat the entire book, dying to find out how she'd manage to get away. There was one part of the book that I definitely saw coming early on, but overall I was dying to find out how everything would end!
I definitely recommend this book for all thriller lovers! Fans of Elizabeth Haynes Into the Darkest Corner will love Witness. It's five huge stars from me, and I'd give it more if I could!
A huge thank you to Netgalley, Caroline Mitchell, and Thomas and Mercer for the opportunity to read and review this novel. Witness comes out on December 20th, so be sure to add it to your reading lists - you won't want to miss this one!
Ten years ago Rebecca testified against her then-boyfriend, Solomon. He had killed a co-worker of hers when he assumed they were having an affair. He spent those ten years in prison.
But now he's out ... looking for revenge.
Even though she is now married and the mother to a young child, he has tracked her down. Let the games begin!
He breaks into her home and leaves a phone just for her. He sends her a message ... for each of the 10 years he spent in prison, she must witness a crime. To make matters even worse ..she has to choose the victims. If she goes to the police, he will kill her husband and child.
Interesting take on a psychological thriller. Solomon is very, very smart and he's had 10 years to plan his retaliation. He's willing to go all the way ... is she? The chapters are told in turn by a young Rebecca about her time spent with Solomon, the Rebecca of today, and of course, Solomon himself.
The characters are finely drawn. I liked the Rebecca that made a new life for herself after all the abuse she suffered at the hands of Solomon. There is a twist close to the end that sent my mind in a totally different direction.
I recommend this one for anyone who enjoys psychological thrillers.
Many thanks to the author / Thomas & Mercer / Netgalley. Opinions expressed are unbiased and entirely my own.
Another winner from Caroline! This one is engaging, clever with some surprises and clever twisty bits along the way. Tackling dark themes I loved it!
I loved the plot concept of this book, it was guaranteed to keep you on your toes and guessing all the way. I loved the characters in this book both the likeable and unlikeable and the moral questions raised were excellent? What would you do? Made me really think.
Caroline had me loving this book then stunned by the ending. What the? Some fab reveals all saved up for the lucky reader.
Tackling domestic abuse and that it's not just physical violence was a brave and important novel base and I think Caroline's portrayal was excellent and more realistic than many might realise. No doubt drawn from her years dealing with it in CID in real life. As a survivor who was then scarily stalked and afraid for my life I commend Caroline on her realism.
A twisty, fascinating book that made me really think at times and dig deep. Highly recommended. I don't think Caroline can write a bad book. She's just got the talent! 5 stars from me and a must read for psychological thriller and crime fans.
I bought and read the Kindle version of this book. All review opinions are my own and entirely unbiased.
Fantastic gripping read couldn't put this book down domestic violence so true to life controlled by another person this book a dark read Rebecca under the influence of Solomon. he gets involved with every part of her life meeting her and it was all planned, her mum was sick with cancer,he said he was sick also bit by bit the controlling starts. he gets put in prison for murder but years later he's back to start games with her using a mobile to witness and choosing who he wants to hurt.disturbing but brilliant writing.loved this book can't wait to read more from caroline.highly recommend.
Caroline Mitchell returns with a chilling new psychological thriller Witness. This is a gripping story of revenge, of a sad twisted relationship and a victim being played with.
We follow Rebecca, who ten years ago testified against her boyfriend Solomon and put him behind bars. She has moved on and now lives in Wales, happily married with a child. Through her diaries, we start to unpick Rebecca’s troubled past. We get to understand the controlling and abusive relationship of Rebecca and Solomon. It is hardly a surprise that Solomon, now released from prison has big plans for Rebecca. He is back and he wants revenge.
Mitchell brings her police experience of working with victims of domestic violence to her writing in Witness. This is a tough story, that was hard to read at times. It had a feeling of authenticity, as we see the terrible controlling and abusive relationship unfold.
Rebecca slowly comes under the influence and manipulation of Solomon and his unique brand of control. Their relationship develops, to the point where they are engaged to be married. It involves control and subtle manipulation. Slowly he is taking over and ensuring she abides by his will. This has effected her long term. She cannot even tell her husband, what she went through with Solomon and how much it hurt. Solomon comes into her life again, ten years later. He wants to make her witness ten crimes and to control her from a distance. He wants to make her suffer. Now Rebecca does not involve anyone or let anyone into the trauma she is going through. She lets Solomon dictate things again. Why does she not go to the police or to his probation officer, at the start or as things intensify? Why does she act irrationally and reply to his text messages? She knows him. She is aware of what he is capable of. Rebecca baffled me, with her inaction and her lack of intelligence. Why is she engaging with this psycho and letting him play his game? Solomon is a great though. Truly evil, in thought and deed.
