Review-The Final Witness by James Scott Bell
Young, idealistic law clerk Rachel Ybarra has just been handed a career-making opportunity--helping in the prosecution of an infamous leader of the Russian Mafia. But when the star witness turns up dead, Rachel discovers the case is not merely a battle for the truth--it's a battle for her life.
I put my hand up at the beginning to say I am not a fan of inspirational fiction, but the author wove the main character, Rachel’s religious beliefs into the plot very well in that she has the courage of her convictions and quotes the scriptures to a dodgy defence lawyer to great effect. Can a good Prosecution lawyer be a Christian too? Interesting.
But already I digress - the story opens with Rachel’s interview at the law firm which employs her as a paralegal, asking a pivotal question as to whether her faith would be an obstruction to her job. This is followed by her having a serious panic attack at the pool, giving the reader some good insight into what drives her and her private demons, which include an alcoholic father and her relationship with her grandmother.
Then comes a rather gruesome murder of a drug baron – and here the plot gets really interesting when it turns out the Russian Mafia, who make the Cosa Nostra look like shoplifters, are involved.
Rachel’s boss, Alan Lakewood is prosecuting Jaroslav Supevsky for murder, but the situation, not to mention who is guilty and who isn’t, is not a simple as it first appears. Inevitably, Rachel gets deeply, and personally involved with an FBI agents as well as the witnesses and as a result is threatened.
I find that some crime stories tend to get bogged down with the intricacies of court procedure, but there was just enough here to keep up the excitement without tempting me to skip pages. The masterly plot was only slightly let down by the predictable ending, however the excellent characterisation kept me engaged throughout and I wasn’t disappointed.
I received an e-copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.