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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A meticulously constructed, emotionally powerful thriller
Josie Baylor-Bates had given up her lucrative criminal defense practice some years ago, after a former client, one she successfully defended on a murder charge, turned around and killed her own children. She retreated to the small community of Hermosa Beach and a nice and quiet little law practice. Then a former college roommate asked her to defend her daughter, a...
Published on February 26, 2005 by Daniel Jolley

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining
silent witness is the second of a series for the "adventures of josie bates."

for me, the first installment was more fun to read, but that's not to say that this one is that bad.

halfway through the book, an idea popped into my mind as to who probably is the "culprit." and i was right. but in spite of that, i held on and i was still happy with how...
Published on June 7, 2012 by Amazon Customer


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72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A meticulously constructed, emotionally powerful thriller, February 26, 2005
Josie Baylor-Bates had given up her lucrative criminal defense practice some years ago, after a former client, one she successfully defended on a murder charge, turned around and killed her own children. She retreated to the small community of Hermosa Beach and a nice and quiet little law practice. Then a former college roommate asked her to defend her daughter, a troubled teen accused of killing her step-grandfather, a justice on the California Supreme Court. That case, the subject of Forster's previous novel Hostile Witness, took a lot out of Josie and changed her life in many ways; she might not have gotten through the ordeal at all without the support of her ex-cop lover Archer. Now she stands to lose Archer, as Silent Witness opens with his arrest for the murder of Timothy Wren, his physically and mentally handicapped step-son, two years ago.

Josie now learns that there is a lot about Archer that she never knew. She knew he had been married before and that his wife had died of cancer, but the man she loves had never mentioned his wife's son or described the horrible manner of his death - a fall from an amusement park ride at nearby Pacific Park. He is less than forthcoming about the incident now, despite the murder charge hanging over his head. Josie, of course, insists on defending him, even when he says he doesn't want her help. Her plans for getting the charges dropped before the case goes to court are pretty much dashed when she views security camera footage from the park that shows Archer making a movement toward Tim just before he fell to his death. All of the self-doubts that have plagued her since her mother abandoned her at thirteen threaten to come to the fore as she struggles to formulate a defense and battle the twinges of doubt over Archer's guilt that sometimes pop up as the evidence seems to mount against her lover and client. She knows the case is much too personal for her, but she cannot trust anyone else with Archer's very life on the line. Archer isn't a big help, keeping information from her and doing a few really stupid things that an ex-cop should know better than to do in a situation such as his.

Josie steels herself to be Archer's lawyer first and foremost, even if it means losing Archer from her life when everything is said and done and the courtroom drama brought to an end. She is sure that the amusement park is hiding something. The charge against Archer only came out after Timothy's natural father, the man who had abandoned his own son and wife a decade earlier, sued the park for damages in relation to his son's death. Colin Wren, for his part, is something of a sinister character who soon casts his ire upon Archer, but Wren's attorney, Jude Getts, proves to be a big asset to Josie and her case. A number of additional fascinating characters weave their way through the story in memorable and oftentimes mysterious ways.

I have to say that, while I think this novel is just terrific, I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Hostile Witness - largely because the defendant in this case, Archer, is so hostile and secretive throughout his ordeal that he makes Josie's job even harder than it already is. Hannah Sheraton, who is now living with Josie and trying to put her tragic young life back together, was a very sympathetic character in Hostile Witness, but Archer is not - especially in terms of his rigid and in some ways heartless feelings toward the step-son he never wanted and never loved. Certainly, the pain dredged up over the tragic fate of Tim and the premature loss of his beloved wife Lexi are touching, but he's a hard man to really like. Additionally, the mystery of what really happened at Pacific Park on that fateful day doesn't leave room for the sorts of conundrums that wound their way through every page of Hostile Witness. That being said, the novel really goes into overdrive the final one hundred pages and closes with a real bang.

Legal thriller fans should find themselves entranced by this novel. Forster has amazing skill at breathing real life into her characters, including both the good and bad inside each of them, and she is meticulous at leaving no loose ends hanging from the story she weaves. Nor does she give anything away too early, keeping readers alert and guessing until the end. It's a winning formula sure to impress and fascinate fans of legal thrillers.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, must read and must have novel!!, February 3, 2005
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Do not pass this book up!!!! Not only is this book a MUST read, it MUST be on your shelf at home! Once again, Rebecca Forster has captivated her audience with an intricate attention to detail, perfection in development of characters and essential qualities in a plot making this novel a riveting legal thriller.

