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Publisher's Summary

A main selection of the Literary Guild

Silent Witness begins in 1967, in a small Midwestern town. Seventeen-year-old Tony Lord, Lake City's star athlete, seems destined for great things. His driving ambition is precisely what attracts Alison Taylor, the daughter of the town's leading family, and it is what sets Tony apart from his two closest friends: Sam Robb and Sam's girl, Sue Cash.

Suddenly, everything changes. Alison Taylor is brutally murdered, and Tony is the number one suspect. The town turns against him. His friendship with Sam is destroyed. And Tony leaves Lake City, vowing never to return.

Twenty-seven years later, an urgent phone call from Sue changes Tony's life once more. For Tony Lord is now a San Francisco lawyer - a relentless advocate dedicated to the defense of his clients. Sue's plea for help is one he cannot ignore: Her husband, Sam Robb, now the vice principal of Lake City High School, is suspected of the murder of a female student. In seeking to save him, Tony must confront not only the fear that Sam is a murderer, but the concealed passions and buried truths that underlie Alison's death so long ago.

©1997 Richard North Patterson (P)1996 by Random House Audio Publishing, Inc., All Rights Reserved Under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions, Reproduced by Arrangement with Random House Audio Publishing, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This generation's best writer of legal thrillers.... His strongest fiction to date." (Entertainment Weekly)

"Enthralling.... The denouement is powerful." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

"Intense courtroom drama.... As startling as the bang of a gavel." (People)

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What listeners say about Silent Witness

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Caught me by surprise....

I can usually figure out whodunit halfway through a book. This had me guessing up the climatic chapter - and then I kept saying, "no, no, no way". It's so nice to have a book catch me by surprise. It was well written and the characters were well drawn, enough so that I cared about what happened to them. If you like mysteries, and good trial dramas, add this one to your list.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Superb legal thriller.

I listen to Richard North Patterson every few months. Each time I do, I remember how much I like his stories and put another of his books into my wish list. This book is full of the interesting, intellectual dialog and plot twists that keeps the book interesting until the very end - even for a long book. I highly recommend this book.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

If you’re a fan of character development and lengthy and intense dialog between the players this may be of interest to you. I judged this as a good book, falling just short of great for two reasons: 1) I prefer books that have a little faster pace and 2) the descriptions of the victim’s murders were just a little too graphic and drawn out for my sensibilities. This book is still better than many I’ve heard and I have no hesitation in recommending it to others.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Excellent story line. Narrator was great. I was interested through the entire book. It had me wondering right up to the end. I highly recommend this title. I hope this authors other works are as good as this.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Engaging Story

Fascinating! Patterson is a wonderful storyteller and this book was no exception. Although it dragged in a few places (most notably during his play-by-play accounts of various sporting events), for the most part, this book kept me thoroughly involved. It was easy to imagine the characters and their locale. The character development was exceptional--the inner conflict experienced by one character had me loving him one minute and hating him the next. The true sign of a good audiobook is whether I look for excuses to drive somewhere just to listen. I couldn't wait to get in the car these last few weeks!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Keeps your interest

This is the 2nd book from Patterson I've done and it is a solid mystery. The court room portions are equally compelling as the other I've read. The ending will catch you by surprise, but it is worth the time to listen, so don't rush to the end.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite all-time audiobook

An excellent listen. This is my favorite audiobook. It is well written and keeps you hooked. The ending is totally unexpected and the storyline keeps you interested up to the conclusion. The author is competely in touch with the politics and prejudices of small toen America. I liked it so much that I listened to it twice. Do not judge this author on other works, listen to this one and experience his best. This book is better than any criminal/lawyer book that I have read or listened to since The Firm. Give Silent Witness a listen, you'll be glad you did.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting

This book was riveting! 18 hours seems like a long time to listen to one story, but the author keeps you enthralled the whole time.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

This is a wonderful book with fleshed out characters and an intriguing, twisting plot. I plan to read all of Richard North Patterson that I can get my hands on!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

This is an excellent audio book. The reader and book make for a terrific listen. I was engrossed to the end, constantly changing my suspects. Yes it is a long book, but would not recommend abridged. I wouldnt want to miss a thing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Enervator
  • 06-24-07

Excellent read

This was the best audio book I've heard for some time. Don't be put off by the length of it, it's well worth it. The narration is fast paced and interesting and there's something utterly compulsive about the story. For the first time ever I listened 'through the night'.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom
  • 12-05-08

Slightly disappointing

I was looking forward to listening to this book; legal thrillers are particularly suitable for audiobooks and Richard North Patterson's books have a good reputation.

I was however disappointed. The book takes quite a long time to get going, and whilst the legal thriller aspects, as it were, are pretty good, they are not by any means spellbinding; the plot is a little obvious - if you cant guess who did it, you are not paying much attention - and the interplay between the main characters drags after a while. Compared, say, to the best of Scott Turow's or John Grisham's earlier books, this is second rate stuff. I wont be downloading any more of his books.

On the plus side, the narration is very good, and keeps you listening, particularly the courtroom exchanges.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sean
  • 08-13-08

100% Page Turner

A superb thriller in the genre of John Grisham, beautifully written and utterly compelling: no loose ends, no short cuts, no plodding plot lines. This book was a total treat.

1 person found this helpful