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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Classic Nora - Outstanding!!!!

This is one of the best single titles from Nora ever....I was engrossed within the first 10 minutes - couldn't turn it off - listened straight through to the end. My idea of a perfect book is when the last couple of paragraphs are read/heard - you give that sigh of satisfaction from reading/hearing a great book! I highly recommend this one...

118 of 124 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gary
  • Colorado Springs, CO, United States
  • 04-24-12

JUST SIMPLY FANTASTIC LISTENING ! !

Would you listen to The Witness again? Why?

I will definately listen to The Witness again, if not possible 3 or 4 times due to the fact that it is written and preformed at such a level that it's a pure joy to listen to.

What other book might you compare The Witness to and why?

The Witness in basically quite incomparable. The closest I can think of is Nora Roberts "Chasing Fire". I have listened to "Chasing Fire" four times because it dramatizes the simplicity of the way a man and woman can be drawn together on a permanant level when they never saw that coming. The Witness goes from suspence, to murder to humor and back to suspense again. The story is anything if not totally interesting and a pure joy to listen too.

What does Julia Whelan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I can't begin to express hoiw very much Julia Whelan bring tlhe story to live with her dramatization of the different characters. If I were to simply read a hard copy, I would miss the little nuances of humor and pauses for suspense that Julia Whelan weaves into the dialoge of the characters. You couldn't have picked anyone better to narrate this book..

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I had a very extreme reaction while listening to this book, in the way it was written causing me to laugh at qluite a bit of it. I had thought I would just listen to a few chapters and then go to bed. I was so drawn into the story that I hated to leave it to go to bed. It was just simply a book to listen to for total pleasure.

49 of 51 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • DIANE
  • Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada
  • 05-28-12

What a fabulous book

What made the experience of listening to The Witness the most enjoyable?

A combination of character development and a wonderful narrator made this book especially enjoyable. Elizabeth was a most unusual character and her metamorphosis was quite natural and well-done.

Who was your favorite character and why?

My favourite characters were Elizabeth and Sunny. It was fascinating to see the effect that Elizabeth's upbringing had on her personality. The window into life with an edetic memory was fascinating. I also especially enjoyed Brooks, and felt that the narrator did an excellent job with the male voices in this production.

Which scene was your favorite?

I can't say, as it would ruin the book for those reading this review.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I think the moment when Elizabeth discovered that she was able to feel and love was particularly moving, given her abusive upbringing.

Any additional comments?

This book grabbed me so quickly and completely that I listened to it almost continuously with the exception of one night's sleep! That has never happened to me before. Well done Nora!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • CrzGzr
  • Northwest North Carolina
  • 05-15-12

Now, this Book needs to become a series!

I haven't enjoyed a book so much in a long time. The main character, Elizabeth/Abigail, is delightful. I am a total geek and I often live like a hermit, although it is more difficult now that I'm married... But, I am familiar with the social dysfunction of this character. You really don't need a super high IQ, be a programmer or high tech to be someone with limited social skills, but it does seem to follow. Elizabeth was raised in a dysfunctional home, she suffers a traumatic experience and must survive alone without any support other than her own wits. Her inability to communicate is endearing, she is honest and sincere in her attempts to keep up her walls. When she falls in love, we are taken away with her like a leaf floating in a stream, the current is fast, slow, she hits a few edies and gets slammed into a rock or two.

I haven't read Nora Roberts for awhile, the reviews have been enough to keep me away. I admit I wasn't expecting a good read but the character resonated with me. I am very satisfied and hope Nora Roberts doesn't shy away from a trilogy or even a series, she has a real winner here. This community of characters contain endless possibilities for future books.

I already miss the characters and will listen again today. I often enjoy books by listening more than a few times, some are just a familiar listen while restless or gardening or yes, programming! But I rarely start listening, days after the first listen!

68 of 72 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping, funny, and satisfying

This is my first experience with Nora Roberts, and I'm very impressed. This story had me captivated early on, an held my attention throughout. I loved the diverse and well-crafted characters, as well as the clever dialog.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great book

Over the last few years I have forgotten what made me fall in love with Nora Roberts books 15 years ago. This book reminds me of why I love her books. Abigail is a survivor and I really fell in love with her strength. Brooks was an amazing perfect match for Abigail. Strong enough to let Abigail be strong and not let it diminish him. This is one of her best books.

90 of 96 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Best of Nora Roberts

I have read/listened to Nora Roberts and JD Robb books for years. Her books typically follow a formula, but it's a successful formula that I usually enjoy. The characters and plots are usually well developed with the right mix of mystery, adventure and romance. I appreciate Roberts' trademark portrayal of damaged but intelligent women who rise above their troubled pasts to create new lives for themselves. Their efforts ultimately come together with the help of honorable men and loving communities.

Elizabeth/Abigail is an interesting, intelligent, strong and resourceful character. Police Chief Brooks lends just the right touch of caring support and integrity, and he comes with the quirky, amusing and loving family that is missing from Elizabeth's life. The narration is good and the voices are appropriate to the characters. Overall, this is one of Roberts' best efforts in a long time.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

EXCELLENT!