Witness is a fabulous premise, that for me missed the mark. I found Rebecca too unbelievable and incredibly frustrating, in her reactions to her dangerous ex-partner and her willingness to go along with his game. Caroline Mitchell is at her best, when getting into the head of a chilling killer.
Having read three crime novels by this author in the past, I was quite intrigued by Witness, as it was described as a thriller rather than crime. I’m not a huge fan of police procedural crime novels, so really wanted to see what I thought of this thriller. Although I did actually enjoy all of the Detective Jennifer Knight series, and the fascinating character of Frank in the first book, Don’t Turn Around, who still stays with me, I have to say that Witness is now my favourite book by this author.
Witness does cover the topic of domestic abuse, so be warned if that is something you feel uncomfortable reading about. However, this novel focusses more on the psychological side of that abuse and the impact that has on the life of the victim and those around them.
Some abusers like to play games. This one definitely does. Prepare yourself for a fast paced and tense game with very dark and real consequences!
I loved this thriller. Found it really hard to put down. I was at about 60% when I went to bed last night, and only planned on reading a few minutes. Two hours later it was 1am and I had completed the book, as I was unable to put it down, despite my head bobbing and eyes repeatedly closing.
I highly recommend this to fans of thrillers and psychological thrillers.
A dark, yet compelling, domestic drama that had me hooked straight off. The tension built up and up, the fear and sense of dread layered throughout, and the tension had me breathless. I devoured every page.
Ten years ago Rebecca was instrumental in sending her abusive boyfriend, Solomon, to jail after he killed one of her coworkers suspecting them of having an affair. Rebecca has rebuilt her life and is living in a small town with her husband, a vet, and her daughter Lottie, but a text from Solomon threatens to destroy her peaceful existence. He sends her a message that for each of the ten years he spent in jail Rebecca is supposed to witness a crime and can choose her victims.
An interesting complex psychological thriller by Caroline Mitchell with a surprise twist at the end that caught me completely by surprise .Overall a 4 star rating and will definitely look forward to reading more by her.
Many thanks to & Thomas & Mercer for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and fair review.
Once again Caroline Mitchell has presented us with another great book. The story revolves around Rebecca who has just testified in court regarding the domestic violence she has suffered from her ex partner Soloman. Soloman recieves a ten year sentence and once released is out for revenge. Now the creepiness begins. Rebecca is now married with a young child when Soloman breaks into her house and leaves her a phone, she is now terrified and life is about to get a lot worse. On the phone Soloman has left a message to say that Rebecca will have to witness the deaths of ten people, one for each year he was incarcerated. Soloman is a very twisted character and is playing a very sick game and it this that creates the suspence and tension that makes this story so good.
3.5 Stars I found Witness to have an interesting and different take to it for a psychological thriller. The story draws you into a dangerous and twisted mind game controlled by an abuser Solomon. He controls and manipulates Rebecca by making her make decisions that test her morals and pushes her to sacrifice people to protect herself and her family.
The story is told from Solomon and Rebecca's point of view. Giving me a good understanding of Solomon's abusive mind and Rebecca's fears. Rebecca's voice is told in present day and past through diary entries. Through the diary we learn of Rebecca's and Solomon's past relationship.
I thought Witness to be a scary and unsettling story with a surprising and satisfying ending that I didn't see coming. I would recommend Witness to Thriller lovers
Talented author, Caroline Mitchell returns following Love You to Death Detective Ruby Preston #1, landing on my Top Books of 2016 with yet another edge-of-your-seat thriller, WITNESS -A wicked, deliciously evil, slow-burning, taut psychological suspense crime thriller, with a killer twist.
The book begins with a brief crime scene, 2007. There has been a murder. Rebecca’s work colleague (teachers at the same school); Jake age twenty-two has been stabbed in the home of Rebecca. She is a key witness. She tells the police, her boyfriend Solomon Kemp, was jealous.
Rebecca Shepherd is afraid for her life. Solomon’s dad is a superintendent in the police department. This family has control. How would she ever be safe? She has tried to escape this man unsuccessfully in this past. Will they convict him and put him away?
What would it be like to finally be safe, from this monster? Not having to account for her time or whereabouts. Being able to make decisions, choose her own clothes. An escape route from the mental torture Solomon inflicted, on a daily basis. He was a murderer, after all. Her fiancé. Did he have a part in her mother's death?
Flash forward to 2016. Solomon has been released from prison after ten years. His father died while he was in prison. He had given up the last ten years of his life because of her, and she had repaid him in the most despicable way.
At first, he was unable to comprehend it. His disbelief turned to hatred burning for years from his prison cell. Prison, was not kind to the son of a police superintendent, particularly one that had been privately educated. He was no stranger to bullying, beatings, and sexual abuse.
Now he is out and planning his revenge. He had ten long years to work out how he was going to repay her misdeeds.