Silent Witness is the second addition to Forster's series, and this incredible page turning novel will keep you in suspense with surprising twists in the plot; you can not help but be taken with the characters. This story about love, strength, work, personal, law, passion, honesty, integrity, trust, devotion, hard choices and secrets will leave you wanting more!! I can not wait for Privileged Witness. This author is amazing, and blessed with a creative gift.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally enthralling, December 9, 2004
Defense attorney Josie Baylor-Bates has taken troubled teen Hannah into her home after the girl's mother was found guilty of murder. While the two females adjust, Josie's lover, retired detective and practicing private investigator Archer is arrested for killing his mentally challenged stepson Tim two years ago in the Pacific Park amusement park while they and his dying wife rode the Shock and Pop together.

A video shows Archer making what could be a threatening move towards Tim. Ironically, Tim's biological father bailed Archer out of prison because he needs the truth to support his civil suit against Pacific Park. Evidence at the preliminary hearing binds Arch for trial; Josie needs a miracle to prove her lover is innocent of first degree murder.

Rebecca Forster's latest legal procedural is a thrilling courtroom and investigative drama in which Josie has doubts that she should represent her lover as she is too personally involved, but refuses to trust anyone else with his life. She also learns more than she ever wants to know about Archer in the course of her efforts to defend him. The investigative scenes are fascinating as Josie gathers evidence from witnesses that she uses at the trial to make the case that Archer had no motive to kill the child of the woman he loved. SILENT WITNESS is totally enthralling.

Harriet Klausner
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars love this book, worth the read, January 31, 2011
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This review is from: SILENT WITNESS (Thriller/legal thriller): A Josie Bates Thriller (The Witness Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
After reading hostile witness I just kept on going by reading silent witness. A tip: don't start this book before reading hostile witness (like I did) because it wil tell you things you don't want to know about the first book (hostile witness). I really enjoyes reading the book and thinking about different plotts or routes the writer could follow in this story but still was surpriced in the end.
I was again plesantly surpriced by the way the caracters are described and how close you are going to feel to them while reading.
One warning though: you're not going to be very social while reading this book because it is almost impossible to put it down. I made me read till two in the morning and for every free second I got during the day. Can't wait to read the next book in the series.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another great read by Rebecca Forster - 4/12 stars, September 21, 2010
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This review is from: SILENT WITNESS (Thriller/legal thriller): A Josie Bates Thriller (The Witness Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Los Angeles author, Rebecca Forster, has created yet another well-crafted legal thriller in `Silent Witness - (The Witness Series).

This title is the second of three in The Witness Series. Protagonist, Josie Baylor-Bates is still living at beachside Hermosa Beach and is now guardian to troubled teen, Hannah Sheraton, introduced to readers in the series' first title: Hostile Witness. Hannah's presence is creating tension in the relationship between Archer and Josie when the novel opens, but this issue fades in significance when Archer is charged with the murder of his step-son and Josie steps in to defend him.

What's interesting about `Silent Witness' is how Forster balances the telling of a typical legal drama with an exploration of the emotional vulnerabilities of the story's main characters, Josie and Archer. The character of Hannah takes a necessary backseat in this title and at first, I wasn't comfortable with that - I wanted her to have a more significant role after getting to know her so well in Forster's `Hostile'. But, by the time I finished the novel I felt the author had portrayed the relationship between Josie and Hannah realistically, given the circumstances of the storyline.

Like `Hostile Witness', there are some interesting minor characters in this novel. For example, the character of plaintiffs' attorney, Jude Getts, is believable and created with appropriate depth to act as a foil to that of the character of Archer, allowing Forster (and her readers) to explore the stress of Archer's imprisonment on his and Josie's relationship.

Overall, the plot of this novel is well constructed. The orientation quickly draws readers in and events lead logically to an unexpected conclusion. However, I felt the ending came too quickly, even though the denouement is fully explained. There were also occasional formatting issues, but these did not detract from an otherwise highly enjoyable read.