The only reason I'm not giving this book 5 stars all around is because I like a little more heat in my readings/listens, but wow! I'm so glad I gave Nora Roberts another shot. I loved the heroine in this book!
After having been raised by "Mommie Dearest" and at 16-years-old becoming the solo witness that could bring down the Russian Mafia, it was a trip to see her emotional growth, survivable and finally her triumph.
Don't get me wrong, there's romance, a very sweet romance; the hero was just the perfect supportive (loved him too) character for Liz and the story.

NARRATION
Julia Whelan was amazing!! Fantastic narration! Her portrayal of 16-year-old Liz's was right on target, and equally fantastic was her interpretation of 28-years-old Abigail.
Her command of the different accents and voices was impressive and a tremendous show of her talent.
Excellent performance.
Sensuality: Warm

102 of 113 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

At the risk of being a chauvinist...

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christina
  • SALINAS, CA, United States
  • 04-20-12

A superb addition to an excellent body of work!

I love Nora Roberts' work. She really excels in character development, and that is probably my favorite part of any book. In this one, she writes a very different kind of leading lady. Liz is a highly intelligent, literal-minded young lady with very little "real world" experience. She reminds me a bit of the TV version of Temperance Brennan, but in a very extreme way. She's so literal that it's funny. A very enjoyable read!

35 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gadget Queen
  • 05-09-12

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sally
  • 07-09-12

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jenny
  • 07-26-12

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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Elena
  • 05-08-12

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Loo loo
  • 07-20-12

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Peter
  • 07-22-12

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • 07-13-12

Very Good

If you want an easy read this book is for you. Enjoyable and believable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jill
  • 05-26-12

Predictable and shallow

The characters in this book remained cardboard cut-outs for me, and I cared so little about their ultimate fate that I stopped listening at the end of the first part. Good looking man with whacky mother meets incredibly good looking girl with a past. Repetitive, turgid and hackneyed sex scenes (not that I generally mind sex scenes, just like at least a little originality in the vocabulary), no humour, no reality and generally BORING. Not for me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Katy
  • 05-16-12

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

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ann D
  • 07-24-14

Wow!

What did you like best about this story?

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?

What does Julia Whelan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Julia Whelan's narration was fantastic. Such a versatile voice, she captured perfectly each of the wide range of chacters.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

At the end, I felt full of emotion. The ending was perfect, but I'm not going to give it away.

Any additional comments?

If you like superbly written crime and romance, just buy it. It has the best of both.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shay
  • 12-08-14

"200th Nora Roberts book and going strong"

I LOVED this book! Vintage Nora Roberts, strong characters and a great story.
The book starts with such a huge punch and I spent the rest of the time unable to stop listening desperate to hear just how it was all going to turn out.
Julia Whelan was a new narrator for me and what a joy to find another narrator I like! She was perfect - I am so very glad that i purchased this book I enjoyed every single moment.
Cheers :)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-17-18

Loved it

Typical Nora Roberts. Great story and lovable characters. Will end up reading all of her books I suspect

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • 07-31-18

Good story ruined by constant, sickly love bits.

I loved the base story of the beautiful, young genius (spoiler alert!!) destroying the Russian mafia. Although stretching the realms of believability throughout it must be said. But it was all ruined by the repetitive sickly sweet love declarations and cringy sex scenes. Totally unnecessary and also ruined my original respect for the strong, clever protagonist. Oh and voice of the reader was really irritating too, especially when she was doing the voice of Brooks.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • danielle shaune
  • 07-17-18

loved it.

The storyline had everything, murder, mystery and romance. i was hooked from the first page to the last. even shed a couple of happy tears.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mark & Kirsten
  • 05-17-18

Kept me occupied for a few days.

Fantastic performance - Julia has a lovely voice. I expected one more big action packed confrontation somewhere near the end but found it stayed quite level. Very well written though and a great story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sharon Skiffington
  • 05-01-18

excellent listen, was about a smart girl

this is not the usual cliche love story. both characters were likable and delightful. it was nice they used smartness to outwit the bad guys.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-13-18

Enjoyable from start to finish

Great narration which sums up the characters well. Enjoyable story with enough twists and turns to keep you interested!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-07-18

great story, great chatacters, good narration

I enjoyed the book so much i wanted to revisit with a narrated version, and saw reviews did not trash narrator, so gave a go and glad i did. Love main charcacters, very well developed and wuite real for an essentially romantic story. Narrator did a really great job with Abigail, not quite as hood with Brooks, but not so much it undermined narrstion - occassion inflexion lands wrong for the context and ecpected feeling, but she got his general pace and charm right.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Carol
  • 03-13-18

Rich detail, too much romance and a hurried finish

If you could sum up The Witness [Brilliance Audio Edition] in three words, what would they be?

Unusual story with well developed main character.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending came too fast for me, like too many novels do. I would have like to have seen Roberts develop and intertwine some more story lines thru the main story. There was not too much predictability which kept it interesting.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Initially slow to unfold, however the story began to settle and the reader was rewarded with a well balanced account of the main characters situation.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No. No crying. Occasionally laughed out loud.

Any additional comments?

Nora Roberts; sometimes predictable, always enjoyable. . . though I have to say I’m a bit romance novel burnt out after this read.
The narrator was brilliant!!!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jolene
  • 02-20-18

Good listen

After reading The Liar which was amazing, I had very high expectations for this book. It was good and an enjoyable listen but I felt it took me a while to get into it. I quite enjoyed the last third of the book and very quick ending.