Book review: I, Witness by Niki Mackay

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 Permalink

I’ve read a few books lately about those wrongly accused (or at least claiming to be) but thankfully they’re all quite different so it’s not like I’m going into them assuming someone’s guilt OR innocence.

Interestingly I have 50,000 words of a novel I started years ago which starts a little similarly to this and I was worried my book – if I ever progress it – would be redundant if this went in a similar direction. It doesn’t, so everyone can breathe a sigh of relief that my masterpiece needn’t be shelved. (Well, more than the 6yrs it’s languished in my online drafts folder anyway!)

Book review: I, Witness by Niki MackayI, Witness
by Niki Mackay
Series: Madison Attalee #1
Published by Orion
on April 19th 2018
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Thriller / Suspense, Psychological Thriller
ISBN: 1409174603
Pages: 352

They say I'm a murderer.

Six years ago, Kate Reynolds was found holding the body of her best friend; covered in blood, and clutching the knife that killed her.

I plead guilty.

Kate has been in prison ever since, but now her sentence is up. She is being released.

But the truth is, I didn't do it.

There's only one person who can help: Private Investigator Madison Attalee, the first officer on the scene all those years ago.

But there's someone out there who doesn't want Kate digging up the past. Someone who is willing to keep the truth buried at any cost.

One of the exciting things about this book is, when I went to add it to my ‘currently reading’ list on Goodreads I noticed it’s listed as “Madison Attallee #1” which means there may be more to come. I certainly hope that’s the case as I enjoyed meeting the disgraced cop-turned-PI.

Kate Reynolds is released after doing her time for the murder of her former BFF (also frenemy). We learn pretty quickly that the victim Naomi was not liked and few people were overly-distraught (that) she’d been the victim of a frenzied knife attack.

Mackay writes in first person and puts us in the head of a number of the main characters, including Kate and Madison, but also Kate’s sister-in-law and Naomi’s mother. It’s an interesting option given the book’s the first in a series firmly centred around Madison.

It works however and the additional perspectives help us see the bigger picture. Thankfully though it’s not the sort of book where readers know more than the investigators (cos that frustrates me) as everyone’s pretty up-front about sharing stuff with the PI.

Of particular interest is Kate’s family background. We learn that her mother suicided when Kate was younger and that her sister has been in and out of mental health facilities for much of her life. Her brother and father – though offering financial help – have kept their distance since Kate’s arrest and we eventually learn why. (And if I was her I’d be mightily pissed off about that one.)

Things get a little murky as the novel progresses. Mackay probably stays just on the safe side of complex-but-not-confusing, though there’s a lot for readers to get their heads around near the end and many MANY secrets come gurgling (rather than delicately bubbling) to the surface.

I hadn’t planned to read this in its entirety in a sitting, but did (which involved eating dinner in the bath rather than delay gratification… of the stomach or whodunnit – but that’s a whole other skillset!).

I, Witness by Niki Mackay was published in Australia by Hachette and is now available.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. 


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