Audie Award Nominee, Romance, 2013
Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.
Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems. Her own security is supplemented by a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. Unfortunately, that seems to be the quickest way to get attention in a tiny southern town.
The mystery of Abigail Lowery intrigues local police chief Brooks Gleason, on both a personal and a professional level. Her sharp, logical mind, her secretive nature, her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something, even if he doesn’t know what - and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.
Accustomed to two-bit troublemakers, Gleason is about to walk into the sights of very powerful and dangerous men. And Abigail Lowery, who has built a life based on security and self-control, is at risk of losing both.
©2012 Nora Roberts (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
The characters ~ loved the heroine, but Brooks, be still my heart! There was one of those amazing NR heroes, with that laid back lovable affability that almost hides his smarts and strength. I loved Brooks's family, and how they made Abigail feel part of something right from the get go, even though she was tough to warm up to.
Oh, the plot twist. You knew WHO did, you even knew how ~~ what you didn't know, and just couldn't quite figure out was how it was gonna get twisted back on them.
It was first listen from this narrator, and I thought she really did an excellent job ~ at first I was dissapointed, because I love Susan Ericksen doing NR and JD Robb books, but I really enjoyed the way Julia brought these characters to life for me. She made me 'see' each character through her voice, and I loved the way she did Abigail.
Just that I love listening to Nora Roberts/JD Roberts Audio books. I've read them for years and years, and have actually gone back and bought most of her library in Audio also since I've just truly enjoyed the experience of them coming to life ~ not like a movie, because this is EVERY word Nora penned, just come to life! I love it!
Have always loved NR's books but her recent titles are starting to have similar characters and plot lines. The main characters in The Witness are very similar to the main characters in Angel's Falls (eccentric heroine falls in love with local law enforcement officer). Overall enjoyed the story line and unexpected ending. My favorite character is Bert now I want a Mastiff! Julia Whelan did a wondeful job of bringing the characters to life.The Witness is definitely worth purchasing.
I have been reading Nora Roberts for years, and will even re-read some of her books. This is one of the better one's that she has wrote. I liked the reader as well. She was great. I just finished this and it was very hard to put it down. I kept staying up way past my bed time to continue listening. Thanks Nora for another good one, I will enjoy re-reading.
I've always been a avid reader so now I'm a avid listener. I prefer the paranormal genre but I do like to switch things up. It's boring if you don't have variety. Of course I do love the romance and the hotter the better. Also, you can't beat a good thriller filled with suspense and a ending you can't even guess at until the very end.
I so enjoyed having murder, mobsters and a love story combined. Packed full of enjoyable moments.
I like how intelligent Liz is. It's refreshing how her character is portrayed.
Its a great listen from start to ending. In my opinion its well worth a credit. I happened to get it on sale and that was even better.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
Daily Deals have expanded my normal purchases... I don't do romance novels, but since one reviewer said there wasn't enough sex... thought I would try. I loved this book, but I also have to admit that I fast forwarded though 3-4 episodes that probably had more than enough sex, missing them didn't mess with the plot line. If you think of Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennen the main character constantly reminded me of her. The plot and writing style was delightful and I will reread... with the same fast forwards again.
Most of Roberts books are what I would tag as ‘formula books’ .. some are done well some done not so well. Having just finished listening to THE WITNESS by Nora Roberts (narrator by Julia Whelan) and I have to give it 5 stars.
Elizabeth Fitch is 16, the daughter of a cold, controlling mother with an anonymous donor for a father. Elizabeth is pre-med Harvard, a genius and has an eidetic memory. Her life is about to change when Mommy Dearest leaves for a medical conference. This one act of rebellion results in witnessing the death her new friend Julie, being a target of the Russian Mafia and slated a participant of the witness protection program. But on the eve of her 17th birthday Elizabeth’s life will again change.
12 years later we meet up Abigail Lowery living in a small town in the Ozarks in Arkansas. Abigail works at home with her dog Burt as a freelance programmer and designer of sophisticated security system – she is a woman She keeps to herself, saying little to folks in town. In walks the chief of police, handsome Brooks Gleason, who takes a professional and personally interest in Abigail Now Abigail needs to decide –is being alive enough for her or does she want to ‘live life’.
