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False Witness: A Novel Paperback – April 19, 2022
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INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
"There's deception, sabotage, violence, family secrets . . . all the stuff you could want from a fictional page-turner."— theSkimm
Recommended by Washington Post • theSkimm • GMA.com • Popsugar • Bustle • Atlanta Journal-Constitution • Augusta Chronicle • Sun-Sentinel • Mystery and Suspense Magazine • and more!
He saw what you did. He knows who you are…
From the New York Times bestselling author of Pieces of Her and The Silent Wife, an electrifying standalone thriller.
AN ORDINARY LIFE…
Leigh Collier has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She’s an up-and-coming defense attorney at a prestigious law firm in Atlanta, would do anything for her sixteen-year-old daughter Maddy, and is managing to successfully coparent through a pandemic after an amicable separation from her husband Walter.
HIDES A DEVASTATING PAST...
But Leigh’s ordinary life masks a childhood no one should have to endure … a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, and ultimately destroyed by a brutal act of violence.
BUT NOW THE PAST IS CATCHING UP…
On a Sunday night at her daughter’s school play, she gets a call from one of the firm's partners who wants Leigh to come on board to defend a wealthy man accused of multiple counts of rape. Though wary of the case, it becomes apparent she doesn't have much choice if she wants to keep her job. They're scheduled to go to trial in one week. When she meets the accused face-to-face, she realizes that it’s no coincidence that he’s specifically asked for her to represent him. She knows him. And he knows her. More to the point, he may know what happened over twenty years ago, and why Leigh has spent two decades avoiding her past.
AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT.
Suddenly she has a lot more to lose than this case. The only person who can help is her younger, estranged sister Callie—the last person Leigh would ever want to drag into this after all they’ve been through. But with the life-shattering truth in danger of being revealed, she has no choice...
“A high-stakes thriller . . . Her heroines are believable, flawed and courageous.” –OYINKAN BRAITHWAITE
The Amazon Book Review
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"Cunningly conceived and written . . . Deeply satisfying." — Washington Post on False Witness
"Annnnd she does it again. Slaughter's latest high-stakes thriller follows a defense attorney whose dark past is coming back to haunt her — all thanks to a new client she's called in to represent days before his trial. There's deception, sabotage, violence, family secrets . . . all the stuff you could want from a fictional page-turner, really." — theSkimm on False Witness
“Slaughter offers us a high-stakes thriller that handles the tragedy of addiction with empathy and grace. Her heroines are believable, flawed and courageous.” — Oyinkan Braithwaite, award-winning author of My Sister, The Serial Killer, on False Witness
“Karin Slaughter’s False Witness is a twisty, searingly contemporary mystery steeped in a dark past, and she weaves a story that catches your breath and keeps you gasping and guessing until the end.” — Stacey Abrams, author of While Justice Sleeps
"Slaughter doesn’t save her twists for the end, instead peppering them throughout the intricately layered story amid stomach-churning near misses and gripping character revelations. Equal parts hyperrealistic thriller and epic tragedy, Slaughter’s latest is pitch-perfect storytelling." — Booklist (starred review) on False Witness
"[False Witness] will keep readers transfixed. Slaughter is writing at the top of her game." — Publishers Weekly (starred review) on False Witness
“Slaughter skillfully and assuredly relates the violence of a sociopath, while creating an emotional connection to lives touched by tragedy and addressing current events.” — Library Journal on False Witness
"Slaughter reliably delivers high-stakes thrillers, but False Witness is the author at her best, weaving a multi-layered, addictive story with characters you won’t soon forget." — The Augusta Chronicleon False Witness
