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FINAL WITNESS
by Simon Tolkien
Random House, December 2002
283 pages
$24.95
ISBN: 0375508821


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Simon Tolkien is the grandson of the late author and creator of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, J.R.R. Tolkien. Over the years, the author has been hesitant to publish his novels to avoid overshadowing or being compared to the works of his famous grandfather. There was no need to worry. FINAL WITNESS stands well on its own regardless of the author's last name.

Originally published in the United Kingdom as THE STEPMOTHER, Tolkien's debut novel takes us inside the English judicial system and to a notorious crime. Two years ago, Lady Anne Robinson, wife of Sir Peter Robinson, Britain's Minister of Defense is found murdered. Their, at the time, fourteen-year-old son witnessed his mother's murder by two intruders and will be the star witness for the prosecution side against his now stepmother, Greta Robinson (formerly Grahame). Thomas has a history of animosity towards Greta and he claims that he overheard the intruders talking about Greta's instructions regarding the murder of the mother and the kid. Thomas's father is appalled at his son and marries Greta to support her and because they grew close. Greta is convinced that Thomas is just being a vindictive little boy and knows that she will be exonerated at trial.

To quote Aretha Franklin, the question is "Who's zooming who"? One or even both of these characters may be lying. What really happened that dark night in July? Tolkien takes his readers to the day leading to the tragedy as well as to the courtroom proceedings showing the levels of hate people had towards Greta, the personal assistant of Sir Peter. One cannot help but wonder, if there is a secret agenda or if the witnesses are actually telling the truth. Character development is flawless in the book and the ending is a complete surprise. Tolkien has a promising future as a novelist. FINAL WITNESS is an impressive first start. Lets see what follows, it should be good.

Reviewed by Angel L. Soto, July 2003

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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