Friday, 16 December 2016

Book Review - Witness by Caroline Mitchell

Amazon UK
Title: Witness
Author: Caroline Mitchell
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley 
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 20th December 2016
Rating: 4 Stars

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.

10 years ago Rebecca testified against Solomon and he was put into prison for murder, it allowed her an escape from her abusive relationship, and she set up a brand new life for herself the other side of the country. 

However Solomon is now out of prison, and wants revenge. He manages to place a phone in Rebecca's new house, that when it starts to ring, she knows isn't hers but due to the ring tone knows exactly who its from. 

She is "invited" to "play" a "game". For each of the 10 years he was in prison, she has to witness a crime, and not tell anyone, and she gets a choice in the victims. The crimes as you may expect progress in severity, and as you understand more about the setup, I found myself feeling quite mixed. 

Solomon is clearly a despicable character and I really hated what he had done in the past and what he was currently doing, but at the same time, I was impressed with his computer skills, his cunning and just how well thought out his whole silent witness game is. 

Slowly the details of their past relationship are made clear from a series of journal entries, and it was those that had me the most worried and gripped, as I desperately wanted to see just how it would all turn out, while also being horrified as to just what Solomon is capable of. 

Rebecca in her new life now has a husband, a dog and a 4 year old little girl who seemed lovely. She is of course scared for all their lives and also petrified that her past may come out in more details. You can't help but feel a bit sorry for her as she is stuck between a rock and hard place. 

The level of detail was incredibly well thought out, and I was honestly worried as I was reading Witness. I have a feeling that I may not sleep well for a while, as it is scary just how easily someone can infiltrate a house nowadays with technology. 

Equally I found Witness to be quite thought provoking as to how far you would go, to protect your loved ones. What level of crime would you be able to witness comfortably happening to someone you know, and not step in and stop it or report it?  This really is a story about pushing you to the extremes and its fascinating for it. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Thomas and Mercer for this copy that I have reviewed voluntarily and honestly. 

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