Last Witness - Jilianne Hoffman
The Last Witness follows on from Retribution, which sees CJ
Townsend, Assistant State Attorney, put sociopath William
Bantling on death row. Bantling was found guilty of being
Cupid, a brutal serial killer who murdered eleven women.
Two years on, three police are found mutilated and murdered whilst
on patrol, in what first appears to be a motiveless crime.
CJ Townsend is terrified when it becomes known that the three murdered
policemen all worked on the Cupid investigation. She shared a secret,
a secret that only she now knows as the others have taken it to
their graves. She knows that she can never share this secret, but
also knows that by doing this she will be the last witness and therefore
the next to die.
Last Witness catches up with CJ Townsend, the Assistant State Attorney
for Florida two years on from the successful conviction of William
Bantling, a rapist who was fitted up for a series of murders of
local women. CJ helped prosecute Bantling, knowing that legally
her case was not strong enough to win, without lying. But after
finding out Bantling was the man who brutally raped her some years
before, she went ahead with the prosecution and won.
The pace of this book is the same as Retribution, and the reader
is kept guessing to the end as to who is killing the police.
CJ is unable to ask for help as to do so would implicate her in
the wrongful conviction of Bantling.
This book keeps you guessing to the end as to who the killer is,
and their motives and had a highly charged ending.
The end of the book has left room for CJ to return and I think
the next book from Jilliane Hoffman will continue the story.
Reviewed by HA
Alone - Lisa Gardiner
Bobby Dodge, a State Trooper, is called to a hostage
situation where a husband is threatening his wife and child
with a gun. He finds that he has to make a life and death
decision, to decide if the man will shoot his wife and child,
of whether Bobby should shoot him first.
The wife is Catherine Gagnon and a quarter of a century ago when
she was just a child she was abducted from close to her home and
buried underground where she endured a month long nightmare of abuse.
Her father in law, powerful Judge Gagnon, blames Catherine for
the death of his son, and for the unexplained illnesses that keep
her son returning to hospital/
After serving time in solitary confinement for a terrible crime,
he is now free to seek his revenge.
Catherine and Bobby are brought together, both needing each other's
help, but neither sure who they can trust. A killer is out there,
and no one is above suspicion.
Another excellent thriller from Lisa Gardiner introduces more new,
well-defined characters and an unusual plot. This was a page turner
from the first line and has Bobby Dodge in the main role, trying
to solve a present day crime, whilst also battling with demons from
Catherine Gagnon is the main female character, and throughout the
book you are never really sure of her motives or reasons for her
actions, which adds to the suspense.
The characters seem real, and because of this you feel interested
in them. I was engrossed from start to finish, and although the
end of the book doesn't have a final, 'he solved the mystery' conclusion,
I don't feel as though I had been robbed.
This is a definite must read for anyone who has read Lisa Gardiner
before, or for those who want an introduction to her work.
Reviewed by HA
The Broker - John Grisham
Joel Blackman has served 6 years of a 20 year prison
sentence when he receives a Presidential pardon from the soon
to be ex-President.
Joel is spirited out of the country to Italy where he is
to start a new life, with a new name.
Unsure as to why he has been pardoned, and why he was taken
to Italy, he is suspicious of those around him and their motives.
When he finally thinks he has found out the reason for his
pardon, will it be too late to him to run?
Leaving the setting of the courtroom behind, Grisham still
keeps the element of suspense.
Joel Blackman was a very successful Broker in Washington
when a deal went bad, and to survive he pleaded guilty to
a crime, so he could go to prison where he would be protected.
Six years on he is released and the story follows him to
Italy where under his new identity he becomes Marco.
Joel/Marco realises there must be a reason and until he knows
this, he knows he is in danger. But with no money and no passport,
surviving on his own is virtually impossible. But also, who
does he trust?
As with most of the Grisham books, this story has a fast
pace and keeps you guessing. The ending I felt was similar
to that of The Firm, where there is no formal conclusion to
the story, although no questions are left unanswered.
All in all, another good read.
Reviewed by HA