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Final Witness by Simon Tolkien
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Final Witness (2002)

by Simon Tolkien

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Starting with fairytales, from the youngest ages chldren do almost not hear anything nice about stepmothers.
At first, I did not get the title: in the beginning of the book Thomas was still living with both his parents. Nevertheless I liked the book, very much so, because of the shifting perspectives. So I decided to read on.
I found the long elaborations about the sittings in court quite boring, but otherwise it was a good book. Instinctively I liked Thomas, but during the course of the story my loyalties did fluctuate with the twists and turns of the plot. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Apr 16, 2014 |
This is a well written book, I enjoyed reading it. Interesting story until the end.
Even when they were no Hobbits around :-) ( )
  brigitte64 | Apr 6, 2010 |
I picked this book up for the reason, I believe, most people would. Simon Tolkien's grandfather is JRR Tolkien of the Lord of the Rings fame. Couple that with the fact that murder mystery is my favourite genre, and this book was a must pickup by me.

In the book, Lady Robinson is murdered by two men who break into her house, The house of the four winds, while her son hiding views it all. Through the evidence supplied through Thomas, the son, Greta Grahame his step mother is indicted on the crime. However to many, including his dad, Thomas's evidence seems fabricated to get back at Greta Grahame. This leads the book to it's main premise the courtcase of Greta Grahame. While this is going on, we cut to narratives of different people around the event, building up a linear story of what went on.

I wasn't expecting this book to be as good as it was. It really drew me in, and I found it really hard to put it down. The pace of this book is brilliant, and Tolkien keeps you second guessing yourself on who to believe. All in all a brilliant piece of narrative. I will be picking up anything more Simon Tolkien releases. ( )
  JohnstonDJ | Jan 17, 2008 |
Thomas' mother is killed. He's hiding behind a secret door when she's shot dead. From what he overhears he claims that it's his father's new wife who organised it. She claims innocence. She also claims that it's jealousy motivating him. Who can his father believe. Who does his father want to believe.

The story flips between past and present, between the court case and events that led up to the murder. It shows the complications rife in the story. Powerful and compelling it makes you think about motives and families. ( )
  wyvernfriend | May 21, 2007 |
This book was published originally in the USunder the tital of 'Final Witness'. In his first novel, author Simon Tolkien (that Tolkien's grandson) successfully combines legal suspense and psychological tension in this sharply etched portrait of four people whose lives are changed by a murder. Alternating between the trial in London’s Central Criminal Court and private moments among the characters, Tolkien expertly describes the art of the trial, the clash between Britain’s social classes, and, most notably, the complexity of family relations. ( )
  Jawin | Jan 4, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375508821, Hardcover)

The grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien makes a thrilling debut as a novelist in this suspenseful courtroom drama that will have you guessing to the very end.

“Don’t let the author’s last name confuse you, for there are no Hobbits in this debut novel by the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, only a wonderful story of family, relationships, and suspense. . . . Part English cozy, part family saga, part courtroom drama, this genre-bending work of fiction is touching and enchanting.” —Booklist (starred review)

“The book is fast-paced and crisply plotted, with Tolkien elegantly piecing together the different perspectives and introducing unexpected twists.” —Publishers Weekly

“Tolkien’s skill as a storyteller is worthy of notice in this taut, well-paced legal thriller. The excellent courtroom drama and well-drawn, believable characters make this a good choice. . . . With an easily recognizable surname, a formidable Oxford education, and a successful career as a London barrister, the grandson of the author of The Lord of the Rings is bound to create a stir with this debut novel.” —Library Journal

One summer night, two men break into an isolated manor house and kill Lady Anne Robinson. Her son, Thomas, convinces the police that his father’s beautiful personal assistant sent the killers, but Thomas is known for his overactive imagination, and he has reasons to lie.

Thomas’s father, Sir Peter Robinson, the British minister of defense, refuses to believe his son. Instead, he marries his assistant, Greta Grahame, and will be giving evidence for the defense at her trial. He will be the final witness.

Author Simon Tolkien successfully combines legal suspense and psychological tension in this sharply etched portrait of four people whose lives are changed by a murder. Alternating between the trial in London’s Central Criminal Court and private moments among the characters, Tolkien expertly describes the art of the trial, the clash between Britain’s social classes, and, most notably, the complexity of family relations.

Who is telling the truth—the new wife or the bereaved son? What will Sir Peter tell the court? With tantalizing ambiguity, Tolkien keeps readers guessing about the true motivations of these characters until the final witness.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:24 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The murder of Lady Anne Robinson by two intruders causes a schism in her family when her son convinces police that his father's beautiful personal assistant hired the killers, while his father refuses to believe his son and marries the accused.

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