I’m delighted to be on the blog tour today for the first standalone psychological thriller by Caroline Mitchell.
About this book…
To Rebecca it was a brave decision that led to her freedom from domestic abuse. To Solomon it was the ultimate betrayal.
It’s been ten years since Rebecca’s testimony saw Solomon locked away. Enough time for the nightmares to recede, the nerves to relax; enough time to rebuild her life and put the past behind her.
Then one day a phone rings in her bedroom—but it’s not her phone. Solomon has been in her home, and has a very simple message for her: for each of the ten years he has spent in jail, Rebecca must witness a crime. And, to make matters worse, she has to choose the victims.
Fail to respond and you get hurt. Talk to police and you die. Ready to play? You have sixty seconds to decide…
As the crimes grow more severe, the victims closer to home, Rebecca is forced to confront a past she had hoped was gone forever.
I recently read (and loved) Love You to Death which is Caroline Mitchell’s first book in a new series featuring DI Ruby Preston. So I was curious to read Witness which followed shortly after but is actually a standalone psychological thriller. How would it compare and more importantly would I like it? I have to admit that after the first few pages I was started to worry as it seemed so different and I just wasn’t sure how it was going to develop into the dark and compelling tale that I had been expecting! But gradually, as the plot slowly unravelled, I found myself gripping my kindle tightly to my chest and would have wrestled anyone to the ground who tried to wrench it out of my hands!
Rebecca (known now as Becky) has settled into her life in Wales with her husband Sean and adorable daughter Lottie aged 4. But we come to see a very different Rebecca in flashbacks to the past when we read her journal from 10 years previously. When she finds out ex boyfriend Solomon has been released from prison, she is straight on the phone to check that he isn’t living anywhere near her family. So that’s why I did struggle to understand at the start why she decided to actively participate in the warped game that came through on her phone soon after. But that was also one of the reasons I did come to really love this book! Becky’s character was actually very believable and I think that unless you have been in a situation of extreme domestic abuse, such as the one rather graphically described here, you can’t judge anyone’s behaviour! Her reactions were very different to those that you or I would perhaps have had but domestic violence eventually develops into a form of brainwashing where the victim will believe anything they are told. Becky thought that she was saving her family by playing this sickening game but unfortunately psychopaths like to make up their own rules as they go along! And Solomon truly terrified me with his ability to control and manipulate those around him!
This is spine chilling storytelling at its very best and one of the scariest books I’ve read this year. Read it with the lights on!
I received my advanced copy from the publisher via netgalley and have chosen to read and review.
Witness was published by Thomas and Mercer on 20th December 2016 and is available to purchase at Amazon UK.