Lone Witness – Rachel Dylan – Atlanta Justice #2 – Bethany House Publishers – Published 1 May 2018
When prosecutor Sophie Dawson is the lone witness to a gang-related double homicide, her world is turned upside down. Private security guard Cooper Knight is hired to protect Sophie from the gang, but she’s more concerned about prosecuting her latest case than the threat to her life. Sophie wants to stand for what’s right, but can Cooper keep her safe?
Lone Witness is the second book in the Atlanta Justice series. Lone Witness is inspirational suspense meets legal drama, and features two cases that become deadly and one woman who dares to stand and fight for justice.
Sophie Dawson is devoted to finding justice for those who can’t fight for themselves, and a recent career move into white-collar crime as a prosecutor gives her the opportunity to do just that. But a late-night snack stop turns into a nightmare when she witnesses the murder of two people. Sophie must straddle both sides of the courtroom, as a witness and as prosecutor, as she juggles being a key witness in the shooting case and her own investigation into a money theft scheme. When her life is threatened, she must rely on private security guard Cooper Knight to keep her safe – even if spending more time with Cooper endangers her heart.
I really enjoyed all the legal aspects of Lone Witness. It was interesting to see duel sides of the legal justice system as Sophie balances being both a prosecutor and a witness. The preparation and investigation that is involved in both roles is thrilling and informative. I enjoyed the legal techniques and strategies employed. I also enjoyed the many perspectives that are portrayed in the story. The chapters are narrated from the perspectives of multiple characters. Naturally, Sophie’s perspective, as a key character, dominates, but Cooper’s perspective is also shared, as are the perspectives of the prosecutor and defending lawyer involved in the murder case.
While I enjoyed the legal drama and the suspense it brought to the plot, I didn’t enjoy the romance nor the overall writing style of Lone Witness. The writing style was very formal and stilted. It felt like everything was being told to the reader instead of shown, and it left me feeling distanced from both the story and the characters. I also felt ambivalent about the romance. It seemed so sudden, Sophie’s feelings for Cooper and vice versa. One moment they are distance acquaintances and the next they are talking about creating a family and setting expectations around a possible relationship. While I do appreciate situations where the people involved are open and honest about their feelings, it just seemed a quick jump. Didn’t they want to just spend some time together first? Maybe chat about their favourite things, laugh over a shared joke, something that would give them a connection other than a supposed chemistry? While Cooper’s doubts do slow the progression of their relationship down, and the focus does remain on the action and unfolding drama of the court and investigation cases, I never truly became invested in Cooper and Sophie’s relationship.
While Lone Witness it is the second book in the Atlanta Justice series, both books are stand-alones and can be read independently. I recommend Lone Witness to readers who enjoy legal suspense, with a touch of romance and plenty of life-threatening drama.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian suspense.
Themes: Crime, law, lawyers, witnesses, murder, prosecutors, gangs, romance, relationships, friendship.
Published: 1 May 2018 by Bethany House Publishers.
Format: Hardcover, paperback, ebook. 320 pages.