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THE ONLY WITNESS (The Neema Mystery Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Pamela Beason
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
You Save: $9.96 (71%)

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Book Description


Seventeen-year-old Brittany Morgan dashed into the store for just a minute, leaving her sleeping baby in the car. Now Ivy’s gone and half the town believes Brittany murdered her daughter.

Detective Matthew Finn, a big-city fish out of water in small-town Evansburg, Washington, struggles with his wife’s betrayal as he investigates Ivy Morgan's disappearance. The clock is ticking and he can't find any witnesses.

Imaginative, manipulative, and volatile, with the intelligence of a five-year-old child, Neema cannot speak, but she knows enough sign language to invent jokes and insults. She can also hurl a grown man across the room. Neema is a gorilla.

After a psycho murdered one of her “talking” gorillas in Seattle, Dr. Grace McKenna relocated to the Evansburg area. Now with the economy on the rocks and her funding cut, her beloved gorillas Neema and Gumu are in jeopardy. When Neema repeats a story of a crying baby, a cucumber car, and a snake, Grace realizes her gorilla is the only witness to whatever happened to baby Ivy.

Does Grace dare go public with Neema’s sketchy clues? Can she afford not to?

Editorial Reviews


"Wading into controversial themes, this rollicking thriller touches on human trafficking, teen pregnancy, and the role of animals in the lives of people." - Publishers Weekly

"Neema knows how to negotiate for a banana and steal your heart while doing it...a marvel of story-telling" - GRAND PRIZE WINNER - Chanticleer Book Reviews Blue Ribbon Contest

What readers are saying:
   "Great read for book clubs!"
    "This story grabbed me from the first chapter..."
    "The premise of this book is genius..."
    "...Even with a gorilla in the mix, it seemed much more realistic than most books these days..."
    "What an amazing plot, and it could really happen..."
    "Is there a sequel?...I want to go back to Evansburg."
   "A great story filled with great characters"

From the Author

As a private investigator, I have been involved in a few cases in which very young children provided crucial testimony.  I am also a lifelong animal lover and read everything there is relating to animal intelligence.  So when I learned that a gorilla has the IQ of a 5-year-old human child, I got to thinking...what if a gorilla that communicated in sign language was the only witness to a major crime? The communication skills and behavior of Neema and her mate Gumu are based on research studies I have read about the capabilities and behavior of Koko (a signing gorilla) and various chimpanzees who have been taught sign language.

I did not originally intend THE ONLY WITNESS to be part of a series, but because readers have expressed a lot of enthusiasm for Neema, I have now published a sequel, THE ONLY CLUE, and have a third book (and three gorillas) romping around inside my brain.

Product Details

  • File Size: 586 KB
  • Print Length: 314 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0979876869
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: WildWing Press (January 19, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004WOX12O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,188 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story - wonderful heros June 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This story grabbed me from the first chapter where the perspective is from the gorilla witnessing the crime. I love stories that include the animals and wildlife but this story goes beyond to not only bridge the gap by including gorilla sign language but also shows how the gorilla is still a very large, mostly wild animal. I know the 16 year girl isn't the best mom but I liked her humanity, drive, and reality of the situation. My heart ached for her.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The anguish feels real! June 10, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Engaging story!
Can you imagine your infant daughter vanishing into thin air and half the town believing you'd murdered her? That's what the teen mom in this story has to go through. The stakes are high, the characters are believable, and you'll race through the pages to find that moment when the players will put the odd clues together to find baby Ivy.
Hard to put down, loved it!
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder or kidnapping? June 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
That's the question in Detective Finn's mind when an infant disappears from a car. He can't find any real clues and everyone is hounding him to solve the case when an anonymous tip finally comes in. After he tracks down the tipster, he's more frazzled than ever. Can a tip from a gorilla about a cucumber car and a snake really help to solve the case? Very unusual story, well told from multiple points of view.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hip and socially relevant who-done-it November 1, 2012
Seventeen -year-old Brittany Morgan's infant daughter was taken from her car--an apparent kidnapping. Brittany's young mind is quaking in attacks of hope, fear, guilt and desperation. Why would anyone take little Ivy from her? Where can Ivy be by now? Is she being held for ransom? Is she still alive?

Detective Matt Finn hopes so. As a recent transplant from the mean streets of Chicago, where experience taught him to expect the worst, to the relative innocence of a small town in the Pacific Northwest, where everyone already has an Ivy-fate theory, he knows that this investigation is not going to go smoothly. His clue file is empty and the clock is his enemy. If only he could find a witness to the crime! Well, Dr. Grace McKenna over at the "Talking Hands Ranch" just left what she hopes was an anonymous tip that might be able to help the investigation. It seems that one of her charges witnessed the snatching of baby Ivy.

