I was super excited to read this new book by Caroline Mitchell. I really love thrillers and so I couldn’t wait to start Witness.
The book is the most horrendous and uncomfortable account of domestic abuse. Solomon is the most twisted character I’ve ever read. His need for control knows no bounds and Rebecca finds this out the hard way. He engineers their entire relationship but the evil within is soon revealed. The book switches between the past and present. In the present, Rebecca has built a new life for herself but when Solomon is released from prison, he returns to controlling her life by playing upon her fears.
This book is not what it says on the tin. I thought the blurb was quite descriptive but no one could predict the twists and turns this book will take. I really enjoyed the fact that it was not predictable even though it seemed quite obvious where it was going. The ending slaps you in the face with a massive revelation and a really intense ending.
What I found most interesting was the characterisation of Rebecca. Normally, with victims of domestic abuse, it is easy to feel sorry for them and empathise with them. And at first I did with Rebecca, there is no doubt that Solomon is pure evil and she is the victim in their story. But as the crimes were becoming more serious, I saw a side to her that wasn’t easy to accept. She even acknowledges that Solomon is making her be like this and causing her to think and act selfishly. She doesn’t do the right thing and as I ‘saw’ innocent people being hurt at her request it was hard to read. Even though I knew that Solomon was behind it all, it was hard to like Rebecca and understand her. But then I have never been in that situation. All the way through this book makes you think, what would I do? If it was me, I like to think I wouldn’t play along but then I’ve not suffered at his hands before.
This book goes further than just showing you how an abuser controls his victims. This book shows you the damage this abuse can do to the victim and how it can change their character irrevocably. It is a realistic and very interesting way to portray a domestic abuse plot and I applaud Caroline Mitchell for another fantastic albeit uncomfortable read.
Witness is available 20th December 2016.