A gripping courtroom drama combining psychological suspense and political intrigue from the pen of ex-barrister-turned-crime novelist Simon Tolkien, grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien.
It's the trial - and scandal - of the decade: Greta Grahame, the beautiful young wife of Minister of defence Sir Peter Robinson, is accused of conspiring to murder her predecessor, Peter's first wife, Anne.
The prosecution case depends heavily on the evidence of one witness - Greta's sixteen-year-old stepson, Thomas.
A dreamy, bookish boy, Tom was present but hidden on the night two men broke into their ancestral home, The House of the Four Winds, and killed his mother. His testimony steadfastly links Greta to the hitmen.
But the boy's motives are unclear. Is he so crazed by grief that he would frame his stepmother for murder? Or are his feelings toward Greta more complicated than anyone realizes? Might he actually be jealous of his father, jealous enough to destroy what remains of his own family? Or is he telling the truth - that this cunning young woman will stop at nothing in her pursuit of wealth and status?
Simon Tolkien combines compelling courtroom drama and classic psychological suspense in this sharply etched page-turner.
Previously published in 2003 as The Stepmother.
Simon Tolkien was a successful Criminal Justice barrister in London specializing in serious crimes before moving to California with his wife and two children to take up writing full time. He has been acclaimed as a naturally gifted storyteller with a terrific command of language and a unique perception into the darker sides of human nature. The grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien, with whom he had a very special relationship, Simon Tolkien's writing is set firmly in this world.
"Half Christie and half Grisham - with a certain panache." - Los Angeles Times
"A legal thriller ripped from tomorrow's headlines . a remarkably skillful novel, brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed." - Washington Post
"A very British thriller, it deals with the notions of class, privilege and inheritance, but also a healthy dose of earthy sexual tension . a page turner." - Daily Mail
"Makes you desperate to find out what happens in the end." - Sunday Telegraph
"Simon Tolkien has the potential to become the British John Grisham. Writing in the shadow of his grandfather is certainly no easy task, but with clever plot twists, capable handling of courtroom scenes, and an unerring ability to build suspense, he has proven in Final Witness that he can uphold the family name.' BookPage