Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: The Perfect Witness - Iris Johansen

Title: The Perfect Witness
Author: Iris Johansen
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 352 pages
Published Year: 2014
Rating: 3/5
Paperback Synopsis:
She had the perfect life.
She had the perfect cover.
She was the perfect witness.
Until they found her.

When Teresa Casali was young she discovered she had a strange gift: the ability to read people's memories. But the gift seemed more like a curse as her mob boss father used her to gain the upper hand in his world of corruption and violence. Exposed by her own family to the darkest impulses of mankind, Teresa is alone and unprotected. She realizes that if she is to survive, she has to run.

Out of nowhere, or so she believes, a man by the name of Andre Mandak appears. He kills her pursuers—but that's not nearly enough for Teresa to trust him. It is his promise to get her into Witness Protection, along with his mind-blowing ability to help her control her gift before it consumes her, that convinces Teresa Casali to become Allie Girard. Living a normal life with a new family, she shuts the door to the past …although Mandak is clear: when the time is right, he too will benefit from her powers.

For years Allie flourishes …until the day her cover is blown and the truth comes tumbling out. Once again she is on the run, with her own life and those of her loved ones at stake. But this time she will not be a pawn. This time she will use her finely honed gift to end the threat that began with her family's betrayal. From perfect target to perfect witness, Allie Girard is ready to take on the past even if it kills her.


Many people would kill to have an extraordinary ability like Teresa Casali. When she was still a kid, she discovered that she could read people’s memories. But then her father who was a New Jersey mafia, Antonio Casali, used Teresa to benefit his business interests. He would ask her to come to work with him so she could read any of his colleague’s memories. When Teresa was 16 years old, Antonio was killed and her mother, Gina, betrayed her to his successor named Camano, making Teresa had to go on a run from Camano’s men. Until someone mysterious came to save Teresa. He said his name was Andre Mandak. Although at first Teresa felt hesitated to trust Mandak, she finally decided to accept his help.

Mandak brought her to a house where he would train Teresa to control her power. He also taught Teresa to defend herself. But It turned out that Mandak had his own agenda and he wanted something in return for saving Teresa. After Mandak felt that Teresa had enough training, he asked her to get into a Witness Protection Program with a new identity as Allie Girard, a college student who lived with a loving couple and would act to be Allie’s aunt and uncle. After seven years, Allie’s peaceful days was suddenly over when her cover was blown and once again she had to go on a run with Mandak. He finally told her everything about the man who had been putting a huge misery to his family’s life. Mandak thought that only Allie could help him. Allie decided to use her gift to help Mandak and focus to fight another enemy besides Camano.

If you want to read something thrilling and somewhat mysterious, I think this book is perfect for you. The opening scene will make you gasp already. This book started with Teresa running in the wood and it was quite intense to read. So it successfully made me curious about what would happen to Teresa and Mandak. I was surprised, actually, because I had never read any of Iris Johansen’s books before and I didn’t expect The Perfect Witness to have an opening scene like that. But I had to admit that the more I flipped the pages, I felt bored instead. It happened for the first few chapters. Something just felt really off and I literally had to drag myself to continue reading this book and not just abandon it.

Halfway reading the book, though, when Allie’s cover started to blow, the story got more intense and thrilling. Allie and Mandak were constantly on the run, and at some points I even got nervous because I didn’t want anything worse happen to them. I also liked the fact that during the training, Mandak and Allie somehow created a bonding between them in order to make the training went well. For some people, their relationship would appear to be odd because the age differences between them. Mandak was in his mid 20s when he saved Teresa for the first time. So after seven years went by, Mandak was already in his 30s when Allie was still in her early 20s. But I personally didn’t find it wrong. In fact, Mandak had become my favorite character. He was a typical hot protagonist guy with such a protective trait in him. I liked Mandak.

But I was a bit disappointed with the ending. I quite liked it, actually, but somehow I felt like it was a little too rushed. I already built my anticipation towards the ending. I prepared myself if maybe something more thrilling would happen. It was a little disappointing because the plot story was great. And it made me wonder if actually Iris Johansen would make a sequel to this book, because I think there were some things that hadn’t been resolved yet. But I still enjoyed reading it. As I said before, if you want to read something thrilling but not that heavy, this book is a great choice for you.

P.S: You can also read this review on Periplus website!