Well worth downloading if you enjoy character-driven dramas.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, February 6, 2010
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Rebecca Forster has done a masterful job with Silent Witness. The plot was intriguing and kept me turning pages into the wee hours. The characters were well-drawn and fully developed--full of contradictions just like real people.

Attorney Josie Baylor-Bates has to defend her boyfriend Archer from a murder charge. To add to the conflict, Archer isn't terribly cooperative. He admits he considered the victim (his mentally handicapped stepson Timothy) a burden. Archer, apparently under the impression that a real man shouldn't sugar coat the facts, freely admits his feelings about the boy. Now the police know he has a powerful personal motive along with a financial motive. Things don't look good for Archer and the situation gets a lot worse when he lets his temper get the best of him while questioning a witness.

There are a few police station and court scenes that seemed completely authentic, but most of the action took place elsewhere as Josie worked to free Archer. In the process she learned more about him and wondered why he'd never revealed himself to her. Could the man she cares so much for actually be guilty? Josie has to come to grips with her feelings and be brutally honest with herself in order to do her best for her client. As she digs into his past and that of his deceased first wife she learns a truth that will tear Archer apart at the same time that it sets him free.

Highly recommended. I will definitely read more of Ms. Forster's books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel, May 15, 2005
Sequels not as good as the original? Well, here's a case that sometimes they can be just as good if not better. I found Silent Witness to be slow in the beginning, as the characters and puzzle pieces were introduced, but once the action started.... let's just say I had to cancel a date and she wasn't happy. The shocking sucker-punch ending is better than anything Mickey Spillane, the king of shocker endings, ever cooked up, and the ramifications of such a revelation are discussed with an no-holds-barred honesty not often found in genre fiction. In other words, there are no easy answers and Rebecca Forster isn't afraid to say so. Silent Witness. Grab it. Read it. Love it. Buy the next episode....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relentless tension - you won't want to stop reading!, January 26, 2010
This review is from: SILENT WITNESS (Thriller/legal thriller): A Josie Bates Thriller (The Witness Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
Josie Baylor-Bates is back and this time her boyfriend, Archer is accused of killing his handicapped step-son. Besides dealing with the emotion of defending Archer, Josie has Arthur's deceased wife's ex-husband adding intrigue and tension. On the homefront, she is again confronted with mother/daughter issues because Hannah, the troubled teen from 'Hostile Witness' has been placed in her care. Rebecca Forster is masterful in creating legal thrillers that transcend the genre and deal with relationships on many different levels. Add to that the twists and turns that will surprise the most concientious reader and you've got a book you won't be able to put down. Download this one - you won't be disappointed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars entertaining, June 7, 2012
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Amazon Customer (Makati, Philippines) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: SILENT WITNESS (Thriller/legal thriller): A Josie Bates Thriller (The Witness Series Book 2) (Kindle Edition)
silent witness is the second of a series for the "adventures of josie bates."

for me, the first installment was more fun to read, but that's not to say that this one is that bad.

halfway through the book, an idea popped into my mind as to who probably is the "culprit." and i was right. but in spite of that, i held on and i was still happy with how things turned out.

as with the first book, typos were scattered throughout the book coupled with the need for some editing.

still, i was able to get the story and will still be reading the next two.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars keeps you reading!, May 6, 2005
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Rebecca Brown "rebeccasreads" (Clallam Bay, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Rebeccasreads recommends SILENT WITNESS as a humdinger of a thriller with lots of emotional twists & legal turns!

While Rebecca Forster's characters are rough & passionate, they are almost incoherent & I found myself growling to have Archer & Josie say something straight-up & complete. & Archer really, really needs some therapy, sorry, Big Guy, it isn't as bad as you think!

Thank the stars, attorneys can speak whole thoughts all the way through. Everyone mostly comes off as the genuine article, with all the flaws of greed, deception, arrogance, neediness, stupidity, stubbornness & faint-heartedness, along with the pathos of people learning to trust, love & make whole lives out of their fragmented hearts.

A satisfying evening's read! I certainly want to catch up with her first legal thriller HOSTILE WITNESS.
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