Leading the Witness by Carsen Taite is the type of book that just grabs hold of you, makes you sit on the edge of your seat as you read, and refuses to let go until you reach the end of the intrigue. Ms. Taite is a master of stories that revolve around the courtroom filled with lawyers, judges, and of course the criminals they are bound to prosecute or defend. This is one of those tales with the added element of fear.
Catherine Landauer is a defense attorney well known in Austin, Texas for going after officials and prosecution witnesses who sometimes skirt the edge of the law in their zeal to obtain convictions. What no one knows, is that Catherine was once a victim of a violent crime, and due to police focusing on the wrong suspect, the perpetrator escaped capture. When the man who kidnapped her as a child suddenly reappears as a suspect in a similar crime, Catherine becomes an unwilling witness who must rely on one of her biggest adversaries in the courtroom for help.
Starr Rio is one of the most successful prosecutors in the area, and she is not above riding the very edge of the law to get a conviction in the courtroom. When she is tasked with helping the police in the kidnapping of a prominent politician’s child, she sees this as a stepping stone for her career. But she has to deal with an unwilling witness in Catherine who Starr has had a major problem with in the courtroom. Now she must help find a kidnapped child, keeping Catherine safe from the same kidnapper, and dealing with that annoying attraction she has for Catherine.
It is obvious from the first sentence that this is a well-written mystery. Ms. Taite hooks you on the first page and keeps you on the edge of your seat until the end. There is a slow-burn and rather sweet romance that runs almost as an undercurrent to the story, but the main focus is really the mystery. I connected with the characters right away, and the two slowly go from adversaries to a romantic couple in spite of what is happening to and around them.
I was thoroughly entertained with this book, and I am looking forward to reading more of Ms. Taite’s novels.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.