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Extended Audio Sample Silent Witness Audiobook, by Richard North Patterson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 53.91 out of 5 3.91 (43 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard North Patterson Narrator: Boyd Gaines Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Tony Lord Series Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780375418150
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Attorney Tony Lord left his hometown and the bitter memories of his girlfriend's murder behind. Now, twenty-eight years later, he's pulled back to Lake City to defend his closest high school friend against a charge of homicide.

Sam Robb, the married father of two, is a local football legend. But he was also the last to see sixteen-year-old Marcie Calder alive, and as shocking forensic evidence at the trial reveals, he is the father of her unborn child.

Probing the darkest recesses of love and friendship, Lord will discover things too disturbing to ignore--that Sam wasn't the only one in Lake City with a motive for killing Marcie, that small-town secrets can hide devastating betrayals, and that the past has a way of repeating itself . . . even in murder.


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Quotes & Awards

  • This generation's best writer of legal thrillers . . . His strongest fiction to date. Entertainment Weekly
  • Enthralling . . . The denouement is powerful. Los Angeles Times Book Review
  • Intense courtroom drama . . . As startling as the bang of a gavel. People
  • A Main Selection of The Literary Guild

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay Fromkin | 2/17/2014

    " I haven't read a lot of legal thrillers - Scott Turow's first and a couple of John Grishams when trapped on an airplane. But Cousin Frank brought be a bag of paperbacks to help me get through post-surgical recovery. I'd never heard of Richard North Patterson (though my wife told me he was very popular). Having just started Patterson's "The Final Judgement), Patterson seems to have a standard set-up: an accomplished attorney has to return to his/her hometown, having previously vowed never to return. But he/she has a responsibility to prove a friend/relative innocent of murder. I didn't know that when reading "Silent Witness," so I just went along with the premise. In this case, it's super-attorney Tony Lord, who returns to his Ohio hometown to defend his high school best friend, Sam Robb - vice principal of his high school - against charges of murdering a student with whom he'd been having a sexual relationship. As a high school student, Tony had been accused of murdering his girlfriend, Alison Taylor, after having sex with her following the big football game which Tony, the quarterback, and Sam, the receiver won for their school. Tony is conflicted by his high school experience, his relationship with Sam, his relationship with Sam's wife, Sue, and his doubts about Sam's innocence. He is, however, a dedicated and determined criminal defense attorney, who will use any means at his disposal, including casting reasonable doubt by pointing a finger at another high school friend who knew the dead girl, Marcie Calder. While all of the lawyering keeps a level of suspense about Marcie's murder, it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes - or even Tony Lord - to figure out who murdered Marcie Calder and who murdered Alison Taylor. Patterson betrays the mystery through his characters' dialog - there's just too much yammering between and among the principal characters about Alison's murder, the night she died, the police investigation of Tony, the police investigation of Sam, how sorry everyone is about the murders and the accusations. Tony and Sam really are not very interesting characters, and Sue is just connective tissue. The most interesting characters are Stella Marz, a prosecutor with steel in her spine and a genuine outrage about crimes against women, and Saul Ravin, the aging attorney who had represented Tony in the matter of Allison Taylor and helped Tony in his defense of Sam Robb. What did I like? The high school friendship/competition between Tony and Sam was spot on in the details and genuine in its emotion. The two are both stellar athletes, but things just seem to come easier to Tony, which Sam resents. They are both candidates for the school's athlete of the year, which Sam wins but can't convince himself he was more deserving than Tony. He has a terrific girlfriend, but has convinced himself that Tony's is a better catch. When Tony comes back to defend Sam, he's conflicted between gratitude (though Sue asked Tony to defend Sam) and resentment against again falling into the shadow of the better athlete, who's now a legal legend. My wife was an attorney in another life, and I've sat on juries. As on TV and int he movies, Tony and Stella are the kind of lawyers we'd all like to have in a pinch - but which we rarely see in real life. The courtroom scenes are well done, with incisive questioning and anticipation of the opposition's questions; and dramatic, but not overly dramatic, opening and closing statements. Of course, we have the destruction of witness testimony and ingenious interpretations of evidence. The result of the trial is not surprising, but the denoument was. In the end the book really is about ethics - of police and prosecutors, educators, local politicians, victims' family members, and legal advocates. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Buford | 2/16/2014

