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The Only Witness

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A novel of mystery and suspense from Daphne Award Winning Author Pamela Beason KIDNAPPING…OR MURDER? A MISSING BABY Seventeen-year-old Brittany Morgan dashed into the store for just a minute, leaving her sleeping baby in the car. Now Ivy’s gone and half the town believes Brittany murdered her daughter. A HAUNTED DETECTIVE Detective Matthew Finn, a big-city fish out of water in A novel of mystery and suspense from Daphne Award Winning Author Pamela Beason KIDNAPPING…OR MURDER? A MISSING BABY Seventeen-year-old Brittany Morgan dashed into the store for just a minute, leaving her sleeping baby in the car. Now Ivy’s gone and half the town believes Brittany murdered her daughter. A HAUNTED DETECTIVE Detective Matthew Finn, a big-city fish out of water in small-town Evansburg, Washington, struggles with his wife’s betrayal as he investigates Ivy Morgan's disappearance. The clock is ticking and he can't find any witnesses. AN UNUSUAL RESEARCH SUBJECT Imaginative, manipulative, and volatile, with the intelligence of a five-year-old child, Neema cannot speak, but she knows enough sign language to invent jokes and insults. She can also hurl a grown man across the room. Neema is a gorilla. A DISTRESSED SCIENTIST After a psycho murdered one of her “talking” gorillas in Seattle, Dr. Grace McKenna relocated to the Evansburg area. Now with the economy on the rocks and her funding cut, her beloved gorillas Neema and Gumu are in jeopardy. When Neema repeats a story of a crying baby, a cucumber car, and a snake, Grace realizes her gorilla is the only witness to whatever happened to baby Ivy. Does Grace dare go public with Neema’s sketchy clues? Can she afford not to?


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A novel of mystery and suspense from Daphne Award Winning Author Pamela Beason KIDNAPPING…OR MURDER? A MISSING BABY Seventeen-year-old Brittany Morgan dashed into the store for just a minute, leaving her sleeping baby in the car. Now Ivy’s gone and half the town believes Brittany murdered her daughter. A HAUNTED DETECTIVE Detective Matthew Finn, a big-city fish out of water in A novel of mystery and suspense from Daphne Award Winning Author Pamela Beason KIDNAPPING…OR MURDER? A MISSING BABY Seventeen-year-old Brittany Morgan dashed into the store for just a minute, leaving her sleeping baby in the car. Now Ivy’s gone and half the town believes Brittany murdered her daughter. A HAUNTED DETECTIVE Detective Matthew Finn, a big-city fish out of water in small-town Evansburg, Washington, struggles with his wife’s betrayal as he investigates Ivy Morgan's disappearance. The clock is ticking and he can't find any witnesses. AN UNUSUAL RESEARCH SUBJECT Imaginative, manipulative, and volatile, with the intelligence of a five-year-old child, Neema cannot speak, but she knows enough sign language to invent jokes and insults. She can also hurl a grown man across the room. Neema is a gorilla. A DISTRESSED SCIENTIST After a psycho murdered one of her “talking” gorillas in Seattle, Dr. Grace McKenna relocated to the Evansburg area. Now with the economy on the rocks and her funding cut, her beloved gorillas Neema and Gumu are in jeopardy. When Neema repeats a story of a crying baby, a cucumber car, and a snake, Grace realizes her gorilla is the only witness to whatever happened to baby Ivy. Does Grace dare go public with Neema’s sketchy clues? Can she afford not to?

30 review for The Only Witness

  1. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Jones

    Time for another book review, this one for a wonderful little book entitled The Only Witness by Pamela Beason. First thoughts, I ran through this book in two days and didn't want to put it down. The story - a seventeen year old girl leaves her infant child in a car while she runs into the store, only to find that the baby has been kidnapped. Turns out there is one witness to the event but that witness happens to be a gorilla that knows sign language. Very unique story/plot and the book is perfect Time for another book review, this one for a wonderful little book entitled The Only Witness by Pamela Beason. First thoughts, I ran through this book in two days and didn't want to put it down. The story - a seventeen year old girl leaves her infant child in a car while she runs into the store, only to find that the baby has been kidnapped. Turns out there is one witness to the event but that witness happens to be a gorilla that knows sign language. Very unique story/plot and the book is perfectly placed with characters that you end up caring about (human and animal alike). This book would be perfect as a movie, especially the scenes where the investigator, Finn, is trying to "interview" the witness. All in all, a highly recommended book that is a must read for anyone who likes a well told mystery.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    I loved Neema. She is super smart and sweet. I look forward to sharing another adventure with her.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Una Tiers

