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The Witness: A Novel Paperback – July 31, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Dunham Books; 1 edition (July 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985135921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985135928
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,779,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Naomi Morehead Kryske is a Texas native who grew up in Houston and graduated from Rice University with a Bachelor's Degree in political science. She is an active member of the Churchill Centre/International Churchill Society, including serving as co-chair for the 1987 Annual Conference. She was also a speechwriter and coach for her husband, Larry, when he was Commanding Officer of Naval Station Pascagoula. In 2008 she was awarded a grant from the Melissa English Writing Trust for The Witness.

More About the Author

Two flags best describe Naomi Kryske: the Lone Star flag of Texas, where she was born, and the Union Jack of Great Britain, where her work came to fruition. And she feels equally comfortable with both.

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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I look forward to the next book!
Eclectic Reader
The heroine goes from pain to shame and blame, and then to acclaiming a strong faith in a Supreme Being!
Babs
Once I started reading it, I could not put it down.
G. J. Bowen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Wilkin on October 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Witness is an amazing story of a woman who survives a brutal attack and the police unit that protects her while the attacker's trial proceeds. It follows the course of the investigation, trial and conviction of a serial killer and presents a detailed view of the struggles of the victim to overcome shock and recover from the effects of the attack and later the grueling trial. It is a true-to-life, accurate look into the techniques used to successfully prosecute such heinous crimes and the effects on the police who have to deal with these crimes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Babs on September 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a powerful narrative of pain, shame, blame and acclaim! The heroine goes from pain to shame and blame, and then to acclaiming a strong faith in a Supreme Being! Because of the loving and caring attention she receives from some unlikely friends and protectors, the victim is able to draw courage and strength to perform a most uncomfortable and stressful part as a witness to a horrible crime. Excellent reading and surprising ending.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Martha M. on June 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was a surprise find. I am usually bored by legal dramas, but this was fascinating. There was old-fashioned suspense - would the bad guy be arrested, convicted, etc. - that is more or less standard. But the psychological suspense and drama was absolutely gripping. The story of a woman recovering from severe trauma was neither romanticized nor sensationalized. Instead the author gave us a realistic and compassionate account that draws the reader in. This is a multidimensional view that engaged the brain as well as the emotions and gave me insight into the difficultly of recovering from trauma. We also see into the minds and hearts of those who are helping her, which makes the reader feel like a part of the team that surrounds the main character.

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Black Urias on January 25, 2014
Format: Paperback
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. Interesting information on the UK justice system, thought provoking moral questions and characters worth meeting again made this a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Oliver Axtell on September 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of those books that compels you to finish it, once you become involved. Love and mystery blend in tense moments,. Worth the read, especially for those who love watching the good guys put down the bad guys.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mkelly54 on May 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
By Mark H. Kelly
Jasper, TN

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."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Leafs and Bounds on January 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nothing like starting 2013 out with a BANG! I loved this book--it was brilliant!

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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Koda on December 27, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Jenny may have been young and innocent, but her head strong Texas roots were evident as the story progressed. I thought the book dealt with the cycle of emotions and test of faith as if the author had experienced the horrific trauma herself. The pain, the fear, the guilt, the anger and the anxiety to just get back to "normal" were all there. Touches of humor made it real too.

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!
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