About The Book
Amy was once a party girl, but now she lives a lonely life. Helping the house-bound to receive communion in the Gravesend neighbourhood of Brooklyn, she knows the community well.
When a local woman goes missing, Amy senses something isn’t right.
Tailing the woman’s suspicious son, she winds her way through Brooklyn’s streets. But before she can act, he is dead.
Captivated by the crime she’s witnessed and the murderer himself, Amy doesn’t call the cops. Instead, she collects the weapon from the sidewalk and soon finds herself on the trail of a killer.
Powerful and evocative, The Lonely Witness brings Brooklyn to life and exposes the harsh realities of crime and punishment on the city streets.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. The Lonely Witness is one of the more original novels that I have read this year. It is a crime novel, with focus on the witness, the murderer and the neighbourhood rather than the police investigation. It also feels like a travelogue with the amount of detail about Brooklyn, somewhere I know nothing about.
Amy used to be a party girl but now does good deeds with the local church, mainly with the elderly. When one of them, Mrs Epifanio, shows concern about the son of her usual home help she reluctantly agrees to see if he is genuine. It is this decision that ends with her becoming a witness to a murder.
Whilst I did like Amy, her landlord and a handful of other characters my favourite was Mrs Epifanio. I laughed at the interaction with Dom, flirting and encouraging a relationship with Amy without knowing what was really happening.
I could visualise Brooklyn and all of the characters really well. The many different relationships are perfectly described. Dominic and his mother especially, were just how I imagine an Italian American family to be. The mother perfectly able to give her son a well deserved slap.
The descriptions of Brooklyn, its bars, coffee bars and shops feature heavily. My impression was that it used to be predominantly Italian, but now many other nationalities lived there. It felt close-knit with everybody knowing each other, even if they had been absent for a few years. I imagine that if you do know the area you will get much more out of this book. I have read books in the past where I know an area well and found I read them slightly differently.
Short but unique, I would definitely read more by this author.