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The Witness: A Novel Paperback – July 31, 2012
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About the Author
Naomi Kryske graduated from Rice University, Houston, Texas. Following her husband’s retirement from the U.S. Navy, she lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast until 2005, when Hurricane Katrina destroyed their home. The Mission is the second of her crime/suspense novels set in London, involving the Metropolitan Police, and exploring the themes of trauma and recovery. In 2008 she ward awarded a grant from the Melissa English Writing Trust for her first novel, The Witness. She lives in north Texas.
More About the Author
Naomi Kryske lived just outside incorporated Houston while growing up, in a neighborhood where people felt no need to lock their doors and there was room for a stable (with a four-legged occupant!) in the back yard. Following her graduation from Rice University, she worked for a time in the advertising industry. (Her major, political science, equipped her to be a good citizen but didn't lead to career employment.)
Following her marriage, she lived in Dallas, raised two sons, attended operatic performances, and covered the inside of the kitchen cabinet doors with Italian vocabulary words and phrases. She read while waiting in the carpool line. She propped a novel in the cookbook holder to read while stirring soup. She devoured biographies, literary fiction, mysteries, poetry, and anything else well written, including issues of The New Yorker. In the middle of the night, she wrote chapters for spy novels.
Remarriage made her a Navy wife and stepmother and exposed her to the periodic moves that are the blessing and the bane of military families. Her husband, Larry's, final posting was as Commanding Officer of Naval Station Pascagoula, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. During their twelve years there, they shared the anxiety of other Coast residents during hurricane season, evacuating several times in advance of the arrival of forecasted storms.
So many Gulf Coast residents evacuated before Hurricane Ivan, in September, 2004, that the vehicles on the highways appeared to merge into one long brightly-colored and multi-wheeled stationary conveyance. Because the road meandered through primarily rural areas, radio channels held nothing but static. Imagination kept Naomi sane, and when she arrived in Dallas after more than twenty hours behind the wheel (a drive of less than eight hours on a normal day), she had the beginnings of a charming, traditional British detective story to record, complete with Scotland Yard detectives and Crown prosecutors.
Hurricane Katrina, in August, 2005, changed everything. The devastation was widespread, with entire communities obliterated and her home flooded, torn, and unlivable. Her shock, despair, and traumatic stress gave her insight into what the victim in her detective story would suffer. Hence her detective story and psychological trauma married, creating an intense crime/suspense novel with a twist: attention would be paid, not only to the procedures followed by police, but also to the emotional and physical struggles the victim of violence would encounter. Clues for real recovery would be revealed as the story unfolded.
Thus was born The Witness, the first of a series of novels set in London, involving the Metropolitan Police, and exploring the themes of trauma and recovery. Research trips happily necessitated traveling to London repeatedly, where she met with active and retired officers from the Metropolitan Police Service, questioned a Crown Prosecution Service solicitor about the judicial process, witnessed several Crown Court trials, absorbed London's sights and sounds, and accustomed her ear to the cadence of the Queen's English.
Following each journey, she returned to north Texas, where she and her husband became permanent residents. They are now members of Spring Valley United Methodist Church. Naomi sings in the Chancel Choir and is an active Stephen Minister. She shares her home with two cats, Big Ben and Clemmie, and a rabbit, the only Bentley she will ever own.
Top Customer Reviews
I was also fascinated by the portrayal of the British legal system. Clearly the author has done her homework and gives us enough detail to enable us to understand what is happening and why it would seem so strange to an American, without overwhelming us with so much detail that we get lost! (I've had that complaint about other books.)
This is the first of a trilogy. I can only hope that the next book will be quickly forthcoming! I want more of these characters.
You will probably not have heard of Naomi Kryske before reading this novel. But once you do, you will want more as well.
One of the true treasures of the digital age is uncovering little known and extremely talented novelists on author and e-book websites. Such is the case of Naomi Kryske and her triumphant legal drama, "The Witness."
Searching for a new read, I saw the title, opened the link and was instantly hooked.
Backed by vast research, readers are drawn into the world of American graduate student, Jenny Jeffries, who suffers a near-fatal abduction and rape in London. Physical and emotional trauma become the norm for the young woman who must replay the details of the crime to the police and legal community, while remaining in hiding as the suspect, with his social standing and wealth, is an omnipresent adversary worthy of Dickens, Conan Doyle and Charles Palliser's, "The Quincunx."
Leading and coaxing Jenny from her fragile existence is Detective Chef Inspector Colin Sinclair, a hyper-experienced and kind soul, who balances the requirements of his profession with the knowledge that his victim's psyche is fragile beyond comprehension.
With rare acumen for character development, pacing and plot twists, Kryske's "The Witness" is an instant classic. I can't wait to read her other works, "The Mission," and "The Hostage."
The characters we're meaningful, relatable and the storyline intense.
I'm always grateful for authors like Kryske who really explore both the psychological and physical side of the protagonists trauma. I loved being witness to Jenny's continual character development through out the book. The book was descriptive, but no overly so, and supporting characters were well written. Nothing was sugar coated or wrapped in a nice box with a shinny ribbon. It was brutal, sad, it made me angry, it made me laugh, I felt dispair and helplessness, but I also felt triumph and love.
Bring on 'The Mission' the next book in what feels to be a great series!
I liked that the author wasn't afraid to deal with the test of faith and how that plays in to trauma. I believe faith comes in to play when anyone is faced with uncontrollable pain and fear and the author did a very good job of illustrating it without pushing it.
The story was very moving and I look forward to the next one in this series!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was with Jenny all the way. Good insight into what a witness must go through while seeking justice.Published 5 months ago by theauntfarm
Absolutely excellent. Can't wait for another from this author.Published 10 months ago by Madeline L.
A great fictional story of faith, detection, protection, and personal recovery written from a woman's perspective but readable and enjoyable by both genders. Read morePublished 15 months ago by John H. King
The plot idea is good but the writing style is not to my taste and the author tends to get "preachy" in many spots.Published 19 months ago by Grandma A
If you have ever been raped, or know someone who has, this book may appeal to you. For me there were far too many tears, too many details, and it seemed to take forever to get to... Read morePublished on February 1, 2014 by Carol Allen Anfinsen
The Witness was the type of book that keeps you up past your bedtime because you can't bear to put it down and turn out the light. Read morePublished on January 25, 2014 by Catherine Black Urias
One of those books that compels you to finish it, once you become involved. Love and mystery blend in tense moments,. Read morePublished on September 11, 2013 by Oliver Axtell
A very well written book, indeed; although there were several misspellings and incomplete sentences throughout the book. Read morePublished on November 21, 2012 by Plano reader