Book Reviews

False Witness by Karin Slaughter – Book Review

An audiobook cover of False Witness by Karin Slaughter opened on a phone

Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))

False Witness by Karin Slaughter – Book Details

TITLE – False Witness

AUTHOR – Karin Slaughter

GENREthriller, suspense, contemporary



MY RATING – 4 of 5


A huge thank you to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for providing me with an audiobook version of False Witness by Karin Slaughter in exchange for an honest review.

What It Is About

Leigh Coulton is a successful defense attorney. Her private life has seen better days, but also some much, much worse.

But then she gets a new case and her client is someone she knew 20 years ago. And he knows things about her that she desperately wants to leave buried in the past.

It soon becomes clear that it was not a coincidence he chose her as his defender. He has a plan that more and more starts to look like a game of cat and mouse.

But how far will Leigh be willing to go to preserve a life she’s been building for the past two decades?

False Witness by Karin Slaughter – My Review

“He saw what you did. He knows who you are.”

I mean, if that tagline doesn’t tickle your imagination, luring you to peek into the book, I don’t know what will.

This is the second book by Karin Slaughter I am reading. The first one was The Good Daughter, I also happened to listen to it as an audiobook.

More than anything else, I remember I thought it was really well written. Even though it contained one of my least favorite mystery/thriller tropes, it was exciting, full of twists and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

I also remember it was one of those dark, heavy thrillers that are not the easiest things to read. I was kind of trying to stay away from them lately – why do it to myself?

But, they certainly have their alluring twisted charm. So when I got an opportunity to read an early copy of Slaughter’s newest book, I just couldn’t pass on it.

False Witness was one of those gripping thrillers that can make your heart beat faster. The stakes were so high, I just had to keep turning the pages, see what’s gonna happen next.

The plot was complex. The trigger warnings too many to list here. The story was very graphic, very violent and very gruesome, not at all for the faint of heart.

No doubt there’s a lot of quality in Slaughter’s writing. But it’s not easy to be objective when the story itself is not exactly something I would fully enjoy even under the best circumstances.

The client, Andrew Tenant – he gave me all the creeps. He was calculated and manipulative and there were many very suggestive evidence against him. But most of all – he just didn’t care. It was all a game to him, and how do you deal with someone who is not afraid of losing anything?

Being in a position Leigh found herself in must be one of the scariest things in the world, because you can’t win on your own and you can’t ask for official help. Those parts freaked me out the most. I kept thinking what I would do in her place, and the answer is – I have no idea!

I loved how complex all the relationships in this book were. Leigh and her husband Walter, Leigh and Callie, Leigh and Andrew, Andrew and his fiancée, Leigh and Maddie, Callie and Maddie… This book made me very emotional in a few instances.

I especially liked how Slaughter handled the relationship between the sisters. That part was so emotional, and frustrating, and heartbreaking, and terrifying, and full of love, warmth and sacrifice. It made me think a lot.

Nothing was ever black and white. Every time I thought I had it figured out, I was given something else to count in.

Karin Slaughter’s stories have a realistic, believable note to them. The setting, the characters, the slow downfall, the actions and consequences… It all felt so real to me.

Even the impact of the pandemic and everyday safeguarding procedures – those parts were ever present but not predominant. They almost made me feel like I was there.

And the ending – it wasn’t quite unexpected, but it still took me by surprise a bit. It struck the right chord on several levels, so… Yeah, I was pretty happy with it.

One thing I didn’t like, though, was that Slaughter kind of repeated the trope that I didn’t like in The Good Daughter. Something very similar happened again, and I don’t know if that’s her thing, or it was a coincidence that I’ve picked up her exact two books that have the same thing going on.

But other than that, her writing style is undeniably great. And her stories are very intense. They don’t offer much in terms of mystery, but they sure can put you on the edge of your seat.

There were many heavy topics discussed in this book. A long lasting impact of trauma. Sexual, physical and emotional abuse. Addiction. Violence. Pedophilia. The way a traumatic childhood can be such a huge part of who you are as an adult. And of course – murder.

These are not clean, straightforward issues. They are messy. And painful. They are not meant to let you leave happy and satisfied.

If you already are a Karin Slaughter fan, I’m sure you will love False Witness. If you’ve never read her books before but love dark, gruesome thrillers, give this one a go, you will not regret it.

However, if you don’t want a story that gets very unpleasant and distressing at times, or you just prefer lighter reads, then I’d say skip this one. This book doesn’t stay shy from any and all horrors that can happen to girls and women if they stray to the wrong people’s path.

I usually prefer lighter thrillers, but I often get in the mood for something intense that can quicken my heart rate. And False Witness by Karin Slaughter was just perfect for that kind of occasion.

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