In Nora Roberts’ latest suspense novel The Witness, Elizabeth Fitch is a teenager with a very unique upbringing–she is a genius, ready to enter Harvard Medical School at 17, and has been raised by her controlling and distant mother. Resentful that she has never expperienced any kind of teen lifestyle, Elizabeth rebels against her mother’s directives and when left alone at home, she heads to a nightclub with a friend. After dancing, drinking and meeting a handsome Russian nightclub owner, she leaves the club with him and faces a terrifying experience that will change her life forever.
Twelve years later, she is living as Abigail in a small town in the Ozarks, where she keeps to herself and works from her home designing security software. She is an object of speculation by the local residents, and her reserved manner sparks the interest of the local police chief, Brooks. He suspects she has a hidden past and as he comes to know her, hopes she can learn to trust him with her secrets. As Abigail opens up to Brooks, she must face her past and decide whether she wants to just live or to have a life.
Roberts has created a novel with well-drawn, likeable characters that the reader comes to care about. The details of small-town life, the contrasts drawn to show the differences in families and the suspense created as Abigail must contend with her past in order to move forward with her life all combine to make this a gripping and intense story.