Fatal Witness – Patricia Bradley

Fatal Witness by Patricia Bradley
Also by this author: Obsession, Obsession, Crosshairs, Deception, Counter Attack
Series: Pearl River #2
Published by Fleming H. Revell Company, Revell on February 6, 2024
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Romance, Suspense
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As a child, artist and potter Dani Bennett witnessed the brutal murder of her parents. With no memory of the incident or her true identity, she was forced to take on a new name and a new life, hidden away in Montana for the past 25 years.
Mae Richmond has spent the same stretch of time searching for her granddaughter, who went missing the night her daughter and son-in-law were murdered. Convinced the woman she saw in a pottery magazine feature is the woman she's been searching for, she enlists the help of K-9 officer Mark Lassiter of Pearl Springs, Tennessee, who tracks Dani down.
Skeptical but curious, Dani sets out on a journey to uncover the secrets of her past and reclaim her true identity. But someone close to her is determined to keep the truth of what happened all those years ago hidden.

I can always count on Patricia Bradley to provide romantic suspense novels that will leave me guessing. Books that will have me looking around every corner, questioning the motives of every character who enters a scene. Dani knows something terrible happened to her parents, but she cannot remember her childhood. Nine years of her life are missing, and her uncle warns her against rediscovering them. When an elderly woman in Pearl Springs, Tennessee thinks Dani is her missing granddaughter, Dani travels from Montana to meet her. The lost memories creep back in fits and starts, but luckily, she has Mark Lassiter to support—and protect—her. Rediscovering her past ends up being fraught with bullets.

In Fatal Witness by Patricia Bradley, the author reunites her readers with familiar characters: Hi again, Alex and Nathan, integral pieces of Dani’s story—both past and present. I enjoyed the snippets from Alex’s view; however, I admit, part of me wishes they weren’t there. I wanted more of Dani and Mark, as Fatal Witness followed their growth. And yes, they did grow, as did Alex and Nathan. But the chapters about Alex and Nathan didn’t really add anything to the plotline. I loved Dani and Mark, though. In their own ways, both must determine just how much they trust God, in the good times and the bad.

Patricia Bradley perfectly portrays this never-ending struggle. As Christians, we praise God in the good times. In the struggles, we beg for His deliverance. His peace. His strength. He gives them to us, but there’s no guarantee He’ll pull us out of the pit. Being a Christian does not guarantee sunshine and rainbows. Bradley provides a fantastic depiction of the determination and trust Christianity often requires.  Mark and Dani cling to a verse in Psalm 56: “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you.” And my word, how hard that can be sometimes!

Fatal Witness features a large cast, which is both a positive and a negative. It means many potential suspects. When reading the book, Bradley set up shared histories between certain characters, and I thought, “OH, IT’S HIM! HE’S THE VILLAIN.” And then she adds more links, more twisted vines. The first time, I guessed incorrectly. And the second. And the third. Eventually, I caught on, but Bradley did a good job of hinting without revealing. The issue with so many characters, though? I got confused. I forgot who some people were, and I had to remind myself of identities according to context clues.

Patricia Bradley’s newest novel is riveting.  It will leave you guessing with your heart in your throat. I cannot wait to see what Bradley has in store for us next.