Rebecca has started a new life. She goes by the name of Becky Walker. Her reinvention had helped her begin again. She married a veterinarian, Sean with his own practice, and she worked as his part-time receptionist.
They had a quiet rural renovated farmhouse in the country in Pontyferry, with a young daughter Lottie, and dog, Bear. Also, Sean’s sister, Rhian with MS, who watches their daughter. A small knit community where everyone looked out for one another.
Now she feels like someone is watching her. Has her past come back to haunt her?. The nightmares have returned. She did not want to be dragged into the past, she had tried and worked hard to forget.
Solomon knows her secret. He would not rest until she paid for it.
Flashing back and forth from the past to present. From diary entries starting in 2007, readers get bits and pieces of the life of Rebecca. How she met Solomon and where it all went wrong. We also learn about Solomon's abusive childhood.
Like most domestic abusers, they start out handsome and charming and slowly develop their control and manipulation of their victim and their family. How would she ever break free?
Solomon is a computer genius and has the skills to control. He will carry out his plan. He is empowered. Watching Rebecca (Becky’s) every move from afar. He would enjoy stripping away the layers, testing the limits of her morals, until she revealed herself for what she really was. He always was one step ahead.
Becky soon realizes Solomon had been released from prison early. Her worst nightmare. She is looking over her shoulder, filled with fear day and night. Anxiety. Waiting for the bomb to drop. How long would it be before he came after her?. His thirst for revenge. She knew his skills and he would be able to track her down. She would be putting her entire family in harm’s way. She knew what Solomon was capable of.
Solomon has been in her home. He is watching her. Dark thoughts. Soon he begins his plan. He forces her to witness a crime. Each one is someone she knows. She has to choose the victim. Failure to respond, her family gets hurt. Nor can she talk to the police. A sick cat-and-mouse game, with only 60 seconds to decide. Tick Tock!
OMG! As usual, Mitchell knows how to build suspense and a pro at setting up elaborate "true-to-life" crime scenes. From her own past career in the law enforcement area, dealing with true to life domestic cases. Psychological suspense crosses suburban noir. Who is controlling whom?
What really made this thriller "over-the-top-delicious"--You are thinking, "Why would any person go along with these crazy demands?" Just go to the cops. After all, he is a convicted felon. Get a restraining order. However, he is dangerous, smart, and sly. Also, you are unsure if Rebecca (Becky) is a reliable narrator, which adds to the intrigue. She is complex. What is she hiding?
You know something is coming. There is a secret, Rebecca (Becky) is hiding. This secret is why she cannot come forward. Can she outsmart him?
This dark and an evil secret will keep readers glued to the pages! Carve out the time. It demands your undivided attention and will be" more than difficult" to put down. I read in one sitting, dying to know how this would turn out, page-turning to the explosive reveal. Trust me, it is Chilling! The author continues to get better and better (if this is possible).
OMG this has to be one of the most twisted and nerve-wracking books I’ve read this year if you love a psychological thriller you DO NOT want to miss this one. Caroline Mitchell never fails to amaze me, she has written three books this year alone! Witness is the third and final book to be released this year, but I’m thrilled to report that despite this being her third book it hasn’t lost any of the quality I’ve come to expect from this author. Give Caroline Mitchell her due she certainly knows how to draw the reader in and keep them in her clutches. After reading the first two bloodcurdling chapters I just knew I was going to love this book, even though I was left feeling slightly traumatised after my first meeting with Rebecca and Solomon.
As you can see from the book description above Witness has a highly original premise, I’m not going to go into plot details as “the less you know, the more you will enjoy” but suffice to say the author has devised a very cleverly plotted thriller that made for a compulsive and addictive read. The plot is told from the POV of Rebecca and the fearsome Solomon who just happens to be one of the most controlling and manipulative characters I’ve come across in a while, he made my blood run cold as he skilfully turns Rebecca into his “perfect partner”. Events that follow actually made me come to detest Solomon and I couldn’t help hoping he would get his “comeuppance” as he sought his revenge on Rebecca. The chapters told from Rebecca’s diary which describe some pretty horrific events were spine chilling to read, but certainly added a sense of tension and malice to the plot.
Another thing that added a real sense of unease to the story were the random text messages sent from Solomon to Rebecca that are dotted throughout the book, for me personally they made this a terrifying psychological thriller and yet I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough as I couldn’t wait to read more of this tangled tale. The pace is relentless and each and every damn twist had a sting in its tail, I really couldn’t guess where the plot was leading. Caroline Mitchell manages to keep the reader in suspense right up until the final nail biting chapter. Some readers might prefer a more credible read but in my opinion I liked the fact that Witness stretches your imagination further than some psychological thrillers.
