Witness by Nora Roberts

Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance/ Suspense

Publisher: Putnam

My Copy: Sent

Daughter of a controlling mother, Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever.
Twelve years later, the woman known as Abigail Lowery lives on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she designs sophisticated security systems–and supplements her own security with a fierce dog and an assortment of firearms. She keeps to herself, saying little, revealing nothing. But Abigail’s reserve only intrigues police chief Brooks Gleason. Her logical mind, her secretive nature, and her unromantic viewpoints leave him fascinated but frustrated. He suspects that Abigail needs protection from something–and that her elaborate defenses hide a story that must be revealed.
With a quirky, unforgettable heroine and a pulse-pounding plotline, Nora Roberts presents a riveting new read that cements her place as today’s most reliably entertaining thriller
author–and will leave people hungering for more.

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After witnessing a terrible crime as a teenager, Elizabeth made a run for it. Unable to trust even the cops that were sworn to protect her Elizabeth went into hiding and became Abigail and moved as far away as she could possibly get. Now she lives in a tiny town and hacks into the killers accounts on the side of her security system design job. She feels as secure as she can get as long as things happen on her schedule. Being a genius means she might understand emotion clinically, but being a abused woman means she’s unable to feel the depth of it.

Brooks knows Abigail is hiding something and being the chief of police in this sleepy town means he needs to find out what. Her guns and her security system are state of the art and her dog is downright huge. What he never expected to find was a woman so burned by the past that she couldn’t seem to embrace the present. He is falling hard for a woman that wants nothing but for him to leave her alone.

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Nora Roberts single-handedly got me back into reading. Yes, it’s true. There was a LONG break in my reading a few years ago. By long break I mean years. Then one day I was with my daughter at the library and thought I might like to read a book again. I picked up a Nora Roberts book and the rest is history. So I should thank Nora for rekindling my love for reading. Not that I think she’s reading this. Heh.

I really enjoyed The Witness! Roberts has a way of just pulling a reader in and before you know it you’re on the last page of the book and you’re wondering why you’re hungry and need to pee. Oh, that’s right, you haven’t moved for hours and you’ve been ignoring your family. Oops.

Elizabeth was such a sad character in the beginning. She had lived such a rigid life underneath the thumb of her completely controlling mother who was devoid of emotion and the result had made Elizabeth into a robot. Only around to achieve accomplishments for her mother and to continue to live in her shadow.  In an essence, Elizabeth had been emotionally abused her entire life. When she finally decides to rebel, it ends in the death of her new found friend and Elizabeth on the run from the Russian mob. At the age of seventeen this genius girl had to hide, learn to protect herself and just survive. Constantly on the run and not able to trust even the cops because the mob had infiltrated the departments and she couldn’t be sure to what degree.

Elizabeth, who changes her name to Abigail is a great character! She is complex and sees herself as unable to be emotionally connect to anyone. She fears for their safety if she does manage to open up so instead she holes herself away in a tiny town with her huge dog and her many guns. She’s not unable to connect but more rusty at dealing with other people. She speaks like a genius, I kept picturing Brennen from the tv show Bones. 100% honest and genius level smart but not knowing how to deal with the emotions of others. I loved her stilted manner of speaking.

The small town chief of police, Brooks, is curious about her and her closed off property on the outskirts of town. He is very smart in his own right, and excellent at his job. He manages to move in on Abigail’s life and that scares her immensely. She spends a lot of time trying to convince herself to be rational but the emotional attachment she feels for Brooks grows so fast she can’t quite figure out how to handle him. He has her at every turn and even though she tries to get him to leave her alone he refuses. Brooks  wasn’t sure he was ready for a relationship but having to step up when Abigail can’t, he realizes he totally is. He is patient with her and never pushed her to be something or tell him anything she wasn’t ready to. I loved his tenacity on the job and his ability to bend the rules in order to get the result he needed for convictions. He was definitely a think outside the box type.

The Russian mob element was very interesting as I don’t know much about how those “families” work. I will say that all the hacking and Abigails plans to single-handedly take down the family from afar was a bit much, a bit unbelievable. Then the ending was so complex, so very Ocean’s 11, that I may have scoffed at it a few times. I also thought there was a ton of repetition and that annoyed me a bit. Every time Abigail had to retell or think about the story of her run from the authorities and the mob she actually retold the entire thing. By the end of the book I’d read the thing several times. I wanted to skip those parts. I kept thinking..yeah I read this before.

So I had a few issues but overall I really enjoyed Abigail’s journey back from the lonliness she had suffered for her entire life. The emotion between Brooks and Abigail was a steady burn that grew each time they were together. I enjoyed their love story. I liked the bit of suspense and I thought the book was well executed.

I give The Witness by Nora Roberts 4 stars!

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