The Witness is Nora Roberts' 200th book and it's one of her best. It seems like only yesterday that I read my first - and since then I’ve read too many to count. From Maggie Concannon and Rogan Sweeney in Born in Fire, to Jude Murray and Aidan Gallagher in Jewels of the Sun, to Fiona Bristow and Simon Doyle in The Search , and now Abigail Lowery and Brooks Gleason in The Witness, I have been captivated by the characters in Ms. Roberts’ books. The stories are always compelling, real and intriguing because of the wonderfully written interactions and relationships between the characters.
Strong characters are Ms. Roberts’ trademark and The Witness is no exception. Keeping the suspense high and the relationships engaging this is an exciting romantic suspense and a definite recommended read. The opening scenes of the book are riveting and unveil the set up for the suspense to follow.
Elizabeth, a sixteen-year-old prodigy who has an eidetic (photographic) memory and an IQ over 200, has spent her young life doing exactly what her mother has planned for her. With no variations to the precise and carefully laid plans for her life, Elizabeth has never felt love, happiness or friendship. She is brilliant but socially awkward and takes everything literally. One night in a rebellious act against the constraints of her upbringing her life turns upside down after she witnesses a double murder.
After twelve years of running and hiding from the Russian mafia Elizabeth is now Abigail, a freelance security consultant and a highly skilled hacker living in a small pastoral town in Arkansas. Brooks, the town sheriff is intrigued by the stranger who talks to no one and lives outside of town in a state of the art high security house with big guns and an even bigger dog. This is where the book shines.
The relationship between a brilliant heroine who is untutored in even the most basic of social interactions and doesn’t know the first thing about relationships of any kind, matched with a hero who is smart, friendly and gifted with the ease that comes from growing up in a bohemian family with lots of love is the touchstone of this book. Their interactions throughout are balanced with the hum of the underlying tension that Abigail must stay in hiding for the rest of her life.
Abigail and Brooks are two very strong characters and as their relationship unfolds we see a master storyteller slowly reveal what she does best - taking two opposites and bringing them to a place of center, acceptance and change - even when all hell is about to break loose. Individually these two have managed to make their lives work, together they can go beyond ‘making it work’ and share a richer life.
The plot, character development, dialogue and pacing is pitch perfect and gives equal measure to both the romance and the suspense keeping the reader on the edge while thoroughly enjoying the blossoming romance.
I'm curious - which is your favorite Nora Roberts book?