The Perfect Witness by Iris Johansen, Book Review

General Information
Genre~ Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Publisher~ St. Martin's Press
Published~ January 1st 2014

Book Summary (Per Goodreads)
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.

My Thoughts
The title, the cover, the writing style, the characters are all beyond enjoyable in this story from Iris Johansen (IJ).  I figured I would like it, but I was worried it would be a let down since I mainly enjoy the Eve Duncan series, but I was wrong..I was intrigued by Allie and her journey the entire story (as in I read this book in one afternoon shame!).  A gift that this story gives us that we meet Allie at age 16, learn about her turmoil via her training/learning to block and continue to see her grow in her gift and life. 

As with the other IJ books that I have discussed or read, the writing style is descriptive and extremely easy to visualize.  I quickly started empathizing with the characters and enjoying the ride that was going to lead to the teamwork between Allie and Mandak.  One of my favorite IJ stories is The Ugly Duckling and this story had some aspects of that story (growing stronger to find the bad guy, not liking her mentor at first, wanting revenge but also not to be a "freak", etc.)  It is most certainly not the same story and has none of the same characters, but a few items did make me reflect on it and probably made me even enjoy this story more! 

Many reviews and comments mark this as a stand alone story.  However, it does have some of the same characters and material as another IJ story, Pandora's Daughter. This story and the story line of the Davanez family that we first met in Pandora's Daughter is one that I hope IJ continues to develop.  The idea of having extra gifts is one that is not new to the IJ reader, but one that plays out differently in the Davanez family and who they encounter. 

While I liked this book a great deal, will most certainly re-read it, I do wish that there had been more time spent on the gifts or powers that the two had, but mainly on Allie maybe having a bit more powers such as when she her the gentlemen call out but Mandak did not.  Also is their bond just truly love or is it something special for people who both have more powers?  I don't know, but I hope that these questions and more are seen in another story regarding the Davanez family!

If you like thrillers and intrigue with a dash of romance, but not a love story that is thrown in your face you would enjoy many of IJ's work...but most certainly this story!  What is your favorite IJ book? Do you gear more toward her thrillers or her earlier romances?

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Disclaimer~ I borrowed this book from the library.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Until my next y'all!!