Review | False Witness – Karin Slaughter

At the end of 2022 I got back to reading one of my absolute favorite writers; Karin Slaughter. For me there is no better adult thriller writer and I have been a fan for about 15 years now. So I’m trying to make my way through the unread books I still had and today I want to talk about False Witness. Let’s jump in!

Review | False Witness – Karin Slaughter

Leigh Coulton has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She has a good job as a defence attorney, a daughter doing well in school, and even her divorce is relatively civilised - her life is just as unremarkable as she'd always hoped it would be.
But Leigh's ordinary life masks a childhood which was far from average... a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, and finally torn apart by a devastating act of violence.
Then a case lands on her desk - defending a wealthy man accused of rape. It's the highest profile case she's ever been given - a case which could transform her career, if she wins. But when she meets the accused, she realises that it's no coincidence that he's chosen her as his attorney. She knows him. And he knows her. More to the point, he knows what happened twenty years ago, and why Leigh has spent two decades running.
If she can't get him acquitted, she'll lose much more than the case. The only person who can help her is her younger, estranged sister Calli, the last person Leigh would ever want to ask for help. But suddenly she has no choice...

False Witness by Karin Slaughter
Published by William Morrow on 20/07/2021
Pages: 440

False Witness is one of Karin Slaughter’s standalone novels and like a lot of her books there is a sister bond at the centre of the story. At the start of the book these sisters are estranged but something happens and of course they have to come together to solve this problem.

“Even this far into the game, Leigh was always surprised by how fantastic it was to be a white, wealthy man.”

Karin Slaughter’s books are usually extremely brutal but I thought this one was a little less brutal. I’m not sure if it actually was or if I was just numbed a bit by reading that many brutal books in a row haha. The start was somewhat shocking, and I’m not sure if I missed a first clue or something but once I hear a certain sentence I did a double take haha. I loved the start of the novel, it was really good and I basically couldn’t put it down after that. This was like a two day listen for me.

“That was how it was with abusive parents. They only remembered the good times and you only remembered the bad.”

We are reading from the perspective of a lawyer this time, kind of like with The Good Daughter. I have no idea if it is at all accurate but it sounded pretty good. We do only see the one case this is all about but it was still interesting. While our one main character is a lawyer, her sister lives a totally different live. I liked our main characters a lot. They were definitely flawed but I was rooting for them so hard. We got some plot twists I didn’t see coming and throughout the story I was hoping for a very happy ending.

“Everybody thought that history was like a book with a beginning, a middle, and an end. That’s not how it worked. Real life was all middle.”

Normally there are no time indicators in Karin Slaughter’s books but this one was different. It’s set in the corona pandemic and has really specific time indicators. There are still masks and there are vaccines. She talks about why she choose to do this in her authors’ note and I thought it was very interesting. I wasn’t bothered by it at all but I do understand why it might turn some people off. Which is unfortunate because I really enjoyed this book! It’s hard picking favorites when you’ve read 22 books by an author, but this one is really up there.

Do you read adult thrillers? Have you read Karin Slaughter before? And have you read this one? I would love to hear your thoughts! Was this one less brutal or was that just me?

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