Thursday, 28 September 2006

The Witness by Dee Henderson

4 Stars

I have been awaiting the release of Dee Henderson's THE WITNESS with much anticipation, having been enthralled by both her O'Malley and Uncommon Heroes series. This release, through a new publisher Tyndale, is the first for Henderson in three years and my expectations were high. While this book is quite different to her previous series, many elements remain the same and I was not disappointed.
The story revolves around three sisters, two of whom discover the mixed blessing of inheriting millions, together with shocking secrets about their father that are publicly unveiled. Amanda Griffin, the oldest sibling, is believed dead by her sisters after witnessing a murder and going into hiding eight years ago. However, the man who wants Amy dead now sees her sisters as a way to lure her out of hiding. Fortunately, Amanda has a chance encounter with the compassionate and meticulous Police Chief Luke Granger and his dedicated homicide detectives, Connor Black and Caleb Marsh. The lives of these detectives quickly become entwined with the three Griffin women and the mystery and trouble surrounding them. When will they discover the threat that consumes them may overshadow a danger they never expected.
Henderson has penned another first-rate suspense novel which draws the reader into the story completely from the first page. She releases clues with a deft hand, subtly enticing the reader into the tension of the mystery and the emotions of the characters. Although the reader's connection with the characters is not as strong as in her previous books, her character development remains a highlight of her work, portraying genuine people being tested to their limits - emotionally, physically and spiritually. Her minor characters are also well developed and add to the power of the story rather than being a distraction.
Dee does not shy away from tragedy and explores the impact of injustice, fear and grief experienced by the Griffin women and their protectors. The developing romances in the story are engaging and add depth and joy to the story in true Dee Henderson style. This is a stand-alone title however there is clearly scope for a sequel in the future.

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