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.
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?
I really enjoyed this book. It delivered everything I want from a work of non-fiction that I've purchased to engage and entertain me (rather than "elevate" or "challenge".)
The characters had depth, genuine humanity and complexity sufficient to make you give a darn about what's happening. The plot is interesting and sufficiently dense to keep the reader from getting bored. But it's not so complex and dense that it's exhausting to follow. While not exactly light-hearted, the story also has humor, which I appreciate. Books with no sense of humor can be tough to take.
I consider it a high compliment to say that, when the book was done, I wished I could find out what happens to the characters.
The performance was well done. The narrator had a distinct voice for each character and was able to read emotion into the words very well, without over-acting (which I find annoying and distracting.) Other readers could take a lesson from Julia Whelan.
This is only my second Nora Roberts and I didn't like the first one, but this book has persuaded me to go in search of more of her work when I'm in the mood for a good story. I'd sure like to find more like "The Witness."
I gave up on Romance novels years ago. I got this one on a special deal and will look at some of Nora Roberts other book now...
It was a well written story, with lots of emotion.
I enjoy all of the characters.
It did make me tear up a little and smile a lot.
I find it very helpful when people who write reviews name the authors that they enjoy . Some of my favorite female authors are Tanya Huff, Jennifer Estep , Laurell Hanilton, Patricia Briggs, Dana Stabenow , Carrie Vaughn and Kim Harrison.
The basic plot: a 16 year-old girl witnesses a Russian mob murder. The mob with FBI moles tries to kill her before the trial, and the girl must change her identity and hide in order to stay alive.This novel is equally a romance and a mystery/thriller. The plot is far-fetched, and the romance is even harder to believe. Elizabeth, the main character, was compared to Lisbeth of the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, in some reviews. Not even close. This Elizabeth is a genius who has led a totally sheltered life and clearly has a touch of Asperger's Syndrome. She is predictable and not especially interesting. Why Brooks, the police chief, falls in love with her is a mystery. I am also disappointed that none of the reviewers said that this was written by a women and was clearly meant for a female audience. With all these criticisms, why did I rated this a 4 star novel? With the exception of a 2-3 hour lapse near the middle, the plot moves forward quickly and is an engaging and fun one. I liked the Brooks character as well as many of the minor characters in this novel. I eventually got used to Elizabeth and found myself rooting for her to take down the mob and lead a normal life. I am a middle aged man, and was a bit embarrassed by the sappy, predictable romance which seemed clearly written for women. I almost gave up on this halfway through, when the romance dominated the book. And then the action resumed, and I suspended belief and did enjoy listening to this quite fun story. It felt like a bit of a guilty pleasure given all that was wrong with this book, but I found myself swept away with the story for almost the whole second half. The excellent reader and the really fun second half of the novel got me to bump up the 3.5 star novel to a 4 overall. If you want a woman's romance, too, you might like this even more than I did.
Yes. The beginning of the book was a far fetched but once the story fell into place, I loved the characters and wanted to see how it worked out.
Drawing the Line by Kimberly Kincaid because of the storyline of the witness and learning to protect herself.
She brings the main character to life.
It took a bit to get into this storyline. But once it took hold, I wanted to see how it worked out.
I love to read!
I was pleasantly surprised with this story. The drama captured my attention and kept me listening intently. Elements of some of Roberts' other characters did pop up from time to time (expressions, character descriptions, etc...), but they did not detract from the plot. In book form, I would call this a "page-turner." It's a good summer read.
At the end my feeling was: not a wow, but very fulfilling.
I’ve read 13 books by Nora Roberts. I was averaging 3 ½ stars for her books written in the 1990s. But then I gave 4 ½ stars to Angels Fall (2006) and now to this (published 2012). Is she getting better? I’m surprised. Too many authors seem to tire out or write repeats of the same stuff after a while. Not Ms. Roberts. Maybe I’ve been picking the wrong books to read. But now, I’m going to look for more.
The best part was “the characters.” I was sooo drawn to Liz/Abigail. A favorite trope for me is a smart woman, who overcomes odds, and is not a helpless victim. I loved her vulnerabilities and her strengths. I liked reading about her, thinking about her, and listening to her. I pictured the author losing herself in the character Liz, to come up with such fitting dialogue. Brooks was so fun. He was oblivious to her walls. He just kept pursuing her, chipping away at her walls.
This story has wonderful relationship development. It has good guys doing smart things to outwit bad guys. Bad guys do smart things too. I like that the author did not use stupidity. Instead the author had a character’s personality with weaknesses cause conflict, not just doing something stupid.
The narrator Julia Whelan was very good.
Genre: romantic suspense
I have been reading a lot lately. Seems like nothing good on TV anymore. Problem is I get wrapped up and don't get much done around the house. Now I can listen and do my tasks around the house and still pick up where I left off in my book if I want. Love it!
