From the outside looking in, Leigh Collier has a 'normal' life - she's a successful lawyer, has a daughter and an amicable relationship with her ex. That's what everyone sees...but Harleigh has a dark past with secrets she has tried to bury in more than one way. Then, one of her law firm's partners assigns her to defend a wealthy man accused of rape. He has asked for her specifically. And when Leigh meets him, the past coming roaring into the present. "He saw what you did. He knows who you are…
The prologue is a gut punch scene from the past and sets the premise and tone for the story that's going to unfold. Harleigh is part of it - but so is her younger sister Callie. The relationship between the sisters is complicated and quite emotional, but unbreakable. Where Leigh has taken her life is in the opposite direction from Callie's life. Callie is an addict and has been for many, many years. Now, they're both part of the narrative, but I have to say - my heart and my hopes were with and for Callie. She was so well drawn. There's much more to her than her addictions. The scenes in Dr. Jerry's veterinary practice were so good. (And I loved Dr. Jerry) Their mother Phil is the epitome of lousy parenting both then and now. But it was the client - Andrew - that gave me the heebie jeebies. He is evil, manipulative and downright terrifying. And he's playing a scary cat and mouse game with Callie and Leigh.
Slaughter's plotting is, as always, brilliant. I couldn't predict how the story would unfold. (I love that!) Slaughter adds in additional characters, twists and a turn I didn't see coming. The tension is ramped up so high, I had to put the book down and walk it off before returning to rapidly turning pages. The ending? Not everything I wanted, but it was just right.
There's a lot of food for thought and social commentary throughout False Witness with sexual abuse, sexual harassment and drug use at the top of the list. Covid 19 is also a part of the book, with the timeline set squarely in the last year.
Gentle readers - this book contains many triggers and descriptive writing and may not be the book for you.
An easy five stars for this reader. I'm hoping there's a new Will Trent book in the works as well.