My rating: 4 of 5 stars
You know how they say some books need to be read at a certain time? Well The Witness came along at exactly the right time for. Last week was the week from Hell and the bright ray of sunshiny awesomeness was listening to this audio book, (end of the week snuggles with Maggie was also a winner). But enough tangents - on to the review!
Elizabeth Fitch's short-lived teenage rebellion began with L'Oreal Pure Black, a pair of scissors, and a fake ID. It ended in blood...
Fairly ominous I know, but we're setting the scene. Elizabeth is a Mary Sue, not necessarily by her own choice, but more because of her mother, and we'll get to her later. But when Elizabeth finally lets go and acts like a teenager her life is changed forever. I use 'Mary Sue' as a descriptor basically because usually someone who is like that can be annoying or whiny and generally, not liked. But for me, I found Elizabeth funny, intelligent and I liked her as a character. I was rooting for her as she moved towards the almost inevitable conclusion of someone who is hiding from the Russian Mafia in a Witsec safe house, (look at me go - 5 seasons of In Plain Sight and I'm an expert!!).
Fast forward 12 years and we are introduced to Abigail Lowery and Bert her multi-lingual guard dog. She has made a home for herself in a small town in the Ozarks. Seemingly content with her quiet life, enter Brooks Gleason, the local police chief and home town hottie.
I loved the dynamic between Abigail and Brooks, both as characters themselves and their unfolding love story. Brooks is everything you'd expect from a small town police chief. He's just the right combination of confident in getting his own way, cheeky, alpha, stubborn, hotboy with a side of 'I need to help you'. He's well loved within the town and his own family. Which as the story progresses, gives Abigail an insight into what her life could be if she opens up.
Abigail is understandably resourceful. She's had to look after herself for the last 12 years. She doesn't know how to deal with Brooks, or the feelings that she's having as a result. Which leads to some funny conversations and situations. I don't think her IQ is ever mentioned in numbers, but considering Elizabeth was pre-med at age 16 she's smart and I really enjoyed seeing her open up to the possibilities Brooks is offering her.
As I got to know them more, I enjoyed the give and take, Roberts hasn't written Brooks as an Alphadouche, he knows when to push. But he also knows when to sit back and let thinks unfold.
It isn't a huge point in the grand scheme of the story, but I felt like her mother was filler almost, she's there as the catalyst to Elizabeth's character development and story, but beyond that we never know her as anything other than Dr. Bitch Mom. The suspense part of the story is always in the back of your mind, but it isn't central to the story - Abigail and Brooks are and I really enjoyed that. Special mention for Bert, because I'm always down when there's a dog in the storyline.
I thoroughly enjoyed this start to finish, the story was great and I enjoyed the narration, Julia Whelan is a new to me narrator and she did a great job with accents and varying her voice. This is definitely a book that I'll be adding to my collection of feel good reread options.
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Until next time, happy reading.