    While the writing is okay, the pace is painfully slow, covering a short period of time. The idea is fascinating but the too too perfect wrap up was over the top.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erika Mathews

    Fascinating premise and plot, but the profanity ruined it for me. Unfortunately I won't be continuing this series. Fascinating premise and plot, but the profanity ruined it for me. Unfortunately I won't be continuing this series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    C.J. Prince

    I was delighted to meet Pamela Beason after a reading one night. Later,we sat at the same table in a crowded Mexican restaurant in Fairhaven. I went home and downloaded her book "The Only Witness." That was months ago. I have been trudging through books, uninspired, reading by obligation for a book group or because it was on top of my to-read pile. But I wanted something that would wake up my eyeballs and excite my mind. I didn't know where to look. When I added Kindle to my new Samsung tablet, I was delighted to meet Pamela Beason after a reading one night. Later,we sat at the same table in a crowded Mexican restaurant in Fairhaven. I went home and downloaded her book "The Only Witness." That was months ago. I have been trudging through books, uninspired, reading by obligation for a book group or because it was on top of my to-read pile. But I wanted something that would wake up my eyeballs and excite my mind. I didn't know where to look. When I added Kindle to my new Samsung tablet, I considered what to transfer. There it was: "The Only Witness." I cannot put this book down. Even telling you about the first page will be a spoiler. The characters are immediately defined in detail and I am captivated. Rush out and get a copy today or download now. Really, Pamela Beason is a name we'll all be talking about for years!! More when I have completed this book. NOTE: if you download, be sure and check the charge on your Kindle or tablet. In the middle of a very tense sentence, my tablet took a blackout nap. Hours to recharge before I could get back to it. This is not a story you want that to happen!!! The spoiler is already told in the book promo, Brittany Morgan,a teen mother leaves her infant to run into the store for Huggies. When she returns Ivy,two months old, is gone. Detective Matt Finn has his own problems but Brittany's case will be the focus of his life as he tries to solve the disappearing evidence of Ivy's disappearance and obvious kidnapping. No one knows anything, has seen anything. Or have they? I'm a big fan of Nevada Barr but Pamela Beason just moved to the top of my list as must-read writers. Don't miss this book. It will wake you up, ask you to think about opposing points of view, of teenage pregnancy, of animal cruelty and research and funding of small town police departments, to name a few. It made me remember the pain of milk filling swollen breasts before a baby wants to nurse. A constant reminder for Brittany as she is accused of the demise of her own child. Like I said, read it. You'll thank me.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rae Lee

    I could not put this book down. The plot is highly imaginative. The caracters are sketched with enough details that I cared about them, even the two gorillas--especially the gorillas. And I cared deeply for the teen mother, whose baby was stolen. The story has a huge heart. The writing flows along and the sentences have what I'd call musicality. Also, some books are padded with extraneous description, but not this one. Who wants to get bogged down in unnecessary words when you've stolen time in I could not put this book down. The plot is highly imaginative. The caracters are sketched with enough details that I cared about them, even the two gorillas--especially the gorillas. And I cared deeply for the teen mother, whose baby was stolen. The story has a huge heart. The writing flows along and the sentences have what I'd call musicality. Also, some books are padded with extraneous description, but not this one. Who wants to get bogged down in unnecessary words when you've stolen time in the middle of the night to read a book? Subtle clues lead to an ending that is surprising yet satisfying. Then, at the end of the book, the author cleverly planted the first two chapters of another of her novels, SHAKEN, so now I'm hooked on that one as well. This woman can write.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kandice

