Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Legal Thriller
Approximate word count: 95-100,000 words
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Best-selling author Rebecca Forster has had more than twenty books published in her career, most legal thrillers.
For more, visit her website.
“Hermosa Beach attorney Josie Bates is missing and the cops say there's nothing they can do. They believe she can take care of herself. But the release of an old client and a mysterious list found in her car say different. Racing against time, Josie's sixteen-year-old ward, Hannah Sheraton, and Josie's lover, Archer, must work together despite their differences to find her before it's too late.”
Although the fourth in this series of five books (thus far), this is the last of the five I’ve read and the third or fourth I’ve reviewed somewhere. Despite knowing that many (probably most) of those who read this review won’t have read all (or even any) of the other reviews, I find myself struggling to say something new. I’ve already said (multiple times) how much I love the main characters, Josie Bates and Hannah Sheraton. I’ve mentioned the most important of the secondary characters (Hannah’s friend Billy Zuni who is a primary focus in book five and Josie’s lover, Archer, who is in a co-starring role in this installment) and described how much these characters add to the book. I’ve think I’ve described how, while legal thrillers, this series is much different than the typical book in the genre because of the character dynamics and how much that enhances the story. There is always plenty going on outside the courtroom that often has little to do with whatever legal dilemma is happening, but very much to do with the overall story. The books should appeal to fans of legal thrillers, but also to fans of other thrillers who shy away from the legal sub-genre.
However, as I was pondering what new there was to say I realized that, just as I struggled to find something different to say, many series authors have the same problem. A series that is episodic (for lack of a better word) where there seems to be no obvious story arc, where instead each book is one case as you’ll often find in mysteries, police procedurals, and legal thrillers, often starts to feel like it’s retelling the same basic story. The minor characters and the story conflict have different details, yet there seems to be a formula. While The Witness Series has some things that are consistent from book to book, mainly involving the quirks of the various characters and how they interact with each other, the plots or storylines of the books are vastly different. This installment especially as Josie, the lawyer in the series, has disappeared and has conflicts and challenges to overcome that are far away from prevailing in a courtroom while Archer and Hannah find themselves trying to prevail in court without her. How’s that for turning the legal thriller formula on its head? Replace the lawyer with someone else in the courtroom.
With Expert Witness, Rebecca Forster has another winner. I hope we’ll be seeing another book in this series. I’m eager to see what happens to Josie, Hannah, and Archer next.
Although the fourth in a series of five (so far), this can be read as a standalone.
No significant issues.
Rating: ***** Five stars