Caroline Mitchell has taken a bold step and changed direction as her books are Normally centred around the police and crime procedures, Witness is very much a psychological thriller, but I’m thrilled to say Caroline Mitchell has shown she can change direction and still write with the same passion and flair that make her one of my very favourite authors. There are so many elements that make Witness a truly thrilling read and I personally think this is Caroline Mitchell’s best book yet, so if Christmas hasn’t left you completely broke you really should grab yourself a copy I promise you won’t be left disappointed
Unfortunately lost heart on this one about 1/3 done. Really wanted to like it but I think I am just burnt out on domestic abuse stories. Not that I'm callous about the victims, but the opposite. Cannot enjoy reading about psychological torture & skipped ahead to find a twist that provided some new flavour but not enough to repay the effort. I still really like the author, but I think paranormal suits her better. Feeling a need for the spiritual & the spooky.
Rebecca has been snared into what becomes a very dark, psychologically and physically abusive, relationship with Solomon, who seems heaven-sent when he befriends her as her mother is dying. He isn’t all he seems, though, and she is a witness at his trial for murder. When, ten years later, he is released, she thinks she is safe with her husband and child in Wales. She isn’t. Solomon, an IT expert, finds ways to watch her, follow her and make her witness crimes against others. ‘If you go to the police, you will die’. Worse, he makes her choose the victim.
There were times I wanted to shout at Becky not to give in to his demands. How could she let herself be manipulated like that? Yet she had fallen into the initial relationship when at her most vulnerable, and Solomon had appeared to come to save her, to look after her and be kind. By the time she found out what he was really like, she was in too deeply to escape. So many abusive relationships take this course and the resulting story is tense and very gripping. Tension mounts as we know that her closest family will be pulled into the net. The ending is surprising. Absolutely a five star read!
4.5 rounded up! (& the audio was great!) This was so good! I guess i went in with expectations that certain key aspects were going to be hard to swallow, but man the author did such a great job with the characters & back stories that i was all in. (& any reservation i held on to were more then answered in the end.) For me this was an addictive, quick read. I enjoyed the multiple points of view, the characters were intense- both good & bad. Not much i can say out of fear of giving something away, but if you enjoy true psychological thrillers I'd definitely recommend this 1! Certainly not a silly, mindless read (not that there's anything wrong with those here & there,) but this story was written in such a way as to really make you think. Scary!
"One say or another I'm gonna find ya I'm gonna getcha getcha getcha getcha..."
--Blondie (written by Debbie Harry and Nigel Harrison)
The lyrics of that old song ran through my head almost all the way through this book, which, for the record, I enjoyed. Still, now that I've finished, I'm faced with this question: How do I review a book that's exceptionally well written with a plot that's clever, intriguing and compelling but with a lead character who frustrated the heck out of me?
Let me explain. This is a story about the Rebecca, a victim of domestic abuse, both physical and psychological. Really, I "get" the difficulties victims face in escaping from situations like this and their inability to take charge of their own lives for reasons real or imagined. Rebecca, though, took all that to a whole new level - and in the beginning, I sympathized. But once the story started to pick up steam and she rationalized passing up every opportunity to extricate herself, I just couldn't help but say to myself at almost every turn of events, "Woman, what were you thinking?"
For instance, after Rebecca has been pushed beyond the limit of most humans and at one point confronts Solomon, her abuser, she thinks to herself, "I wanted to slap him in the face, to demand he stop this."
Say what? He's committed atrocities against you and darned near everyone you love, and the punishment you think will bring him around is a slap? Gott im Himmel, lady! Nothing short of dismembering his nether-parts and feeding them to pigs would have worked for me - and I don't dare put in print what I'd have done to the rest of him after that!
In the end, though, the review came easily, because I firmly believe reviews should be based on the quality of writing and the complexity, originality and flow of the story - not whether or not characters are "likable" or behave the way I want them to. And on those criteria, the author did a super job. Even when I wanted to shake the stuffing out of Rebecca, I shook my head and kept going - simply because I was totally engrossed and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. And that, my friends, is the essence of any really good book.
As for the plot (a very clever one, I hasten to add), Rebecca has found a new life in Wales with her veterinarian husband and young daughter about 10 years after that uber-controlling fiance, Solomon, was found guilty - based on her testimony - of murdering one of her male co-workers. Solomon went to jail, but now he's out - and suddenly, Rebecca's life is turned upside down. When she's in her bedroom, she hears a phone ringing and follows the sound to find a phone that she didn't put there. The message is frightening at best: Solomon says he will force her to witness 10 crimes - one for each year he spent in jail - and she must choose the victims. The message announcing the first ends (as do the others) with these words: "You are a Silent Witness. Talk to the police and you die."
Chapters switch from character perspective (Rebecca, Solomon, and entries in Rebecca's secret diary) and time period, building up background and leading to an unexpected, and for the most part, satisfying, ending. Well done, highly recommended, and I thank the publisher, via NetGalley, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.