    This was a good read. The characters were well fleshed and you could tell that Beason was hoping to continue with them because she set them up for growth. We have Matt Finn, a detective who has recently moved from the “Big City” to the quieter suburbs at the request fo his wife, who, by the way, left him soon after their relocation. To rub salt in his wounds she also acquired a large dog and two cats before her departure. Pets Finn thinks he doesn't want. Little does he know how they grow on us. This was a good read. The characters were well fleshed and you could tell that Beason was hoping to continue with them because she set them up for growth. We have Matt Finn, a detective who has recently moved from the “Big City” to the quieter suburbs at the request fo his wife, who, by the way, left him soon after their relocation. To rub salt in his wounds she also acquired a large dog and two cats before her departure. Pets Finn thinks he doesn't want. Little does he know how they grow on us. Next we have Dr. Grace McKenna. She is a researcher working with gorillas and communication, including American Sign Language. She recently suffered a horrible tragedy involving animal rights activists.As a result, she too, has relocated to this less public location. She is currently studying and working with two lowland gorillas, Neema and Gemu. Neema is a sweetheart and you can tell by the loving way Beason describes these animals that they will be important characters in the stories to come. Fine with me. I adore gorillas and read anything about them I can get my hands on. Good, realistic, gorilla fiction is hard to come by! In the opening pages of the novel Ivy, an 8 week old infant, is kidnaped when her 17 year old mother, Brittany Morgan, leaves her in a locked car as she runs into the grocery store for diapers. Neema witnesses the kidnaping, but is unable to really tell anyone in a way that makes it clear what she is “saying”. Finn is given the case. The rest of what follows is straight procedural with quite a bit of characterization thrown in. There is the added drama of discovering his only witness is a gorilla and then trying to use her information while protecting her and her “keeper” at the same time. What I liked most about this novel was the way Beason treated the character Brittany. The girl is 17, raising a baby whose father refuses to acknowledge her, continuing her high school education and doing the best she can. Her best includes leaving her sleeping baby, unattended, in a locked car as she runs in for diapers, but really, how much more can you expect? By the way, Brittany remembers Doritos but forgets the Huggies. I respect the way Beason plainly lays out Brittany’s mistakes, but also shows us just how much she loves her baby. It can’t be easy to be a child raising a child and there are bound to be mistakes, but thank the good Lord, most of those mistakes wont result in the loss of your baby. It’s clear that Brittany will become a better mother given time. I appreciated that approach, because it was realistic. It was fair. It was the right way to tell the story. I am really looking forward to more of this series. Gorillas? I am all in!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marti

    This was a great book! It pulled me in from the first word and never let up. As the cover art clearly implies, the only witness to a kidnapping was a gorilla. Neema was kept by Dr. Grace McKenna, who was studying language acquisition and use in gorillas. Of course Neema did not speak. Rather, she used a somewhat modified version of American Sign Language. Brittany Morgan, a high school student and single mom had left her sleeping two month old infant, Ivy, in her car while she went in for a few This was a great book! It pulled me in from the first word and never let up. As the cover art clearly implies, the only witness to a kidnapping was a gorilla. Neema was kept by Dr. Grace McKenna, who was studying language acquisition and use in gorillas. Of course Neema did not speak. Rather, she used a somewhat modified version of American Sign Language. Brittany Morgan, a high school student and single mom had left her sleeping two month old infant, Ivy, in her car while she went in for a few groceries. To her horror, when she returned to her car, Ivy was nowhere to be found. Of course, an investigation ensued and before long, the police aand many of the conservative town's folk were convinced that Brittany had taken or even likey had killed baby Ivy. When Grace finally realized that Neema was telling her basically that she had witnessed Ivy's kidnapping, she left an anonymous tip for the police. Detective Matt Finn, who had initially blamed Brittany, was becoming more and more convinced of her innocence and was determined to find baby Ivy. To call this a page turner is an understatement. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kae Cheatham

    I purchased the electronic edition of this book after reading an online interview by the author. When the opening was told from Neema's point of view, I was concerned there would be too much animal "thought," but that wasn't the case. The action picked up and I was totally caught in the agony of the grieving, beleaguered mother. McKenna's interaction with her sign-language-speaking animals was believable. By the time McKenna decided to tell Detective Finn what she knew, the well-crafted story had I purchased the electronic edition of this book after reading an online interview by the author. When the opening was told from Neema's point of view, I was concerned there would be too much animal "thought," but that wasn't the case. The action picked up and I was totally caught in the agony of the grieving, beleaguered mother. McKenna's interaction with her sign-language-speaking animals was believable. By the time McKenna decided to tell Detective Finn what she knew, the well-crafted story had me reading straight through to the end. The end was the only place I felt let down, and I know this is because of my personal preferences. Nearly everything was wrapped up with neat solutions. I won't give spoilers, but for those who like rosy ending where you say, "aww" with a smile; you won't be disappointed.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    This well-written mystery featuring a female gorilla named Neema proved to be a light and entertaining read. The race to find a teenager’s kidnapped baby girl was no easy task, but Detective Finn managed to follow the clues and surmount all obstacles. Though the elements of the story fit together well and the plot kept me interested till the end, I would have liked to know more about the perpetrator and the motive behind the kidnapping.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jen Blood

