“When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her step-grandfather, the chief justice of the California Supreme court, her distraught mother turns to her old college roommate, Josie Baylor-Bates, for help. Josie, once a hot-shot criminal defense attorney, left the fast track behind for a small practice in Hermosa Beach, California. But Hannah Sheraton intrigues her and, when the girl is charged as an adult, Josie cannot turn her back. But the deeper she digs the more Josie realizes that politics, the law and family relationships create a combustible and dangerous situation. When the horrible truth is uncovered it can save Hannah Sheraton or destroy them both.” – Synopsis from Goodreads.com
Josie Baylor-Bates. A strong woman physically and emotionally, who after witnessing her mother walk out on both husband and young daughter, learned that the only way to survive was through depending on one’s own abilities. While seemingly mentally unshakable, Josie is terrified at the thought of becoming Hannah Sheraton’s defense lawyer and these thoughts bring up ghosts from another trial; Josie believing in innocence and fighting for it, a lying mother, an acquittal, and her children, the ones she murdered for kicks after her trial. Could she live with herself if she freed another guilty criminal? Who else has to die because of her mistakes?
I love thriller novels, but I have not yet ventured very deeply into the world of legal thrillers. As a college student paying my own bills, I’m a sucker for anything free, books included. The only down-side to free novels on Amazon is the possibility of sacrificing quality for the price, something that Rebecca Forster did not do with Hostile Witness.
To say it simply, I enjoyed this book. Forster writes well and at a level of relative complexity that keeps the story interesting. Every single character has a well-crafted facade which they present to the outside world, and as the book goes on, cracks begin to appear on their surface, showing the true intentions, fears, and even darkness that lie beneath. While not the swiftest plot, the dialogue keeps the reader interested until the next shocking discovery in the People vs. Hannah Sheraton case. Pace of action really picks up in the last few chapters as people unravel and the truth fights to extricate itself from the carefully crafted web of lies in which it resides. Who doesn’t like a good twist? If you do, read Hostile Witness because its twist is quite entertaining.
I would definitely recommend Rebecca Forster’s Hostile Witness to anyone looking for a suspenseful and exciting literary journey. While there are a few other books following the legal tales of Josie Baylor-Bates, I do not intend to read them anytime soon. Legal thrillers aren’t exactly my cup of tea. I’d much rather read about fairies or vampires or man-eating monsters.
If you would like me to review and of the Forster’s other books, have suggestions for book reviews, or have any other questions, please either comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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