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.
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.
So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible.
I REALLY enjoyed this book. It was an extremely well written story. I was reluctant to buy this book because I thought Roberts was only an author of romance books, but this was a great story with a lot of drama that kept pulling me through.
I also loved the narrator, Julia Whelan. I first heard her in Gone Girl, where I thought she was amazing as well.
I would highly recommend this book.
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!
Sci-fi, History, Police Procedurals and Science
Let me begin by saying that I'm a guy....and that I don't read that many mysteries. But to broaden my horizons I've been consciously trying to read more female-lead science fiction recently, and have enjoyed it. I've been trying to read mysteries and police procedurals as well. So I decided to try a strong female-lead mystery. The lead character is quite a bit of fun -- very smart and pleasantly different. The story, while not tremendously complex, is interesting. But reading a book that is DEFINATELY written from the female perspective with the amount of romance involved was a surprise. In the end, I think it helped me "get" my wonderful wife of many years (also a constant reader) a little better....and for that alone it was worth the time. I will probably not read more by this author, although I enjoyed this, and would read another about this particular character -- not because it isn't good -- but more because I'm somewhat limited as a reader. It is unfortunate to say that, but I think it is true. Odd review, huh?
One of the best NR I have listened to, I just can't wait to download another
Drew me in from the beginning, tapped into my beliefs about the justice systems on both sides of the pond, satisfied my need for a happy and realistic! Ending
"I've just witnessed a great novel"
The Witness is about a very relatable and likable girl who is forced into hiding from a criminal organization. The book is made up of two parts which both have their own different flavours.
The first half of the book was my favorite. It's about Elizabeth breaking free from her mothers control in a very satisfying way. These chapters had me cheering Liz onto every new little rebellion, even though I knew something was eventually going to go wrong. It was still so much fun to take part in Liz's first day of true freedom. You can't help but sympathize and fall in love with her.
The second half of the book develops at a slower pace as a romance takes the main focus. I'm not a fan of romance stories but this one was all right mainly because Abigail (Elizabeth's new identity) deals with romance in her own robotic and hilarious way that made me unable to hold back a smile.
The narrator was perfect for Elizabeth. She nailed the guarded, intelligent, socially awkward woman voice. However, it was difficult to tell when she was speaking as a male character because her voice never went deep enough. This led to some confusion when I couldn't figure out who was talking.
I am very glad I bought this audiobook. Even though romance isn't my thing, I still found much to like about this story and would recommend it to anyone interested in the summary above. You won't regret it.
"Classic Nora Roberts"
I love this Nora Roberts book, but then again, I am a Roberts fan. I love that it features a strong female character with courage and determination. I always have a sense that Nora Roberts thoroughly researches backgrounds for her books and therefore her stories always seems well thought out and credible. I was rooting for Abigail/Liz throughout the book and missed half a night of sleep because I had to finish it. If you like any of the other Nora Roberts books, you’ll love this one.
I would compare this one to The Search. The female character and the love story are somewhat similar.
I really like Julia Whelans voice. It's comfortable to listen to and she brings the characters to life.
The moment when Abigail goes from pure survival mode to actually starting to live again is very moving.
"Light Mystery Romance"
A reasonable holiday yarn, ably performed, but lacking the complexity of plot to keep you gripped. The interplay of the characters was the real focus, despite this sounding like a thriller. Much more could have been made of the main character's scheming but the expected denouement was muted as her rose-tinted relationship took centre stage. A bit too Mills and Boon for my taste.
Also, the long rambling descriptions and interior dialogues which might be swiftly read on the page felt slow when spoken. This had the effect of slowing the action, sadly.
Perhaps an example of a book that is meant to be read rather than heard.
Lack of intelligent complexity. I did not have to think.
I haven't heard any others but she did a good job.
Yes, mostly. Light listening ideal for background whilst doing something else.
Probably not unless they were specifically looking for something light and undemanding.
Good narration voice. Enough distinction between characters to keep the story interesting. Her voice was not " noticeable" - which is a compliment!
Started better than it finished. The story took a slight turn towards the Mills and Boon spectrum by the end.
Great story line you feel for the characters .its easy to slip in to the story and the lives of the characters .
The twist and turns the way the people grow as story moves along.
Having someone read to you is relaxing and julia draws you in .
There's to meny moments to pick one .
Was up until the early hours of the morning because I just did not want to stop listening. Wonderful storyline. Totally gripping and enthralling. First Nora Roberts for me but there will be more
"The Witness - Gripping"
This was my first audiobook, I loved listening to it on my car journeys. It was a truly gripping story from start to finish, I looked forward to my trips to listen to the next part. Read very well with excellent expression, I will definitely listen to more stories by Nora Roberts.
"The Witness by Nora Roberts"
This is the second Nora Roberts book I've listened to and I found the character development and emotional interplay between the main characters interesting and believable. Julia Whelan is a good narrator and is very good at bringing the personalities of the different people alive - it was very easy to distinguish who was 'in play' at any one time by how she read their words. Having been brought up on Hollywood blockbusters I suppose I was expecting a more climatic end to the thriller side of the plot but the fact that I cared about the characters and wanted the best for them means, for me, that I found a book engaging despite any possible flaws. I would characterise her books as slightly Mills and Boonish in that the romance is the central point but the sub-plots are so well developed that this is only a passing criticism. Having listened to two of her books, one read by a female and one by a male, I would always choose a female voice for her books - it just seems to fit better for me as a female listener.
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