Good story and lots of tension. If you are someone more accustomed to conventional thrillers, you'll need to reconcile yourself to knowing in more detail what people are wearing.
I don't think I ever read a Nora Roberts novel before and skimming some of the other titles at the bookstore I'm thinking (as some have said) that this is a bit different. Glad I enjoyed it.
Retired computer geek who still loves to listen and learn. Love history and mystery.
Nora Roberts is aging well as a writer. I find her protagonists to be evermore interesting persons, but her villains tend to be one-dimensional as usual. If you have liked her earlier works, you will love this one.
"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.
"Undemanding listen that holds the interest"
I like MS Robert's books, especially the later ones, and this is just fine. What I like is that the love story is given time to develop, and does so over eating in, or helping with the weeding, or going to a family BBQ! It isn't wham bang lust at first sight, let's get married in a week, or one of those relationships that flare up in high stress, life and death situations, that you just know won't survive normal life.
There are two sections. The first is longer than might be expected, given that it is essentially the set up for the "main" story. You learn the back story of our young heroine Elizabeth, and about the incident that catastrophically changes her (sixteen year-old) life, and moulds her into the adult you then meet in the second section. Part two is classic Nora Roberts - a sweet love story sharpened by the tartness of the heroine, now called Abigail, whose life of total control is gently derailed by a very persistent man, ably assisted by his mother! There's a fine guard dog, some cooking and gardening, some local nastiness from a local bully, and, of course, resolution of the issues that have controlled Abigail's life since she was 16..
I read this first, decided I liked it enough to buy the audio version, and I've listened to the audio version twice!
This is well read, although there are the usual American vs British English pronounciation glitches - my pet hates are 'erbs for H'erbs, and r'ow'ta instead of rooter (for the written word router, in case you're wondering what I"m on about!). There are more, but not so many they get in the way of enjoying the book.
Worth the pennies, and worth the listen, or read.
"an excellent read"
I have never read any Nora Roberts before and was absolutely in love with this book. Brilliant!
"Well crafted story and captivating narration"
Nora Roberts beautifully creates Abigail Lowery and Brooks.
The story is simple but you fall in love with some characters as much as you hate others.
There are moments of laugh out wittiness.
Really enjoyed the narration as well, convincing and enjoyable to listen to.
All round good one to listen on long journeys!
Well read, well written - I really enjoyed this book. I usually go for crime novels
and was not quite sure about this, but I'm glad I changed my mind and I will probably
look into Norah Roberts other books.
"lovely easy listen"
I really enjoyed this book! The narration was really nice and I loved the maon characters.
"Edge of the seat story"
Wow - I really enjoyed this book. The action was electrifying - you really were gripping the edge of the seat - but the slower bits, with beautiful attention to character development, just made the whole book come alive. I didn't want it to end and yet I had to know what happened next. I found myself driving slower and slower so I could listen to more before I got home and then sat in the drive! Highly recommended.
Not outstanding but enjoyable. If you are looking for a filler romance this is it.
"A new way to enjoy audiobooks!"
I usually find Nora Roberts' novels to be a little formulaic - heroine runs away to new town, has hate -love relationship with hero and they all live happily ever after etc. I was fascinated to find that The Witness was different. That was until I realised that I had only listened to Part 2! Nevertheless, I then listened to Part 1 which added an unusual twist - already knowing what was going to happen in the future! However, I really enjoyed the whole thing and I am sure it would have been as good had I listened in the right order. It was, undoubtedly, one of her better works. Gritty, gripping and not predictable. The central characters were easy to warm to and thus care about what happened to them. I also have to commend the narrator whose ability to differentiate the characters and narrate in a listenable voice, added to the enjoyment of the experience. Here's hoping that Ms Roberts has more books like The Witness in her upcoming repertoire.
"Easy holiday read!"
Before I start slating the book, I have to say that the narrator was excellent. Really enjoyed her reading despite the heavy American accent.
I needed something light and not very challenging for my holiday and a romantic thriller seemed perfect. The only problem was that it was neither thrilling nor all that romantic. The first time our girl hero gazed into the deep blue eyes of her chosen one, did produce an, "Aah how romantic" effect but the next twenty gazes made me wonder if she had a secret degree in optometry on top of her many other talents.
The plot was quite simplistic and predictable. There was a subplot which ran alongside the main one but the two never came together. I was expecting them to be connected somehow which would have created at least some intrigue. Instead of mindlessly enjoying the book, I found myself thinking of how the plot could have been made more exciting. I felt the book dragged on and the fact that the main character recounted the same story three times to anyone willing to listen, did not help matters.
I was considering giving the author another chance but decided that life is too short and there are plenty of other fish in the Audible sea.
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