I really enjoyed the 2 main characters in this book – Elizabeth/Abigail is a very liable character, smart, extremely logical and somewhat socially awkward.. to a point that made me chuckle. Brooks on the other hand is such the opposite – calm, cool, collective.
Julia Whelan narrated this book and as a narrator I have to give her 5 stars as well. I thoroughly enjoyed her interpretation of Elizabeth/Abigail and Brooks
Very well read.
Yes, I had a problem leaving it, even for a short time.
A wonderful story with lots of twists and turns. May be the best Nora Roberts novel yet.
Overall, the book was good enough, I didn't find it to be very suspenseful, but it was a pretty typical book with the standard ingredients that Roberts throws into her books: A mild mystery, an unlikely romance, and a not so suspenseful/surprising ending. The story was just OK, I wouldn't listen to it again, and probably wouldn't recommend it to a friend.
I feel like it lacked some character development, at least on the part of the cop, I had a hard time with the love story that she threw in there, it didn't seem very likely, at all.
That is actually a complex question when it comes to this book. My first "gut reaction" unvarnished by the fear that my 3 daughters would be deeply offended: This is an action thriller for women and it is more a romance fantasy than a thriller.
So, at the risk of being a jerk, which I likely already have covered, so what the hell, The best I can offer in review of this book is that it is a Harlequin Romance novel disguised and marketed as a thriller. No, it isn't in any way badly written. No, it isn't a conceptually flawed story line. To the opposite, the underlying story line is decent, if not somewhat cliche. Young girl sees mob crime, young girl goes to cops, young girls watches cops protecting her get killed, young girl flees leaving no traces sure that she is better able to provide for her own security and well being than the government. There are some twists to that plot line, such as being the product of artificial insemination with only a mother who "never bonded". There is also the predictable facets of the young heroin: having a huge trust fund, an eidetic memory coupled with perfect observational skills and an IQ north of 200 and she just happens to be indescribably beautiful. Imagine that... brains and beauty. Can you see the Harlequin developing? Again, all of that doesn't make it bad, but it also does not make it an action thriller.
A couple hours in (and that first couple hours was for me the most engaging) we get to where our girl is some period of age older (between 1 and 10 years) living in a small town where she lives in isolation. The handsome, rugged, fiercely loyal and honest town police chief takes an interest in the mystery woman who has lived in his town for a year and yet no one knows anything about her. Driven by the purest of intentions (clearly not sex) and worry for her well being (nope not her physical beauty at all), the chief befriends and beguiles her. Yes, he is the perfect son, with an adorable mother and father. He is patient and even tempered. Handsome and brave, willing to let a drunk wife abuser publicly punch him in the face so that he can arrest the suspect on Assaulting a Police Officer charges, preventing the abused woman from dropping the charges as she has done in the past. Oh, and his "hot hot hot" high school flame draws him into a naked ambush to rekindle a steamy sexual relationship they once had, but the mature and dare I say, perfect man the Chief is, orders her to get dressed and never call in a false complaint again just to get him to come see her. Riggggghhht... raise your hand if you are having a hard time seeing the Harlequin now.
In general, I just had to stop. I tried hitting fast forward (the real world version of skipping pages and chapters) to see if I could find some point where the romance and perfect sex subsided and the intrigue and action resumed. Skipping at random numerous times, I just could not land on anything that didn't sound like more of the same.
At the end of the day, this may be for you. It truly is not a bad concept or execution. It just is not for me in that I don't generally read (or listen to) a book so that I can come away feeling inferior to what is clearly the perfect man.
At first I wasn't sure if I'd like this, a combination crime suspense and romance, but it turns out that in the hands of Roberts, it's my ideal kind of novel. I get impatient when the whole conflict of a romance rides on one or both characters' pride or stubbornness or some other frustrating point. And I often need other story-line components to soften suspense and crime thrillers, or they can be too dark and scary for me to take. This story was the perfect blend - crime suspense to kick it off, romance develops and the suspense and past danger acts as the obstacle and challenge for the couple to overcome. And the stakes were high, with none other than the Russian mob and the law (both dirty and not) posing a threat.
