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I picked this up recently as a Book of the Month at an airport bookshop. More like Book of the year. This was the best thriller I've read in a long while. A mother's search for her long-lost son combined with one of the most chilling and intriguing crime family plots since the Corleones. I particularly liked the three way cat and mouse game between Jean-Paul and Roman Lacaille and Chenouda, the police Inspector. It was refreshing too to read a mob story that was set somewhere different like Montreal. This somehow gave it a more exotic, exciting edge over now more familiar and standard urban American settings. Fantastic read.
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on 2 January 2014
This is the first John Matthew's book that I have read. It was titled The Last Witness #2 but it seemed to be #1 and #2 together. It was very long but it was also an excellent read. The two intertwined stories were well crafted and the author is skilled in descriptive writing although, at times, this appears to be overdone and found myself urging him to get on with the plot. This was particularly true in the beginning of the book and, at times, I scan-read sections so that I could get back to the action. This did not stop me from being involved with the characters and with the action and the story gathers momentum towards the end to reach an exciting and satisfying conclusion.

I am now looking to read some more of John Matthews but much of his stuff seems to be written in two parts (#1 and #2) so I am not sure where to start - very confusing.
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on 5 January 2006
I actually read this book first then read Past Imperfect afterwards and I would have to strongly disagree with the last reviewer: I would put both books on a par. This is a fantastic book by any measure. Yes, I found myself more absorbed early on in the mafia story than Elena's story - but given Elena's plight, you'd have to be fairly cold and heartless to describe it as slow or uninteresting. And as the two married together, that made it all the more exciting - the fact that this woman that has been through so much is suddenly in the jaws of a vicious, ruthless crime family. Fantastic read. Fantastic plot. Highly recommended.
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on 15 December 2012
Read a couple of titles by this author now and what sets him apart from so many others is the way he gets you involved in the emotions of his characters. I really got into what was driving Elena. Why she was so obsessed with all these children she was placing? What was driving her? And what the connection might be to this mafia family?

When the two converge, it hits you what a dazzling plot this is. The best I've come across in a long while. Thought the pacing matched the moods too: steadier and menacing for the Dorset scenes and Ryall's dark secrets. Harder-hitting and more brutal for the mafia scenes. Just as you'd expect each to be in fact. Would strongly recommend to all those who like their thrillers with a bit of emotional heart.
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on 2 September 2013
I must have been reading something different from everyone else. Although I enjoyed this book, it took me ages to get through. It could have been a lot shorter and lost none of the plot. There are two parallel stories and they take ages to converge, only doing so in the last few chapters so that for the rest of the time I'm wondering when or even it will happen and what is the point?
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on 11 December 2014
The hypnotized of the two girls have already been done in another book ft like I knew everything already was this idea stolen ! Didn't for one minute believe a person in witness protection would get a visit from someone he'd never met regardless of who she was,as if too many stupid parts in the book . A happy ending surprise surprise won't. E reading any more by this author
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on 15 January 2012
I quite enjoyed this though it almost seems like it would have been best if this had been written as two separate books.

The Elena storyline could be quite slow going at times and some of the scenes and internal monologue did get quite repetitive. It was quite well done and it did have some emotional impact though It also took me away from the other storyline.

I preferred the Canadian crime elements. It was pretty well written with some interesting characters.

The book picks up a lot towards the end and it was a tense and well worked finish.
The writing is generally competent and effective.

I would probably give this 3.5 stars if I could. I did quite enjoy it, though it was flawed in some respects and could easily have been quite a lot shorter.
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on 12 May 2013
Good read turning around from country to country. Interesting turns.
Involving many different aspects in adoption.family feuds. Ending with the innocent winning
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on 18 May 2015
Volume 1 dragged a bit but was necessary for scene setting. Volume 2 was pacey and quite exciting with the tension mounting towards the end.
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on 25 February 2013
I have to confess, I'm a Mathews fan, ever since discovering Past Imperfect. He is yet to disappoint me, and this is another great read from one of the less well-known thriller writers. Mathews over Grisham any day of the week for me. His reputation is growing, and deservedly so.
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