In the Summer of 1998, teenage sisters Callie and Leigh are doing their best to cope with a difficult home life in a poor part of Georgia. Older sister Leigh has turned her babysitting job watching Trevor over to Callie. Leigh is unaware that Trevor’s father is sexually abusing her sister. When this tense story switches to present-day, Leigh is a skilled defense attorney with a bright future. Callie’s life is the total opposite. After a gymnastics accident, she has developed a drug addiction. Leigh is assigned to a new case that seems routine for her. A man is accused of sexual assault and could be a serial rapist. She’s prepared to give him fair representation. But upon their first meeting, she recognizes her client as Trevor, the young boy the two sisters babysat. He now goes by the name Andrew. It is clear that Andrew is a bad guy and appears to have inherited his father’s evilness. At first, Leigh is faced with a moral dilemma as to how she should handle this case. But things get complicated when Andrew starts taunting her, making it more and more clear that he knows about what happened in his house all those years ago. Not only the abuse but a secret the two sisters have kept hidden. A secret that not only puts them in jeopardy but threatens the lives of their loved ones.
Author Karin Slaughter writes very powerful, engrossing books with complex characters. I have enjoyed her Grant County and Will Trent series as well as her standalones. False Witness, her latest standalone, is dark, violent and incredibly sad. And very effective. Any book which includes sexual abuse and violence is a tough read. Add the struggles of drug addiction and it’s extra painful. Slaughter chose to include the realities of Covid-19 in the story, which was handled well. The book is a little on the long side and the extreme violence was at times hard to take. Overall, this was a strong page-turner from a talented author.
The subject matter should be considered before reading.
Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.
Mystery / Thriller.
Publication Date: July 20, 2021.
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