The Alibi Witness
The Alibi Witness is a smart combination of courtroom procedural and murder mystery. It follows federal prosecutor Michael Crane as he is called to testify on behalf of his former college sweetheart, Darlene Turner.
With eye witness testimony against her, in addition to her own confession to the crime, it seems as though Darlene’s conviction is a sure thing. However, the story unfolds to reveal layer after layer of secrets and corruption.
As Darlene suffers from pugilistic dementia, her story is told in pieces by various characters throughout the book, beginning with her abusive childhood and her breaking off her engagement to Michael. As Darlene rarely directly contributes to her own timeline, the readers get to watch as her life is reconstructed – and, at times, re-imagined – by those telling it. As such, the reader gets to spend time acting as jury, while also following Michael as he attempts to piece together details of Darlene’s life and the crime itself.
Dylan Patrick Grant does an incredible job with The Alibi Witness. While predominantly driven through dialogue and flashbacks, Grant never allows the story to feel slow or arduous. Instead, he uses Michael’s courtroom knowledge to explain the varying factors that could lead to a conviction, while keeping the tone humorous and suspenseful. Michael’s psychological analysis of those around him gives readers a view into just how much goes into trying a case, from the small nonverbal cues given by jury members, to the over-the-top theatrics of prosecutors. Grant successfully finds a way to keep the reader informed without using jargon or becoming overly patronizing.
The brilliance in The Alibi Witness is that the books seems to begin wrapping up several times, which gives the reader an uneasy feeling as they realize that there is still a lot of book left. Sure enough, the moment the reader begins to feel relieved or complacent, Grant puts Michael in danger – legally or physically. As such, the reader begins to distrust that there will ever be a situation where both Michael and Darlene can have a happy ending.
The Alibi Witness is well paced, riveting, and a completely refreshing look at the murder mystery genre. Each character, whether good or bad, is driven by motives that are believable and to a degree, understandable. While there are several plot twists throughout, they feel so natural to the story that the reader never feels frustrated when things begin to fall apart.
|Grenkowicz Publishing LLC
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller