Hostile Witness, A Josie Bates Thriller

Rated 4.52/5 based on 29 reviews
When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her stepgrandfather, a California Supreme Court justice, her distraught mother turns to once infamous defense attorney, Josie Bates. Now a small town lawyer in Hermosa Beach, Josie wants nothing to do with the case since the gruesome evidence points to Hannah's guilt. When the girl is charged as an adult, Josie can't turn her back
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Words: 106,040
Language: English
ISBN: 9781102466550
About Rebecca Forster

Rebecca Forster is an Amazon and USA Today bestselling author with over 25 novels to her name. Her legal thrillers have been called, "Perfect. Impossible to put down." By Laurie Levensen, CBS legal correspondent.

She holds a BA from Loyola University, Chicago and an MBA from Loyola University, Los Angeles.

Married to a superior court judge and the mother of two sons, she has taught at UCLA writers program, volunteers in classrooms and speaks in many venues around the country. When she's not writing, you'll find Rebecca traveling, sewing and on the tennis court.

Also in Series: The Witness

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Review by: Tabitha Ormiston-Smith on Nov. 24, 2015 :
Hostile Witness is billed as a legal thriller, and I don't know that I really agree with that classification; although it's true that the whole thing is about a murder trial, nothing in the plot hinges on a matter of law; it is all about matters of fact. To me, it seemed more appropriately designated a psychological thriller.

This, though, is just by the way - this quibble certainly didn't affect my enjoyment of a complex and brilliantly excecuted thriller. It was exciting, believable and scary as hell. The courtroom scenes were beautifully done, and if Ms Forster is not in the law herself I am sure she has at least logged many courtroom hours in the pursuit of verisimilitude. The characters were engaging and realistic, in the psychological sense. An excellent beginning caught the reader from the first page, and the book didn't let go. I'd certainly like to read more from this author.

I was slightly irritated at the apparent carelessness of the proofreading of this fine book. Frequent homophone errors (not that frequent, but I did notice at least four or five, and that is four or five too many for a published work) were a nagging irritant.
(review of free book)

Review by: Sharon E. Cathcart on Oct. 18, 2013 :
I always hate starting a review with these words: I abandoned this book. I was 30 percent into it, so I think I gave it a more-than-fair shake.

The editorial issues were numerous (homophone issues, plural v. possessive confusion, and more ...) and took me out of the story far too often. Furthermore, I really didn't connect with any of the characters enough to soldier on any further.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Clair Roxanna on Sep. 15, 2013 :
A great read. I enjoyed it and recommend it. This Josie is a kick butt kind of chic.
(review of free book)

Review by: Robert Schobernd on Sep. 14, 2013 :
Hostile Witness is an excellent story that is well told and captivating. The characters are well defined and run the gamut from pathetic to strong and admirable. The plot is clever and has the required twist and tension to make this a page turner. Even the editing, while not totally with out fault, is above average.
(review of free book)

Review by: Alan Rudge on April 04, 2013 :
Thoroughly enjoyable. I'll be looking for more books in the series for sure.
(review of free book)

Review by: Carol Carroll on March 05, 2013 : (no rating)
Four-and-a-half stars
The beginning of this book is intriguing. Even though it's a bit slow to get revved up, when it does, you'd better have your seat belt on!

Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster—The story of a troubled teenage girl being accused of murder, and a woman lawyer dealing with her own personal struggles while trying to help the girl she wants to believe in. The author painted scenes in words that tore at my heart and tightened my chest as I read on to find out what would happen next. Very good story, very ‘real’ characters, and attention-grabbing locations portrayed vividly… If you like a good mystery/suspense novel, this is a great read!
(review of free book)

Review by: Cheryl Ischy on Feb. 07, 2013 :
This book was very good. It was very interesting and kept me wanting to read on & on. Very enjoyable easy read!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Christine Cross on Jan. 10, 2013 :
This book was satisfying in many ways - intelligent, provocative, suspenseful. I enjoyed it quite a bit and recommend it to others. There were a few things that could have been improved upon on terms of the story, but as this seems to be the author's first work, those are very understandable. In fact, I could easily envision this book being made available in hard copy. Well done, and I look forward to following this author's progression in fiction.
(review of free book)

Review by: Sylvia Morice on July 31, 2012 :
I read this book a while ago and meant to write my review of it, but life somehow got in the way. However, better late than never!
Hostile Witness was an engaging story that I enjoyed from start to finish. The main character is flawed (as are most of us), and often wonders if she is making the right decision. I read the book in a short period of time and look forward to reading more from this author.
Great job keeping this reader engaged.
(review of free book)

Review by: SM Johnson on April 10, 2012 :
Hostile Witness was exactly what I look for in a legal/psychological thriller - a flawed attorney, a damaged client, and a story in which the truth is elusive. Whenever I was forced (by life) put this book down, I couldn't wait to pick it up again. The number of 1-star reviews here really surprises me - I didn't notice excessive profanity, and only took note of a few grammatical/editing erros.

I will definitely be adding the rest of the series to my reading list.
(review of free book)

Review by: Colin Marks on Feb. 27, 2012 :
'Hostile Witness' was very engaging. The writing was intelligent, the characters were well formed and Rebecca's obvious knowledge of the legal process made it all entirely believable. It ended with a fizzle, rather than a bang, but even so, I'd recommend it, especially for those who like court room dramas.
(review of free book)

Review by: Linda Nelson on Jan. 28, 2012 :
Who done it and who will confess to doing it?

This legal thriller is suspenseful. The first few chapters were very slow reading, but well worth the buildup of the storyline. I am glad I stayed with it.

