***** - False Witness
Leigh and her sister Callie are not bad people – but one night, more than two decades ago, they did something terrible. And the result was a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, devastated by violence.
Years later, Leigh has pushed that night from her mind and become a successful lawyer – but when she is forced to take on a new client against her will, her world begins to spiral out of control.
Because the client knows the truth about what happened twenty-three years ago. He knows what Leigh and Callie did. And unless they stop him, he's going to tear their lives apart …
Just because you didn't see the witness … doesn't mean he wasn't there.
MY REVIEW *****
I think judging by the Goodreads page for False Witness, I am one of the only people that had not read a Karin Slaughter book prior to this one! She seems to have a very high reputation among the crime thriller community and upon reading this one I can totally see why. Don’t worry though – this book is a complete standalone story and so a great entry point to Slaughter’s writing for the uninitiated!
False Witness is a twisty read on a very grim subject which is full of tension and very well paced. Slaughter seems to be an assured author who knows exactly what she is doing and it really shone through in her writing. The characters all felt realistic and well-rounded, I particularly liked sister Callie who is flawed but trying to do the right thing. Her character arc felt a little predictable but it she has a good journey throughout the story. Andrew was also such a creepily drawn character and the scenes within the court room and Leigh’s office felt so tense and troubling! I also liked the main character of Leigh, although she comes off as confident and knowing what she is doing in life, she has a hard background and often shows just how out of her depth she is which kept her relatable.
My one nit-pick of the book is that I didn’t believe two teenage girls would be capable of chopping up and disposing of a body as well as cleaning the crime scene thoroughly without anyone noticing. The person they killed is described as a ‘mountain of a man’ and this just didn’t sit well with me. It’s one of those plot points you have no choice but to suspend your disbelief for and if you are able to do that then you can sit back and enjoy the rest of the book.
I was a little apprehensive reading a book that is set in the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdowns. I understand that it will be a staple of newly published books at the moment, but when I realised it did elicit a certain amount of eye-rolling. Although Karin mentions in the authors notes at the end she wanted to show how relevant the topics discussed were to today’s society I fear that actually it’s just meant that the book has become dated rather quickly. Some sections already felt written in the past and some of the mask etiquette used in the book isn’t quite correct. As the pandemic doesn’t directly impact the plot I perhaps would have left it out on this occasion. There are also some specific phrases which are repeated over and over again but hopefully these will be sorted in the final edit before publication.
Overall False Witness is a great twisty story that keeps the tension high. Thank you to NetGalley & Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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