    Well written and gripping, this novel had me from start to finish. All of Beason's characters are three-dimensional, flawed, and completely engaging - and that even extends to the non-humans in the novel, of which there are many! Excellent pacing, fabulously twisted plot, and just enough romance in there to sweeten the deal. Beason is absolutely an author I will be reading more of. Well written and gripping, this novel had me from start to finish. All of Beason's characters are three-dimensional, flawed, and completely engaging - and that even extends to the non-humans in the novel, of which there are many! Excellent pacing, fabulously twisted plot, and just enough romance in there to sweeten the deal. Beason is absolutely an author I will be reading more of.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    This was an excellent book. It was a very quick read, I finished it in a day and had a really hard time putting it down. The characters were well developed. At first I didn't think I would enjoy this book, but the story pulled me in and I was hooked. I cannot wait to read another book by Pamela Beason. This was an excellent book. It was a very quick read, I finished it in a day and had a really hard time putting it down. The characters were well developed. At first I didn't think I would enjoy this book, but the story pulled me in and I was hooked. I cannot wait to read another book by Pamela Beason.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    This was really a GREAT read, the apes totally amazed and entertained me ---- in the beginning I was a tad confused but once you knew who Neema was, I was on their side all the time. Liked their antics, personalities and everything ….. a really good different read!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Irene

    Great well-written book . Loved how this book kept me wanting to get to the end to find out what happened to Ivy . I was so sympathetic to her mother, Brittany going through all the stages of grief and despair in having her baby stolen from her . How the baby was found by Detective Finn was unreal but I think is feasible . Read the book

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sheryl

    Truly unique. The book was well written. The case itself was very compelling, an absolute page turner. The gorilla parts were absolutely fascinating. I loved it. I’m so glad I gave it a try.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    I enjoyed this. Not only was it an interesting mystery, but I loved the sign language gorilla being featured in such a prominent way.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Paula Phillips

    When I saw the cover of this book, I didn't know exactly what to expect and to be honest, I wasn't sure if the story would be me as I'm not really an Animal person but as I got into the book and past the first chapter I was intrigued and hooked as The Only Witness turned out to be a kidnapping novel of a 2 month old baby named Ivy Rose. As the story goes along, it seems that the main suspects is seventeen-year old Brittany Morgan ( Ivy's mother) and Charlie Wakefield (Ivy's Dad) but Brittany can When I saw the cover of this book, I didn't know exactly what to expect and to be honest, I wasn't sure if the story would be me as I'm not really an Animal person but as I got into the book and past the first chapter I was intrigued and hooked as The Only Witness turned out to be a kidnapping novel of a 2 month old baby named Ivy Rose. As the story goes along, it seems that the main suspects is seventeen-year old Brittany Morgan ( Ivy's mother) and Charlie Wakefield (Ivy's Dad) but Brittany can't believe that anyone would believe that she kidnapped her own baby and so begins an Amber Alert for her daughter. Enter Detective Finn, he is in charge of the search for Ivy Rose and after a week , he is not having much hope in ever finding her until he recieves an anonymous tip of what happened that day. The tip though leads him to the Talking Hands Ranch which is in fact a facility in which two gorillas have been raised to learn to sign and the witness is a 12yr old Gorilla named Neema who has the IQ of a 5yr old. Will Detective Finn accept Neema and her trainer Grace's help in finding Ivy Rose or will he laugh at the mere thought of a gorilla being "The Only witness". The Only Witness is an easy to read and interesting novel as it also delves into the side of Animal research and intellect. In a way The Only Witness character Grace reminded me of the Monkey lady "Jane Goodall".

  18. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    The premise of this story is that the kidnapping of a teenager's baby is witnessed only by a gorilla who knows sign language. It held my attention, as did the police investigator, the family of the young mother, the alleged father's family, and the academics who have given their careers to the study of gorillas at a field station of a university. I wouldn't characterize this as a great read, but it was good for concept and content, and for the police investigator, who stepped outside his comfort The premise of this story is that the kidnapping of a teenager's baby is witnessed only by a gorilla who knows sign language. It held my attention, as did the police investigator, the family of the young mother, the alleged father's family, and the academics who have given their careers to the study of gorillas at a field station of a university. I wouldn't characterize this as a great read, but it was good for concept and content, and for the police investigator, who stepped outside his comfort zone in the quest for truth about the missing baby girl. He did not want to give up the search and used whatever means were available to do his job "above and beyond." I might be interested to read other works by this previously unknown-to-me author. There is a book listed, THE ONLY CLUE, as another Neema Mystery, Neema being the name of the gorilla in this first story, so I'll probably try to find it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cherie O'Boyle