The characters were composed very well. It was shocking to be presented with a figure like Dr. Fitch, but she was well defined. Elizabeth was difficult to identify with, but that was the nature of who she was, extraordinary genius social outcast - but both from her own thoughts and others' observations, you could still feel for her, come to know her and predict how she would respond to things. Her manner of speaking, sometimes abrupt, always precise and very often literal, and always polite, was unique and endearing. All of the locals in the Ozarks were warm, instantly felt friendly, and comfortable, charming. Especially Brooks and Sunny. Good folks. Between them and the imagery of the town itself, I longed to belong to such a community and live in a quiet beautiful place like theirs. It was the perfect kind of setting for Abigail, to feel safe and at home, and to try new things and a new kind of life. She deserves peace. And found best kind of man.
I was worried for a while that she would sabotage their relationship, sacrifice her chance of happiness to her fear for her security. But I never doubted him for a minute, and loved how they were able to plan and work together. But boy, I can say without spoilers, as much confidence as I had in Brooks being there for her, I was still worried and sometimes on the edge of my seat when anything threatened their plan, related or not. And I will add too that was worried about his local cases involving the Blakes. Almost more about them than the Russians at certain points! I won't give away plot details, but just say that I loved how their plan developed and played out.
Narration was great. Sounds and intimations were always well suited to personalities. I loved the southern accents. Whelan does pretty good voices for men - masculine enough to distinguish, varied enough to differentiate individuals, but never over-the-line gruff or forced sounding. She made me feel hugged by Sunny. She made me feel Brooks' love and wonder. And as good as she was at the good, she was just as good at the bad - the cold Volkovs and the raging Blakes were just as well played.
Brilliant book. Definitely among my latest favorites!
"Pulls you in."
The is the first time I have read Nora Roberts and was unsure what to expect. The story pulled me in from the beginning and I was hooked. I love the way the main character grew and developed throughout the story in a way that feels as if you really know her. Beautifully read by Julia Whelan - a great modern crime story where good prevails.
"Classic Nora Roberts"
I have to admit that I am a Nora Roberts fan so I always enjoy her books. This is one of the best so far and the plot has some unexpected twists and turns. It does take longer than usual to set up the background for the heroine but it all makes sense and adds some depth to the story. Very good narration makes the setting and the story come alive. I would recommend this to existing fans and it would also make a great introduction to Nora Roberts' contemporary romance style.
"Excellent and enthralling read"
I bought this as something to listen to on the sun lounger by the pool but it is so much better than my usual holiday lstening / reading! It moves from thriller to romance with a good twist to the story at the end. Highly recommended
"Couldn't stop listening"
I could easily imagine what the author was describing. And I wanted to not to stop following the story until Iwas through. A bit predictable love story development. The man is so dreamy and honest and good and in love straight away. Oh well we all need some doze of hope. And the main character obviously deserves a good family. Being a native Russian speaker, must say - Russian words that are used are accurate and the pronunciation is very clear and understandable.
Would certainly recommend to a fan of this genre.
"The Witness Nora Roberts"
I really enjoyed this book the main character is very endearing and likeable and right from the start you care and worry about her. It is well narrated as Julia Whelan has a very pleasant voice to listen to. It leaves you guessing what will happen right until the end and I would definitely recommend this book.
If you want an easy read this book is for you. Enjoyable and believable.
"A good story-great narration"
This is not a book I would usually buy or read. But I really enjoyed its steady pace and it was a good book from the start
"From suspense into romance"
The first half of The Witness is so thrilling that the five stars seem self evident. But then the novel develops into a rather bleak romance without even a chill. A great pity, but this blend of romance and thriller seems to be the new hallmark to Nora Roberts
"Enjoyed this, just remove the "erbs"
Really quite enjoyed this, first time I have read a Nora Roberts, very well read. Good story, really got into it, just found the descriptions of the couple of sexual encounters totally unnecessary for the book, as was the long descriptions of what she was cooking and what she was cooking with, especially the number of times "erbs seemed to be used, not sure when the "h" disappeared from this word. Would definately read another
I am writing this review in the moments after the book has finished. I loved it, the characters, the twists and turns of the storyline. It was a fantastic listen/read. How will I cope with it being over?
Julia Whelan's narration was fantastic. Such a versatile voice, she captured perfectly each of the wide range of chacters.
At the end, I felt full of emotion. The ending was perfect, but I'm not going to give it away.
If you like superbly written crime and romance, just buy it. It has the best of both.
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