I’m buzzing to be a part of the Books on Tour event for John Ryder’s latest novel, The Witness. A massive thanks to the author and the publisher for including me and before I dive in let’s give some praise to that cover and to that tag line! Wowzers!
Anyway, today is the last day on the Books on Tour event for The Witness, so let’s get this party started!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
“I need you to find and protect my daughter. I can’t even tell you where she is. All I can say is that I’ve been told she’ll be dead by noon tomorrow.”
Kyle Roche is a man who people hire to fix problems. But this time he’s been hired to protect a woman who doesn’t officially exist anymore. And he’s the only man who can find her and keep her safe in less than twenty-four hours…
The daughter’s name is Savannah Nicholls. She had to go into Witness Protection because of a tragic mistake. She moved to the small town of Pagosa Springs nine days ago but even hidden as she is, she’s in mortal danger. Savannah’s mother says her daughter is just a nice girl, from a good family, that she’s never gotten in trouble in her life.
But she also says someone knows where she is. And they want to kill her. Within minutes of making contact with Savannah, as Roche feels a bullet whistle by his ear, he knows instinctively that she’s right.
But who is after Savannah? And how can Roche protect her when he isn’t allowed to know anything about who she is—or who her enemies are?
Imagine living your life looking over your shoulder. Well this is the life that John Ryder plunges his reader right into when you open up the first page and step inside.
The Witness is one of those books that has it all, corruption, sabotage, corruption and the human interest element when a mother hires Kyle Roche to find her daughter who is in Witness Protection. Roche, who is a cross between a PI and a “fixer” who maybe fixes things in a little unorthodox manner, is an intriguing character, there’s lots about him that makes me want to come across him again. His personal life is in tatters, or rather on a lawn and in a suitcase and the author has married him up with a cast of equally intriguing characters, from the complexity of Xander and her wizardry hacking skills to the woman he has been paid to protect, Savannah. Despite the tension, there is a fair amount of humour in the storyline as the characters interact and clash at times.
John Ryder knows how to set a ticking time bomb and pull the pin; the pacing is perfect and each page is laced with tension. This had so much tension and twists in it that my heart is still racing even as I type this out! The pace bounces along and with nice short chapters, it is easy just to be lulled into turning the pages for just another chapter. Add to this the delicious little cliff-hangers at the end of each chapter and it becomes impossible to put it down!
There is so much more I want to say about this book but I don’t want to give away any spoilers; it did make me think about how I might react if I had to give up the life that I’d known and go into Witness Protection and it also made my jaw smack the floor more than once as the story was revealed!
If you like a thriller that is jam packed with action, narrative taut with tension and a heart pumping pace then John Ryder is the man for you and you wouldn’t go wrong in picking up The Missing to give yourself a taste of what he has to offer.
Don’t blame me if you’re up all night, blame John Ryder!
Don’t forget to check out what the other bloggers are saying!
You can buy The Witness
About the author:
John Ryder is a former farmworker and joiner. He’s turned his hand to many skills to put food on the table and clothes on his back. A life-long bibliophile, he eventually summoned the courage to try writing himself.
He is the author of the Grant Fletcher novels featuring a former Royal Marine turned mercenary.