Title: False Witness
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 24th June 2021
You thought no one saw you. You were wrong.
Leigh and her sister Callie are not bad people – but one night, more than two decades ago, they did something terrible. And the result was a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, devastated by violence.
Years later, Leigh has pushed that night from her mind and become a successful lawyer – but when she is forced to take on a new client against her will, her world begins to spiral out of control.
Because the client knows the truth about what happened twenty-three years ago. He knows what Leigh and Callie did. And unless they stop him, he’s going to tear their lives apart …
I am a massive fan of Karin Slaughter’s books so I was thrilled to read her latest standalone novel and it is phenomenal – which is exactly what I expect from a superstar of the genre. I honestly don’t think Slaughter could write a bad book if she tried. False Witness follows Leigh, a successful lawyer who is asked to take on a new and important client by her boss. She soon comes to realise that this client knows her and knows about something criminal Leigh and her sister Callie did two decades earlier which has shadowed both of their lives and he wants them to pay.
I flew through False Witness, glued to the pages and desperate to find out how and if Leigh and Callie could find a way out of the horrific situation they find themselves in. I don’t want to give much away about the plot because the way it unfolds is part of what makes this book so exceptional. The story delves into so many different areas like the far reaching consequences of childhood neglect and abuse, the nature of often misplaced guilt and shame, the tragedy of addiction and the both the darkness and light in human nature. The characters are beautifully nuanced, especially those of Callie and Leigh, who I was rooting for from the start. Their bond as sisters even in the face of the terrible trauma they have both lived through is the heart of False Witness. Slaughter also sets the book in the present day and weaves the horror of the Covid pandemic into the story in a way that feels unforced and gives the book a heightened resonance and impact.
As with all her books, this is not a book for the faint hearted. It is full of truly shocking and sometimes tough to read violence. However, for all its brutality, False Witness never feels gratuitous in any way. It is a sad fact that terrible things sometimes happen to good people and it is never more heartbreaking than in a book like this. I really cannot recommend False Witness highly enough. It is a gut-wrenching, intense and unrelentingly compelling thriller that had me hooked from the beginning and in tears by the end. Stunningly good.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.