Hostile Witness is a legal thriller that will enthrall you till the very end. Rebecca Forster gives us a deep rooted mystery with plenty of characters and quirks. Emotions run high as Josie Bates works round the clock to exonerate her under age client of murdering a Supreme Court judge.
Josie Baylor-Bates has seen it all and done it all. A hot shot defense lawyer in a prior life, she has left her old life to settle down in the sleepy seaside community of Hermosa Beach. The worst that happens here is men pulling down their pants to urinate in public. Her life is shaken when her ex roommate turns up at her door after twenty years, begging her to represent her errant daughter. Hannah Sheraton is in deep trouble, accused of killing a Supreme Court judge. Although only sixteen, Hannah is going to be tried as an adult and everyone has eyes on the high profile case.
Josie manages to bail her client out. The client Hannah cuts herself repeatedly, smokes pot and has other psychological problems. The dead man was her step grandfather who took an unwelcome interest in her. Now he is burned to death and Hannah is accused of setting the fire. Surprisingly enough, all Hannah’s mother wants is for Hannah to be declared mentally unbalanced so that she can dump her in some mental facility. Hannah’s step father is a wimp who hopes to win his father’s seat to the bench. He is reluctant to do anything to help Hannah. Josie meticulously goes about her investigation, trying to unravel different threads. Shocking facts are revealed about the dead man that give a different turn to the case. As a jury trial rages, Josie almost loses her own job for bringing the tabloids to her small sleepy town.
Hostile Witness follows the lines of a typical investigation. Many new facts are revealed as you read on, and previously unknown traits of the different characters unfold. Until ultimately, the nasty truth is revealed for the world to gawk at! As a regular mystery reader, I did have a gut feel of who the culprit would be and I was right, but not because the book itself offers any clues. The character of Archer is enigmatic, and maybe he will get more prominent in upcoming books. This is certainly a winner as far as a first book goes, because it definitely whets my appetite for more from this character that is Josie Bates.
If you love legal thrillers, you will love reading Hostile Witness. Most of all, you will love the conscientious Josie Bates who gave up being a big bucks attorney in order to stop defending the scum of society.