False Witness

A very dark, but gripping, story. Warning: the coronavirus pandemic is a heavy background presence in this book so if you’re looking to escape the daily reality this is probably not how to do it.

Book title

False Witness

Author

Karin Slaughter

Standalone or series

Standalone

First time reading this author?

No

Why I picked this

I love Karin Slaughter books so was delighted when I was approved to read an advance copy of her latest on NetGalley.

Review copy or purchase

Thank you to the author, publishers HarperCollins and NetGalley for access to an advance review ebook. This is an honest and voluntary review.

What it’s about

Callie and Leigh are sisters. On the surface they are very different people. Callie is a drug addict, at her best when working part-time at a vet surgery where she steals maintenance level of drugs and sells them locally. Leigh is a lawyer at a prestigious firm, while she’s separated from her husband she loves him and their daughter dearly.

But, they have a huge secret in common. A secret that someone else knows, and could tear their lives apart if he shares it.

Review

This is a dark story. Karin Slaughter has never shied away from the depths of the adversity her characters face. Child abuse, adult survivors of rape, people in positions of power who abuse that power to extreme extents. These are all fairly common themes in her books. But, False Witness feels even darker.

As always it is the strength of Karin Slaughter’s characters that this book finds it’s hook. The desperation and determination shared by Callie and Leigh had me rooting for these characters despite their bad decisions.

Yet there was also a big distraction – Covid and the pandemic loomed large over these pages and it really put me off. At one point it felt like every second page was referring to face masks or hand sanitiser. And, every time they were mentioned it pulled me right out of the story. In a note at the end of the book the author explains why she felt the need to make the pandemic part of the setting, but I really wish she hadn’t. Hand washing, face masks and physical distancing should be left in the real world, reading is how I get away from that.

A good story, but would have been better without so many Covid references.

Rating

Rating: 4 out of 5.
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