Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Witness by Nora Roberts

Synopsis: 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.

What I liked: The beginning.  I really enjoyed learning about Liz and felt for her when it was clear that her mother was not maternal. I was really able to identify with the decisions she made. I also loved that because of her logical mind she was able to comprehend what mistakes she made that lead up to her life being turned upside down.

I also liked Abigail and her social awkwardness. If you've watched the TV show The Big Bang Theory, Abigail is like Leonard. So smart but socially stunted and completely out of her element when she has to be around other people. 

I really liked Brooks too... I think that Nora really excels at creating men that we women really want but have a hard time finding.  Brooks is a great blend of an Alpha Male and a Beta. His need to protect is great but does not feel emasculated when Abigail does not need him to protect her. He is not one to beat on his chest then throw his woman over his shoulder to 'rescue' her. He may feel like he needs to do so but he doesn't. He's one smart cookie.

What I didn't like: Around the half way mark the book lost some momentum. This is when we are introduced to Abigail. As fascinating as she was (love an uber smart woman) her part of the storyline seemed to drag a bit. There were a few scenes that really did nothing to propel the story forward and could have been cut. 

Which leads me to the length. I read the hard cover version and there were almost 500 pages. There were a few times that I really felt the book was 800 pages long. I really have a short attention span and books that are over 400 pages tend to intimidate me. True story.

I thought Brooks' and Abigail's romance was nice but I just didn't have an big 'sigh' moments.

Back to Abigail...I think there was an inconstancy or two in her behavior towards the last 1/3 of the book. She is so much like Tempe Brennan from the Bones TV show (a good thing!) She is very smart and very clinical. She analyzes everything.  Knowing this I find it strange she would all of a sudden say something like (and I'm paraphrasing) 'you and our love is magic.' Abigail does not wax poetic. She describes mutual physical attraction as a chemical reaction for Pete's Sake! For her to refer to their love as magic (and Brooks in particular) she'd either have had to be drunk or suffering from a concussion. (So now I've totally compared Abigail to two different TV show characters!)

I would have liked to see more of a wrapped up ending when it came to the bad guys too. I find it odd that despite the bad guys being really bad it didn't seem that they were doing much to find Liz. Perhaps if the book would have spent a bit more time from their point of view instead of the once or twice it briefly did I would have felt that part of the book was more developed. I expected more of a thrilling read with Liz being in suspenseful danger but we really didn't see that. 

Overall a decent read but not a favorite. I was hovering between 3.5 or a 4 star rating and ended up with 4 because I love Nora and I'm one of those preferential treatment people.


Danni T said...

I've read the Witness, and really enjoyed it. I agree with you on the middle. At some points the story did drag just a little.

Christina said...

Danni, I liked it too but there were some things that I think could have been better. I love Nora but don't think I'll read this one again.

Melli70 said...

My daughter told me about Nora Robert’s latest offering and on doing a review search, 1st came across someone who didn’t think it was as good as previous books and then someone who thought it was 5 star. So we needed a 3rd opinion! I came across a link on the 2nd site to a radio show that had spoken about the book recently (bookreportradio(dot)com), so listened to the online recording of the show. I’ve generally never been much of an audiobook listener, preferring my own narration, but the narration was excellent! The radio book show seems to discuss about 5 or 6 books a week, with an author interview too, so I thought I may spread the word along-seemed like a good way of getting a feel for some of the books out there. Thank you for your input into my decision to read this one.