In "The Only Witness" author Pamela Beason employs knowing doses of drama, humor, adventure and romance to polish her clever premise into a sparkling jewel; a friendly persuasion of plot and character development that maintains a high level of reader interest and fascination.

Beason's linguistic skills are evident in the often endearing scenes in which Dr. McKenna is patiently trying to coax some useful testimony from the agitated Neema who has a story to tell. Neema is the endearing gorilla that Dr. McKenna is teaching sign language to at Talking Hands Ranch. She is a dangerously strong and potentially aggressive "witness" with the IQ and attention span of a human five-year-old. Nevertheless, Neema knows how to negotiate for a banana and steal your heart while doing it.
Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read April 26, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The premise of this book is genius - a signing gorilla as the only witness to a kidnapping. It's intriguing to explore the capabilities and emotions of a signing ape. And the other characters in this book are equally interesting, genuine, and fun to get to know. This book was hard to put down. The story woven by Ms. Beason is spellbinding and brilliant. I highly recommend this book and any others written by this author.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended Read June 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
There's nothing like trying to do a difficult job when everyone's watching you. I sympathized with Detective Matthew Finn, an outsider and the subject of much gossip in a small town, as he struggled first to sort out whether he was investigating a murder or a kidnapping, and then was faced with the dilemma of a lone eyewitness who was not human. The scenes where he meets and interviews the gorilla are priceless!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hooked me from the start May 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From page one of Pamela Beason's The Only Witness, I was hooked. So inside the head of a sixteen-year-old mom, Beason starts out with a loving but immature girl who leaves her baby in a carseat while she runs in to get diapers. Next to the girl's car is a van with dark windows, and inside a signing gorilla who witnesses what comes next.

I look forward to reading more from this author. She's a storyteller with unique and twisting plots.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars just a touch of fantasy December 9, 2013
By Miff
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Many sub plots made this book special love the interaction with the cats and his dog as he comes to like his pets. I would have liked an ending that was not quite as predictable.
However I will look forward to a taste of Pamela's later novels?
Good read
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars this is a really great read !
I really enjoyed this book .Very readable,plausible,and very well orchestrated. This mystery part was engaging, the gorilla part realistic and the teenage girl realistic.
Published 1 day ago by syl
4.0 out of 5 stars I got this book because I have always been interested ...
I got this book because I have always been interested in the research about teaching various kinds of apes to communicate using sign language. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Red Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I love animal story's and this one seems so real. The author did a great job making the story realistic.
Published 17 days ago by J. F. Shealey
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
This book was enjoyable to read. A little predictable, but entertaining.
Published 20 days ago by WAYNE S.
4.0 out of 5 stars Likeable Mystery
This is quite a different mystery but enjoyable and a quick read. There has been much research on gorillas and other primates and their ability to communicate so it was a pleasure... Read more
Published 1 month ago by wtf123045
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful, heartwarming story
This book has everything, mystery,intrigue, romance, humor, and much more. If you're an animal lover, you're sure to enjoy reading The Only Witness.
Published 1 month ago by jacquelyn Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
Enjoyed this book. Loved the characters especially Neema the signing gorilla. I would highly recommend this book especially if you love animals.
Published 1 month ago by Avid Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting and heartwarming read!
A fascinating tale of our relationships with gorillas and how their intelligence is denied by so many who think that only man is capable of reasoning and compassion. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mary
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Wonderful. Now reading second book!
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars An Animal Lovers Dream
A child is abducted. Is the mother as guilty as she seems?
All the evidence doesn't add up.
Only one person knows for sure, and she isn't talking. Or is she? Read more
Published 1 month ago by CyberChic
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More About the Author

Pamela Beason lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes novels and screenplays and works as a private investigator. When she's not on the job, she explores the natural world on foot, in cross-country skis, in her kayak, or underwater scuba diving.

Pam is the author of seven full-length fiction works: THE ONLY WITNESS (1st of the Neema mystery series and Grand Prize winner in the Chanticleer Book Reviews Contest), THE ONLY CLUE (2nd of the Neema mystery series), ENDANGERED (1st in Summer Westin eco-mystery series), BEAR BAIT (2nd in Summer Westin series and winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award), and UNDERCURRENTS (3rd in the Summer Westin series), SHAKEN (1st of the Langston Green romantic series), and CALL OF THE JAGUAR. She also wrote the nonfiction titles SAVE YOUR MONEY, YOUR SANITY, AND OUR PLANET and SO YOU WANT TO BE A PI? She is currently finishing a new YA adventure novel and a sequel to SHAKEN.

As an avid nature and animal lover, Pam challenges the human assumption that we are the superior species. Each of her titles takes readers on an adventure while reminding us that drifting through life is not enough; you have to live it.

Pamela Beason blogs and tweets about writing, outdoor adventures, and the value of being present in the moment. She looks forward to connecting with readers on her Twitter, Goodreads Page or Blog.

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