"In the enthralling False Witness, Slaughter ramps up her storytelling skills to explore how two sisters cope with the aftermath of a crime. False Witness works well as a psychological exploration of its characters, as a legal thriller and as a family drama. . . . Slaughter’s mastery at suspense is at full throttle . . . A thriller that kicks into high gear from the first page to a stunning ending." — Sun-Sentinel (South Florida) on False Witness
“Karin Slaughter is a master of the thriller genre and her genius comes through on every page, in every character, through every plot twist. False Witness is so suspenseful, it’s tension palpable, and the action so visual, I can’t wait to see its brilliance in film.” — Francesca Momplaisir, critically-acclaimed author of My Mother’s House
"Written during the pandemic, False Witness, a standalone thriller by bestselling author Karin Slaughter, tackles many issues exacerbated and spotlighted during Covid like food insecurity, the housing crisis, inmate treatment in prison, racism, misogyny, and the overwhelming demands on women. Leigh, a female defense attorney whose latest client's engagement wasn't exactly a coincidence and, in fact, requires her to get him acquitted or risk her own secrets being exposed, will surely find her own place on the screen like the protagonist of Slaughter's bestselling novel Pieces of Her, coming soon to Netflix." — GMA.com
"Slaughter has written a wickedly sharp and arresting tour de force that blends a riveting plot and emotional subterfuge with the kind of propulsive prose that makes False Witness absolutely unputdownable." — Lauren Francis-Sharma, author of Book of the Little Axe, on False Witness
"A shared secret comes back haunt two sisters who are forced to confront a dark and terrifying reality. Rich characters and deft plotting make this an unputdownable story that will move you to the core. This is Slaughter's best yet." — Camilla Läckberg, internationally bestselling author, on False Witness
"Slaughter’s latest stand-alone could very well be one of your favorite books of 2021 . . . It delivers on so many levels—from the gut-punch of the first chapter through to the heartbreaking last page—this is Slaughter at her very best." — Seattle Book Review on False Witness
“All of Slaughter’s books . . . are satisfyingly surprising and plausible, but it’s Slaughter’s prodigious gifts of characterization that make her stand out among thriller writers.”
— Washington Post
“Slaughter’s eye for detail and truth are unmatched.” — Gillian Flynn
“If you’re into mystery thrillers, then you’re into Karin Slaughter.” — theSkimm
“Her talent is the equivalent of an Edgar Allan Poe or a Nathaniel Hawthorne . . . An exemplary storyteller, weaving her words with skill and intelligence. She will be recognized as one of the great talents of the 21st century and will hold an honored place in the realm of world literature.” — The Huffington Post
“Expect from a Karin Slaughter crime thriller . . . just the right amount of twists, turns, shocks, surprises and domestic thrill and shrill.” — Parade
“[The Last Widow]does what all great Slaughter books do: keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s a chilling whodunit for our times.” — Parade on The Last Widow
“There’s never a dull moment in Georgia with Karin Slaughter on the literary rampage.” — Washington Post on The Last Widow
“One of the boldest thriller writers working today.” — Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author
"Fiction doesn’t get any better than this.” — Jeffery Deaver, New York Times bestselling author
“Slaughter’s work is like a professional athlete coming to the playground to show the kids how it’s done. With her themes, tensions and metaphors, she has a talent for classic literature that is often missing in recent fiction.” — RT Book Reviews
About the Author
Karin Slaughter is the author of more than twenty instant New York Times bestselling novels, including the Edgar–nominated Cop Town and standalone novels The Good Daughter, Pretty Girls, and Girl, Forgotten. She is published in 120 countries with more than 40 million copies sold across the globe. Pieces of Her is a #1 Netflix original series starring Toni Collette. The Will Trent Series will air on ABC in 2023, and The Good Daughter and False Witness are in development for film/tv. Slaughter is the founder of the Save the Libraries project—a nonprofit organization established to support libraries and library programming. A native of Georgia, she lives in Atlanta.
