Wednesday, November 20, 2013

TBR Challenge: Nora Roberts - The Witness

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. 

Comment: The theme for this month's challenge is a book that has been raved by many and we missed so now it was time to get a go at it. 
Last year many praised this book by Nora Roberts but I decided to wait to buy the UK paperback edition. Still, I saw how many people loved the book and even said it was one of her best. I'm a big fan of this author, actually she was the author that motivated me to start reading fiction in English for personal fun. Until her I only read in English school texts. From her on, I'm now an avid English reader, even more so than in my mother language. So, in a way, I own it all to her stories because during months her work was my addiction and since her I never stopped.

This is the story of Abigail and Brooks. Abigail is a freelancer computer analyst but she is kind of a genius with computers. She recently moved to a small town in Arizona and is the target of many conversations among the inhabitants of the town, including the chief police, Brooks.
Having a handy excuse to visit her secluded house, Brooks wants to talk to her after a not so good first meeting in the supermarket. Brooks is intrigued by her air of mystery, her isolation and her strange appeal to him...

I loved this book! It has many things to love, but I can't say no more until I let out my most favorite thing of them all about this book: This story doesn't have a lunatic or dissimulated villain hiding and hunting our beloved heroes!! Finally, a mystery book where the good guys have the knowledge and the power to strike back while the villain doesn't even need to make a rushed or horrifying presence apart from the first one! Yay! I can't say how grateful I am for not having to bear all those pages of dreading when the villain would attack or kill some beloved character we'd mourn but who has nothing to do with the main plot! Ohhh what a relief, what a breath of fresh air!!
This was indeed my favorite thing in the story and it can be done well. This didn't make the book seem weaker or lacking! It works! Oh why aren't more authors trying this..? Mysteries of the universe.

My reverent praise stated, I can say I liked the story a lot. There's a little bit issue about Abigail's character I wished could be different, but it's just personal wishful thinking, nothing really related to feel of the story. In the end, all the little details abut this story had an important place and importance. Some things are harder to believe real, but there's nothing impossible, only highly unlikely.
Abigail has forged an existence for herself using her head and her computers. I suppose it's not as easy s it looks like from this novel, but bearing the fiction purpose in this, I'd say it was quite the elaborate story and showed the author's well researched subjects and how she had to keep her information straight, otherwise it would look sloppy and all over the place. She does know how to build up the plot and the things happening.

The characters. One of ms Robers strengths in writing is how she can create believable personalities and make them seem real and act and how we feel empathy towards them and want to see them happy. I thought the main couple was well suited and I enjoyed their dialogs because Abigail is so pragmatic and to the point and Brooks is more relaxed and their conversations are both balanced and funny. Their relationship starts slowly and but the progress is believable. The romance is well done because Abigail doesn't think she's entitled and Brooks tried his best to make her see that she does.
Abigail had had a very weird live because of her relationship with her mother and how she was shaped and told to act a certain way. She feels guilty because she rebelled and that was the starting point of all the bad things in her life. She thinks she is just surviving but love from Brooks also makes her understand she can love and be loved. Her personality is intriguing and her life even more so. Nothing is as simple as that with her and we feel empathy even when she acts in a way not very warm. But we learn to like and support her, just like Brooks, someone closer to reality and with a personality Nora Roberts hot us used to. All their interactions were good.

The plot had two main focus. It's Abigail's past and present and what she did, what she does and what she starts seeing is possible to do since she met Brooks and saw the love a family can give her and Brooks' work and what he has to do. These two things aren't exactly connected but by mixing this with their lives, Abigail and Brooks manage to be even more important for each other because as their love grows, also the confidante and trust between them does too.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. Little details stop a perfect ten, but it's very, very close. Added to the fact this author is still one of my favorites ever, this was indeed a fantastic book, much better than some of her recent ones, which I agree with other readers when they said some seemed not as strong.
I hope what is to come keeps up the good storytelling and the creativity, because Roberts can write an can imagine. This one is a winner!
Grade: 9/10


  1. I listened to the audio of this one and liked it a lot.

    1. This was good..I haven't tried listening to audio seems like cheating lol

  2. We seem to be having a really good month -- that is, so far every hyped book has been very much enjoyed by its reader. I wonder if hyped books read later are more likely to be enjoyed?

    1. That's an interesting question..I've never done it on purpose but I guess after a while all the conversations have already been done and others aren't as eager to know your opinion...