Witness – Caroline Mitchell


Witness was published by Thomas and Mercer on 20 December 2016 and is available to buy here

To Rebecca it was a brave decision that led to her freedom from domestic abuse. To Solomon it was the ultimate betrayal.

It’s been ten years since Rebecca’s testimony saw Solomon locked away. Enough time for the nightmares to recede, the nerves to relax; enough time to rebuild her life and put the past behind her.

Then one day a phone rings in her bedroom—but it’s not her phone. Solomon has been in her home, and has a very simple message for her: for each of the ten years he has spent in jail, Rebecca must witness a crime. And, to make matters worse, she has to choose the victims.

Fail to respond and you get hurt. Talk to police and you die. Ready to play? You have sixty seconds to decide…

As the crimes grow more severe, the victims closer to home, Rebecca is forced to confront a past she had hoped was gone forever.

My thoughts

Caroline Mitchell returns with a chilling new psychological thriller Witness. This is a gripping story of revenge, of a sad twisted relationship and a victim being played with.

We follow Rebecca, who ten years ago testified against her boyfriend Solomon and put him behind bars. She has moved on and now lives in Wales, happily married with a child. Through her diaries, we start to unpick Rebecca’s troubled past. We get to understand the controlling and abusive relationship of Rebecca and Solomon. It is hardly a surprise that Solomon, now released from prison has big plans for Rebecca. He is back and he wants revenge.

Mitchell brings her police experience of working with victims of domestic violence to her writing in Witness. This is a tough story, that was hard to read at times. It had a feeling of authenticity, as we see the terrible controlling and abusive relationship unfold.

Rebecca slowly comes under the influence and manipulation of Solomon and his unique brand of control. Their relationship develops, to the point where they are engaged to be married. It involves control and subtle manipulation. Slowly he is taking over and ensuring she abides by his will. This has effected her long term. She cannot even tell her husband, what she went through with Solomon and how much it hurt. Solomon comes into her life again, ten years later. He wants to make her witness ten crimes and to control her from a distance. He wants to make her suffer. Now Rebecca does not involve anyone or let anyone into the trauma she is going through. She lets Solomon dictate things again. Why does she not go to the police or to his probation officer, at the start or as things intensify? Why does she act irrationally and reply to his text messages? She knows him. She is aware of what he is capable of. Rebecca baffled me, with her inaction and her lack of intelligence. Why is she engaging with this psycho and letting him play his game? Solomon is a great though. Truly evil, in thought and deed.

Witness is a fabulous premise, that for me missed the mark. I found Rebecca too unbelievable and incredibly frustrating, in her reactions to her dangerous ex-partner and her willingness to go along with his game. Caroline Mitchell is at her best, when getting into the head of a chilling killer.




About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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4 Responses to Witness – Caroline Mitchell

  1. I asked the same questions in my review but I guess you slip so easily back into your role as a victim. If she was to tell someone else of course she wouldn’t be so isolated and you wouldn’t get the same story. I didn’t like this one as much as Love You to Death but could still really enjoy it too.

  2. Sorry it didn’t work out for you this time around Christine, after many years of working in the field of domestic abuse, I’ve been amazed by the level of control perpertrators hold over their victims. Hopefully you’ll enjoy my next offering more, Ruby Preston book 2 is written and due out soon 😉

    • Christine says:

      Thanks Caroline. I always feel massively guilty, when a book don’t quite work for me. I never know how to word it because it’s just my perception. I did see your experience shining through. That must be such a tough job. I don’t know how you dealt with it. That part of the book (the history of the abuse and the terrible relationship) was very strong for me and emotional. I’ve got Ruby Preston book one to dive into…. x

  3. Aw thank you Christine, don’t feel guilty at all! It’s great to get different perspectives on my writing and your reviews are always so well thought out. I hope you enjoy reading Ruby, she was a lot of fun to write. x

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