- Publisher : William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (April 19, 2022)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062858963
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062858962
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 1.12 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #10,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on May 10, 2022
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anyhow, the timeliness of the opiod crises is a huge thing, it's affecting/afflicting our world far more than most know or even realize, but i REALLY related to the characters, especially Callie. oh, she tugged at my heart. Leigh too, but Callie was so amazing, interesting, funny, quirky, hilarious (not being redundant, funny & hilarious r 2 different things to me). such damaged characters, as karin seems to love, & oh so loveable, which goes to show, those of us who R damaged, maybe more so than others, are & can be eminently loveable! so there. ;)
i loved the story so much, shortly after i finished it...asap, as i had pre-ordered it & read it the hot second i received it, then read another, different author book, then raced right back to "false witness", & re-read it, which i never do, that quickly. i generally wait years, so i forget a lot of it. but i missed the characters & the book & they haunted me in a sense. wonderful. excellent.
i don't know or understand why people are bashing the covid scenario. it's not like it ran the whole book. i think they feel beat over the head w/it, as we live it, BUT we are ALL living it people & just 'cause it's in a book ur reading too doesn't mean u have to get all upset or re-stressed or bitchy about it being in there. u don't need to take it upon yourself, it's a bloody story for God's sake! sheesh. i can't curse on here, can i? dammit. ha.
so yeah, great stuff, great read. love karin more than ever. so thank u karin, for all of your beautiful, lovely, page turning, never boring work. good on u! cheers :)
I highly recommend this one but again want to note the very dark subject matter in here.
Here are some parts of the book that I loved. One was the sisterly bond. The love they had for one another, no matter what, was beautiful. Another part was what women go through when it comes to sexual harassment. It was something touched on throughout the book and I was glad to see it there since it is something women struggle with constantly. I also enjoyed the other characters such as Walter and Dr. Jerry. They both hold a special place in the book. Then, on the flip side, is Andrew. What a creepy piece of work that was nicely put together. Also, there was the details on drug addiction. I never really understood it myself but Slaughter goes in detail about how it works and makes me a bit more sympathetic to the situation.
A few points I didn't like was for one, too much detail when it come to some of the points throughout the book. Like the drug addiction. Sometimes it seemed to keep coming up on going on with the same information. So much so that I would glaze over those parts. Another is the pedophilia. Even though it needed to be discussed, I was really squeamish and uneasy during those parts. The last thing would be how easily the sisters would give in a situation. They were made out to be tough after all they went through but would collapse at a given moment with just words being said. It seemed more of a convenience to the story than the true nature of the characters. All of these are just minor things I didn't care for and ultimately loved the book.
Top reviews from other countries
This is a dark story. Karin Slaughter has never shied away from the depths of the adversity her characters face. Child abuse, adult survivors of rape, people in positions of power who abuse that power to extreme extents. These are all fairly common themes in her books. But, False Witness feels even darker.
Callie and Leigh are sisters. On the surface they are very different people. Callie is a drug addict, at her best when working part-time at a vet surgery where she steals maintenance level of drugs and sells them locally. Leigh is a lawyer at a prestigious firm, while she’s separated from her husband she loves him and their daughter dearly.
But, they have a huge secret in common. A secret that someone else knows, and could tear their lives apart if he shares it.
As always it is the strength of Karin Slaughter’s characters that this book finds it’s hook. The desperation and determination shared by Callie and Leigh had me rooting for these characters despite their bad decisions.
Yet there was also a big distraction - Covid and the pandemic loomed large over these pages and it really put me off. At one point it felt like every second page was referring to face masks or hand sanitiser. And, every time they were mentioned it pulled me right out of the story. In a note at the end of the book the author explains why she felt the need to make the pandemic part of the setting, but I really wish she hadn’t. Hand washing, face masks and physical distancing should be left in the real world, reading is how I get away from that.
A good story, but would have been better without so many Covid references.
I will buy the next Karin slaughter book when it comes , I just hope that the quality of story and subject matter are not overwhelmed by real life and spoil it
So, the first part of the book was marred for me and it took me a while to get into it - unheard of for a Slaughter novel - but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and raced to the end. Enjoy!