Hannah is arrested for arson and possible murder. Her mom and her step dad both have possible motives for killing her Step-Grandfather who happens to be a Supreme Court Justice. I won’t tell you anymore about this story.
(review of free book)

Review by: James Anderson on Nov. 01, 2011 :
Move over John Grisham! There's a new legal thriller writer on the scene who deserves to hit best seller status

Hostile Witness is the first book in the Witness series by Rebecca Forster. It's quite a read and I found it a real page turner.

Forster certainly knows her way around a courtroom and this novel gives the reader a fascinating glimpse into the California legal system -- warts and all.

Josie Baylor-Bates is a criminal defense lawyer dealing with childhood abandonment issues and haunted by an old case where she got a murderer off who turned around and killed again. She takes the case of a young girl Hannah Sheraton, accused of killing her step-grandfather, a prominent justice on the California Supreme Court.

The trial scenes are riveting. Forster aptly captures the cut and thrust of the adversarial system.
Her characters are strong and complex, the writing fast-paced with short sentences that captivate the reader and make you keep turning pages. The plot has so many twists and turns that this reader couldn't guess the real killer.

If you're new to Forster's novels like me, you are in for a real treat. And this one you can currently pick up for a bargain since it is free. I paid for it quite a while ago, but it was $2.99 well spent. I definitely want to read her others. 5-stars and well deserving of 10 if I could give it.

Count me in as a new fan!
(review of free book)

Review by: Lena Burghardt on Oct. 14, 2011 :
Love it Love it. A must read.
(review of free book)

Review by: Ailin Chia on Aug. 11, 2011 :
I love this book to bits; it was like going through a roller coaster ride, with all the plot twists and new evidences coming through. The ultimate whodunit was quite a shocker as well, As it was a conclusion I really did not expect. It was fun guessing to the end with all the clues given.

This book was a real joy to read, and it'd definitely recommend it for any courtroom drama fans. I might not have been one before, but this book definitely converted me.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: n y on July 31, 2011 :
I enjoyed this book. It keeps you guessing almost til the end.It's a quick read because you don't want to put it down.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: n y on July 31, 2011 : (no rating)
I enjoyed this book. It keeps you guessing almost til the end.It's a quick read because you don't want to put it down.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Rashida on July 29, 2011 :
I really enjoyed this book! There were a lot of twists and turns and I wasn't really sure who was telling the truth in the story. I am now returning to purchase the other books in the Witness series. I actually finished reading this book at 3 am this morning. It was one that I could not put down!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

Review by: Rebecca Juneau on July 03, 2011 :
Riveting! Pick up the book, keep the pages turning. An excellent effort by Rebecca Forster. I'm looking forward to more!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Linda Phillips on April 21, 2011 :
An excellent read with lots of twist and turns. Very enjoyable and hard to put down. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Karen Gould on March 27, 2011 :
Excellent plot and characters, and even though I like "legal mysteries," I didn't feel the story was so law-oriented that it would put off people who don't. The writing was crisp and well-paced. I saw some things coming well before the characters did, but other things surprised me, so all in all, it deserves the title "mystery." But it wasn't so much a clue-hunt as an excavation of secrets. Some were close to the surface, some were buried more deeply. At any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and intend to buy the rest of the series, and probably Ms. Forster's other books as well.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: sue b on Feb. 22, 2011 : (no rating)
This was a really good story, with lots of unexpected twists. I would recommend it, and want to read more of this author's work.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Arthur Levine on Feb. 02, 2011 :
Hostile Witness – Review

There are fabulous books like this one that you just can’t put down because you have to find out what is going to happen next. It’s a blessing. Rebecca Forster has crafted a wonderful story that tantalizes your senses with the challenge of non-stop action. Key characters, Joise the lawyer, and her client the mentally peripatetic Hannah draw you further into the plot and the various sub plots leading with exquisite detail to shocking conclusions, but I won’t tell. You will have to unravel them for yourselves. This one deserves five stars.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Renee Sailors on Feb. 02, 2011 : (no rating)
I came here to write a review and realized that I read the second book in the series that has Hannah living with Josie. Is there any way to get Hostile Witness (the one I supposedly purchased?).
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: bikrgran on Jan. 19, 2011 :
Although I got Silent Witness, instead of Hostile Witness, the mix-up was corrected, and I did get Hostile Witness. Josie Baylor-Bates is asked by an old school chum to defend her Daughter from the murder of a high-profile judge, her Step-Grandfather. Hannah is 16, is obsessive-compulsive, and Josie is really torn between taking the case, or not. The story is full of twists & turns, and just when you think you've got it, something else happens.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: mrswhisk on Jan. 19, 2011 : (no rating)
I ordered Hostile Witness & received Silent Witness although the title said Hostile Witness. Nevertheless; I loved the book & now cant wait to read the others. Even-thou I have now read the series out of order, I will be reading the rest of the series.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Anne Hege on Jan. 19, 2011 : (no rating)
Although I ordered Hostile Witness, and the book title on my Kindle says Hostile Witness, the book that came was actually Silent Witness. I really enjoyed reading it, but when I checked on the other two in the series, I found I had read Silent Witness and not Hostile Witness. I would like to read the others, but lost some of my motivation now.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Lauren Royal on Jan. 12, 2011 :
I have this book in paperback but wanted a copy for my Kindle. It is *that* good!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Bruce Raterink on May 20, 2010 :
Hostile Witness is the first book in the 'Witness Series' that includes Silent Witness and Privileged Witness and is an impressive introduction to the key characters: Josie Baylor-Bates is the talented lawyer who takes on the impossible murder case, defending the very troubled teenager Hannah Sheraton. As the story unfolds you get caught up in the drama of the storyline as well as the underlying issues of mother/daughter relationships. The characters develop over the course of the three books. Start with this one and get them all.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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