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review 2016-06-01 00:00
Hostile Witness: A Josie Bates Thriller (Volume 1)
Hostile Witness: A Josie Bates Thriller (Volume 1) - Rebecca Forster 3.5 stars
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review 2014-06-23 00:00
Hostile Witness
Hostile Witness - Rebecca Forster This is my first venture into the world of lawyer and former college athlete Josie Baylor-Bates, and I did it in downloaded e-book form, which means my expectations were not high. They were, however, exceeded - the book was well-written and well-plotted, and held my interest with its difficult characters. I had the actual villain of the piece tagged fairly early on, but that didn't spoil my enjoyment of the unrolling.

The theme running through this book is the failure of the mother-daughter relationship. Though the victim is male and there is a somewhat likely male suspect, at the end of the day Forster's men are not quite as complex as her women. The men are various degrees of abusive, or else warm, professional and supportive, like Bates' colleagues and her ex-policeman lover who does a lot of her investigative legwork (very convenient!)

Hannah, the protagonist whose interests Josie defends vehemently, has a difficult past and a very difficult present - she is the very definition of unreliable, since she suffers from mental illness. I found that aspect of her well depicted.

Bates is tied into the theme of the story through two separate emotional wounds in her past - her own unhappy relationship with her mother, and a case where she won with her defence of a killer who then went on to murder her (the killer's) own children. This was perhaps one too many angsts, but I forgave the author for the sake of the emotional focus it gave to the story. I will keep an eye open for more of these.
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review 2014-06-14 18:58
Courtroom Drama
Hostile Witness - Rebecca Forster

I downloaded a free copy of Hostile Witness: A Josie Bates Thriller, from Amazon. In exchange, I offer this, my fair and honest review.


My first and foremost interest of study, I think it would be fair to say, has always been criminal law. It was the reason I went to law school—though due to a number of reasons, I have never actually practiced in the area. Even so, as I remain fascinated by the criminal mind and by the pursuit for justice, it was no mistake that I grabbed up a copy of Hostile Witness. I am glad I did. This was an engaging read, with fully drawn characters, and a mystery to solve. 


Josie Baylor-Bates is a defense attorney seeking to hide from her past—a past in which her efforts helped to free someone who it later became known, was responsible for a horrendous crime. Josie knows she did her job, but she is guilt-ridden. Enter Linda Sheraton, mother to Hannah, a troubled teenager accused of murdering Linda’s father-in-law. Hannah is a truly tragic character and her mother a truly despicable woman. When mother and daughter’s interests cannot both be met, Josie makes the only choice open to her: she chooses to help Hannah.


I quite enjoyed this read. I did, however, find one thing that did not quite settle right. That is, that Josie asks a question at trial—a question to which she did not have the answer and therefore, her asking it was in error. I understand how that could happen. What I found odd was that Josie did not go on to ask the obvious follow-up question. The witness’s own testimony put that witness at the crime scene and that witness was interested in placing the blame on Hannah. Pointing the finger in the witness’s direction may have created the reasonable doubt the jury would have needed. Notwithstanding this one issue, I enjoyed this journey immensely and recommend it to others!


Also posted on Amazon, www.Oathtaker.com and GoodReads, added to my Facebook page and two Google+ review groups, tweeted and cover pinned.


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review 2014-03-10 20:56
A confusing read

Eyewitness by Rebecca Forster

To be honest I struggled to get into this book.  There were a few times I almost gave up.  It was the frustration of not knowing what was going on that got me, it was like I was reading two different books.  I'm pleased I persisted as once I found out what was going on it all sort of made sense in a way and when I eventually got hooked I had to read to the end to find out how everything turned out.  However, I don't think the technique of writing two different stories in alternate chapters quite worked.  The stories were so different, not even taking place in the same country or the same era, and until they eventually merged and overlapped, it was just too confusing.  The neatly wrapped up ending was also a little unsatisfying, as if it was written just to set up a sequel.  All in all it was an okay read, but nothing to do a happy dance about.

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text 2014-03-07 08:40
Taking a while to get into this book.

I'm busy reading Eyewitness by Rebecca Forster.  It took me a while to get hooked as for many pages I had no clue what was going on.  It kept jumping between a flashback chapter which seemed to be a different story that had nothing to do with the current story - different characters, different country even.  I felt like I was reading two different books at the same time.  But last night the two stories merged and now I am hooked!  Hopefully will finish it today!

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