1967, Lake City, Ohio. Tony Lord and Sam Robb, both in their teens, are best friends and athletic rivals. Twenty-eight years later, Tony is a successful San francisco attorney; sam is an assistant principal at Lake City High School. Sam has never left home, and Tony has never returned since the trauma that changed his life: the brutal murder of his first love, Alison, of which he was wrongly accused and which turned everyone, even Sam, against him. Now Sam is a suspect. One of his female students has been murdered. Tony, reluctantly but inevitably, comes back to defend him. At once, Tony is plunged into the unfinished business of his past. In the merciless arena of a murder trial, he must confront not only his fear that Sam is a murderer but also the buried truths that obscure the real meaning of Alison's death. Powerful in its portrayal of the complexities of male friendship, of the darkest recesses of love, and of the many ways in which the past stakes its claim upon the present, Silent Witness is that rare suspense novel which is far more - the kind of story we have come to expect from Richard North Patterson.
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(178mm x 110mm x 35mm)
Arrow Books Ltd
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US Kirkus Review »
A successful San Francisco lawyer returns to Lake City, Ohio, to defend a childhood friend on murder charges - and to confront the townsfolk who are convinced that the lawyer himself is a killer. A generation ago, Anthony Lord and Sam Robb thought the defining moment of their high-school careers would be when one of them was named Athlete of the Year. But all that changed when class president Alison Taylor was raped and strangled minutes after saying good-night to Tony. Despite the efforts of the Lake City police and the hatred of everyone in town - only Sam and his girlfriend, Sue Cash, stood by him - Tony was never charged with the murder, and eventually escaped to Harvard Law, a movie-star wife, and a son who's the age Alison was when she died. Now a desperate call from Sue Robb brings Tony back to Lake City. Sam, currently the track coach at Lake City High, has been accused of murdering Marcie Calder, one of his star athletes. The evidence is as damning as you'd expect: Sam was carrying on a heated affair with Marcie, who was pregnant with his child and refused an abortion. Even more unnervingly, however, nobody seems to have left Lake City for the past 27 years except for Tony and the dead. So Tony is constantly running into figures from his tainted past - Alison's bereaved parents, the fence-straddling teacher who'd refused him a college recommendation - now recast in painful new roles that prevent Tony from trying the murder of Marcie Calder without investigating the murder of Alison Taylor. Despite the odds against him, Tony is every bit as tenacious in the courtroom as Patterson's earlier heroes (The Final Judgment, 1995, etc.); and readers who relish legal dogfights are in for hours of expertly turned battle, even though most of them will guess the final revelation long before the gavel comes down. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Richard North Patterson
Richard North Patterson has written a number of novels including the international bestsellers, Degree of Guilt, Eyes of a Child, The Final Judgement, Silent Witness, No Safe Place, Dark Lady and Protect and Defend. His novels have won the Edgar Allan Poe Award and the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere. He and his wife, Laurie, live with their family in San Francisco and on Martha's Vineyard.