    A tiny baby is left alone for only a few minutes...and vanishes. There are no human witnesses to her disappearance. The fascinating premise of the story is that interspecies cooperation might solve the mystery and save the baby, but only if the human animals can respect what the non-human animals have to contribute. This mystery presents an appealing question explored in both a knowledgable and an on-the-edge-of-your-seat way. One of those rare thrillers where the reader both learns and is enter A tiny baby is left alone for only a few minutes...and vanishes. There are no human witnesses to her disappearance. The fascinating premise of the story is that interspecies cooperation might solve the mystery and save the baby, but only if the human animals can respect what the non-human animals have to contribute. This mystery presents an appealing question explored in both a knowledgable and an on-the-edge-of-your-seat way. One of those rare thrillers where the reader both learns and is entertained. You won’t find another like this one!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Joannah Miley

    This story had me from page one. I don't usually read mysteries, but the question of who stole baby Ivy hooked me right away. The author's ability to create such varied and believable characters and her ability to introduce new plot twists kept me going. Before I read this book I was curious as to how a gorilla could be a main character. After reading The Only Witness can say, "That's how." I can't wait for the sequel! This story had me from page one. I don't usually read mysteries, but the question of who stole baby Ivy hooked me right away. The author's ability to create such varied and believable characters and her ability to introduce new plot twists kept me going. Before I read this book I was curious as to how a gorilla could be a main character. After reading The Only Witness can say, "That's how." I can't wait for the sequel!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Helaine

    I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. When I shared the premise of the book with my husband, his response was "really?" But the book is well written and believable. Although, I think the end of the story wrapped up a little too quickly after many chapters of going in the wrong direction, I found it a book that I did not want to put down. I see there is a second Neema mystery out, but cannot imagine what will be the plot of that one without repeating the first book. I was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. When I shared the premise of the book with my husband, his response was "really?" But the book is well written and believable. Although, I think the end of the story wrapped up a little too quickly after many chapters of going in the wrong direction, I found it a book that I did not want to put down. I see there is a second Neema mystery out, but cannot imagine what will be the plot of that one without repeating the first book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Gleckler Clark

    Would I recommend this book, absolutely. Two or three stories roiled into one. A kidnapped baby, an unwed teenage mother, a detective who's wife has left him, and a professor who us using sign language to teach gorillas to communicate all this rolled into one. Believe me this is a good read. A who-done-it that will leave you guessing. Would I recommend this book, absolutely. Two or three stories roiled into one. A kidnapped baby, an unwed teenage mother, a detective who's wife has left him, and a professor who us using sign language to teach gorillas to communicate all this rolled into one. Believe me this is a good read. A who-done-it that will leave you guessing.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I could not put this book down! Such a good read. Now my 13 year old is reading it and loving it, which is amazing to witness as he does not enjoy reading much. Thank you Pam, once again for a great read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chriser123 Dittman

    I can't remember who recommended this book, but it was a good read. I guess I'm not giving anything away since there is a gorilla on the cover. The gorilla witnesses a kidnapping and gives info to help catch the kidnapper. I can't remember who recommended this book, but it was a good read. I guess I'm not giving anything away since there is a gorilla on the cover. The gorilla witnesses a kidnapping and gives info to help catch the kidnapper.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I had never heard of the author or book and came about it as a free Kindle book, and I liked it. It was a tad bit predictable at the end but throughout the rest of the book the curve balls it threw kept me reading.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I really enjoyed this book and the characters. Really got me wondering if something like this has (or could ever) happened. Hmmmm. What a sweetheart Neema seemed to be. Wish I was in the story with her.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Heather Winters

    I loved the story and the characters. I felt a connection with each and they were all so relatable. Pamela Beason definitely has a talent! My only gripe with this book was the ending. I felt that the build up was so intense and then it was over in like 2 pages.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Molly Greene

    Loved this novel by Pam Beason. Writing, plot, pacing and characters all compelling. Pam is one of my favorite authors, can't wait for her next book! Loved this novel by Pam Beason. Writing, plot, pacing and characters all compelling. Pam is one of my favorite authors, can't wait for her next book!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Smith

    LOVE this book....I have it on my kindle and forgot. Just started it.....do not want to do anything else...But READ READ READ. Thank you Pamela Beason.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    I finally had to turn off the light and get some sleep. This was a fine read.

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