THE WITNESS - Nora Roberts
A Perfect 10
G.P. Putnam's Sons (Hardcover)
Chicago, Illinois; 2000 and Bickford, Arkansas; 2012
At sixteen, Elizabeth Fitch has just finished pre-med at Harvard and has lived, without complaint or choice, the life her mother designed for her. Then her summer off is cut short by her mother, Dr. Susan Fitch, who got Elizabeth admitted to the summer term for her own convenience. Once her mother leaves on a business trip, Elizabeth rebels by cutting off her hair and then heading to the mall where she runs into Julie, a girl she knew in high school. A whirlwind shopping spree, a couple of photos to make fake ID's with, and Elizabeth heads off for her first night of clubbing. The night ends horribly in bloodshed, and by the end of the summer, Elizabeth Fitch has disappeared.
Brooks Gleason, chief of police in Bickford , Arkansas , likes puzzles, and Abigail Lowery is definitely that. Since she moved into the old Skeeter place a year ago, the most that the people of this small town have learned about her is that she gets a lot of packages delivered to her and does very little shopping in town on the rare occasions that she goes there. When Brooks finally talks to her, Abigail is short to the point of rude and dismissive. But, she's also carrying a Glock under her jacket, and now Brooks's curiosity is really aroused. Following her out to her house shows him a woman with excessive locks on her door, over-the-top security, and a huge guard dog. Just what is this woman hiding? The more time Brooks spends with Abigail, the more he wants her on a personal basis.
After leaving behind her previous life, Abigail Lowery has worked hard to blend into anonymity, and the last thing she wants is to draw the attention of anyone, especially the chief of police. Worse, she finds Brooks charming and desirable. With her situation, Abigail can't be sure of anybody or anyplace, so has decided it's best not to get attached to anything, but Brooks is chipping away at her resolve.
The latest thrilling novel by Nora Roberts, THE WITNESS pits one very smart woman against two things she's totally unprepared for: killers and love. Raised and groomed from birth to be the youngest neurosurgeon on staff at the hospital where her mother is chief of surgery, Elizabeth has never really been allowed choices of her own. Buying her first pair of jeans and monitoring criminal justice courses have sown the seeds of rebellion in her, and she's hit the point where she feels she should have some say in her life. Unfortunately her first foray into independence is a disaster that changes the course of her life. Brooks was a detective in Little Rock until his father's health brought him back to his hometown, and now he's enjoying being the police chief…for the most part. His natural curiosity is piqued by Abigail's odd actions, but his interest grows as he gets to know the bluntly matter-of-fact and impressively smart woman. The easy-going Brooks is contrary to what Abigail has always been surrounded by, but he threatens her peace of mind, and possibly her safety. She's determined to bring down the people responsible for her past, and has leaned a bit over the line of what's legal from time to time. She may be running from the bad guys, but Abigail could possibly be in a bit of trouble herself.
Between the original and captivating characters and the gripping suspense, THE WITNESS is a difficult book to put down. Secondary characters include Brooks's family, particularly his mother, and Bert, Abigail's bull mastiff. A fascinating combination of romance, humor and suspense, I'm awarding THE WITNESS a Perfect 10, and highly recommend picking it up.