Last Witness is a direct sequel to Jillianne Hoffman's debut novel, Retribution, and follows on three years after events in that book. If you haven't read Retribution, you might want to pick that up first before reading Last Witness or this review as, in order for me to discuss it, I may include a few unintentional spoilers which might ruin your enjoyment!
State Prosecutor, C.J.Townsend, has slowly started to rebuild her life and move on from the traumatic events of her past but the shadows of what she did to get justice still linger overhead like an axe just waiting to drop! In the last novel, C.J manipulated the trial of one William Bantling, the man who raped her many years before, in order to see him put away on Death Row for the Cupid murders that ended the lives of many other women. There was some indication at the time that Bantling may not have been the murderer but these doubts have been forgotten .......just not by everybody!
Suddenly all witnesses to the fact that C.J suppressed certain evidence begin to die in horrible ways. Her fiancée, Special Agent Dominick Falconeti, and his team all believe the murders to be linked to shady officers and dodgy drug deals and only C.J seems aware of her connection; afraid as she is, that she might be next! Coincidentally, Bantling now chooses this moment to try and appeal his sentence with possible new evidence in tow! All of a sudden, C.J finds herself living in a house of cards which could fall down at any second! And when Dominick begins to suspect she may be keeping secrets even her personal life starts falling apart!
This is another great thriller that carries on with the same excellence we saw in Hoffman's debut and never fails to impress ! If there is one thing I did not like, it was the open ending which suggests that this story may not be quite finished just yet though I know that her next novel after this is unrelated.
C.J is as strong a lead character as she was in the first book and the plot moves along just as fast as it did before too! There are a few twists and turns, though the climatic chapters feel a little too neatly tied together for my liking, but apart from this, the book is an excellent, excellent read!
Last Witness is Jilliane Hoffman's second book, which carried on from her first novel called 'Retribution'. Some spoilers may be included for Retribution ...
~The story so far (from my Retribution review)~
Chloe Larsens has a lot going for her. She is in her final stages of gaining her law degree, knowing that she will be working in a prestigious law firm, and has a boyfriend who she is expecting to propose to her. Then Chloe's life changes forever. She is viciously attacked both sexually and physically in her own home. However, the worst part for Chloe is that her attacker knew a lot of personal details about her, such as her favourite perfume, and her dads nickname for her since she was a child. Her attacker left no evidence at the scene, and unfortunately he was never caught ...
Twelve years later...
Chloe has changed her name to C.J. Townsend, and is now working for Miami Dade as one of the county's best prosecutors. She has been working on a major case of a serial killer for over a year, nicknamed 'Cupid' after killing young females and removing their hearts. An arrest is made for a driving offence, but it looks like the young rookie cop has just caught Cupid. C.J. believes that she is ready for anything that this case could throw at her in court, until she hears Cupid speak for the first time - this is the voice that tried to whisper sweet nothings in her ear whilst raping and torturing her body.
~The storyline for Last Witness~
With William Bantling (the killer called 'Cupid) on death row, time is running short for him, and he decides to appeal against his sentence on a technicality that wasn't disclosed in his original court trial. But soon, cops are being murdered and only C.J. realises the link between them. Four people who knew about the technicality, three of them dead and only one last surviving witness - C.J. Will C.J, do the right thing this time, or will her time be up before she can reach the stand? And more importantly, who wants Cupid to die so much that they are willing to horrifically kill three cops?
Again, this was a great book, but this time it wasn't as predictable as her first novel, Retribution. Even though Hoffman talks about her first novel in this story (as the books follow on from each other), you do really need to read Retribution before starting this one, as otherwise some things won't make much sense.
As with her first novel, you really start to care for the characters very early on in the book, and I found myself wishing that all the main characters will be OK and safe.
This was yet another gripping book by Hoffman, and she will certainly be on my list of authors of more books to read, when she writes them that is!
I am not going to write about the way Hoffman makes me feel when I read her book as I will be repeating myself from my Retribution review, so if you do want to know, I'm sorry but you will have to look at the review!
This book is going to get 5/5 dooyoo stars from me as it was not as predictable as her previous book. All-in-all, Hoffman is a brilliant author, and for anyone who likes crime and thriller books then I think you should give her books a go.