Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Hostile Witness

By: Rebecca Forster

Some secrets aren't uncovered. They are unleashed...

Josie Baylor-Bates returns to the practice of criminal defense when her friend's sixteen-year-old daughter, Hannah, is arrested for the brutal slaying of her step-grandfather-a California Supreme Court justice. Although all evidence points to Hannah's guilt, her family's disturbing relations may play a more significant role than anyone could guess. As Josie unravels a circle of secrets, she discovers a shocking truth that could save her client-or destroy them all..

Another Amazon free find, and another really good book. Josie Baylor-Bates is a lawyer with a troubled past that comes back to haunt her. After getting a client off of a murder charge, the client kills again, proving their guilt and proving Josie's abilities. It's a national story that haunts her for years. When an old college roommate shows up at her door needing legal help, Josie has no idea that Pandora's box is about to be opened with her agreement to serve as counsel. Josie finds herself in the midst of more controversy than she ever imagined and, perhaps most troubling, she isn't sure of her client's innocence.

I admit it: I used to watch Matlock as a kid. With the recent passing of Andy Griffith, this book has taken on a whole new level for me. The story is compelling, and it's very well written, but the nostalgia of legal thrillers is what really made this book great in my eyes.  Forster has either done her research well, or she is really good at faking it because the courtroom scenes had a feel of realism. I could feel Josie's passion in her cross examination and I could her her fist hitting the bar as she made her arguing points.
There was more coarse language than I felt appropriate. Yes, I realize that is how most people speak in today's society, but I don't see the need to move the story along. To me, crude language detracts from the telling. I am more enamored with an author who can tell a tale and bring across passion without resorting to colorful language.
Any sex scenes involved were not the focus, nor was an inordinate amount of space devoted to them, which is another mark of a quality writer. You don't need sex to sell a story, and Forester uses just enough to add color to the relationships.
The writing was exquisite, and the story itself fantastic. I had it figured out at one point, then Forster made me question everything I thought I knew. In the end, - well, I'll leave that up to you to find out.

I found Hostile Witness to be a very well written effort, and it makes me want to find more of her work. I highly recommend Hostile Witness if you enjoy legal thrillers, or just plain old good writing.