By: Caroline Mitchell
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication Date: 12/20/2016
My Rating: 5 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.
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A special thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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).
Twisty, Gritty, Nail-Biting Grip-Lit!
Mitchell fans and those of B.A. Paris', Behind Closed Doors and Fiona Barton's The Widow will enjoy the WITNESS and the satisfying twist.
Dec Must Reads
About the Author
A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. She now writes full time.
Published by Bookouture, her DC Knight crime thriller series reached the number one position in the Amazon crime charts. Love You To Death, the first in her new series featuring DS Ruby Preston is due for publication 11th November 2016.
Her new psychological thriller, published with Thomas & Mercer is due for publication 20th December 2016.
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