    " Another great story. I'm liking this author more and more with each book of his that I read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 2/11/2014

    " WOW. Talk about a great read, and steep learning curve on the middle east. Fantastic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lori | 2/9/2014

    " One of my Top 10 Books ever, read this years and years ago and could read it again, so I did! And still loved it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sera | 2/7/2014

    " Not bad for a thriller, but I didn't like enough to become a true Patterson fan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 1/25/2014

    " I didn't see the end coming! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod Zemke | 1/21/2014

    " 4.5--May be his best book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 1/20/2014

    " I thought it was the typical lawyer drama suspense book. Although, it was a quick and easy read, I found it pretty predictable and knew who the murderer was pretty early on - so no surprises. He also used the last 50 pages to clean things up, something I didn't think was really necessary - where's the faith in imagination? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda | 1/19/2014

    " This is a multi-layered thriller, which is what I liked about it. It kept me turning the pages. It is the only Richard North Patterson book I've read and that was probably ten years ago... note to self: add him to my list of fav authors "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darcy Washburn | 1/8/2014

    " Loved this book. Strong characters and plot. Graphic details so beware if you are shocked easily. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scarlett | 1/6/2014

    " Great author -- a fast read. Murder Mystery. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris | 1/3/2014

    " It's very rare for me not to finish a book, but I never did go back to this one. I just didn't care how it was going to end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 12/31/2013

    " It was hoping for a better twist at the end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Suzanne | 12/1/2013

    " Can be long and slow in the middle "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emma | 11/22/2013

    " One of the best books I have ever read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 11/21/2013

    " I'm getting the feeling that I'm an easy rater, but these November books were perfect for relaxing on the beach and just getting engrossed in a mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 4/23/2013

    " This one started out WAY too much the the last RNP book I read (The Spire), and I almost put it down. I'm glad I didn't, because I ended up really enjoying it. If you've recently read The Spire, I'd give some time before picking up this one, but overall, worth picking up eventually. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aileen | 3/26/2013

    " kept me going "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lanell | 3/12/2013

    " I really like this book except there was a little too much sex in it for me. The story was good and it had some interesting twists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 2/23/2013

    " Again, not a huge legal thriller fan, but this was a great read leaving you love the main character!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Toni | 2/21/2013

    " It started of good but the end was a bit wishy washy for my liking. Not so sure sorry Mr. Patterson. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie O'sullivan | 4/2/2012

    " Read this book years ago and liked it so much that I have become a real fan of Richard North Patterson. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 2/17/2012

    " As good as his other stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jackie Gunn | 1/10/2012

    " A book I could not put down. A surprising twist at the end which I was not expecting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 12/27/2011

    " Pulled me in. I had to finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pam Way | 10/13/2011

    " I could not put this book down. A little rough in places because of the subject matter surrounding the legal case that is the basis of the story, but this book drew me in and I had to find out what was going to happen. Great legal thriller! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Rossi | 10/2/2011

    " very good plot twists, really enjoyed it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Muriel McLemore | 6/20/2011

    " Another "legal" novel with lots of twists and turns for the characters. Patterson does a good job of developing the characters in the novel and keeps you guessing as to who is the guilty party. I've enjoyed his novels since "Final Judgment" and "Eyes of a Child." I wish he was more prolific. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denese | 5/31/2011

    " I had guessed the murderer by the 2nd chapter, but enjoyed the ride to the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Terry | 4/20/2011

    " great plotline, good characters, well written "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 3/21/2011

    " Good murder mystery wrapped in a flashback-laden courtroom drama case of "there is no black and white". Some fun twists and surprising turns - Richard North Patterson created 3 dimensional characters with flaws and a grain of reality and genuine feeling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darcy | 3/3/2011

    " Loved this book. Strong characters and plot. Graphic details so beware if you are shocked easily. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie | 2/22/2011

    " This took me a long time get thru but it was an awesome book. The ending really surprised me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 2/1/2011

    " If you enjoy a court room thriller, this book will not disappoint! There's more to this book though that includes a compelling story and characters you'll both admire and be revolted by, amongst other things. In other words, two thumbs up! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamie | 1/12/2011

    " Pro-Keeps you guessing, for sure.
    Cons- Too graphic to recommend to anyone, subject matter was a little too much for me "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 DW | 12/26/2010

    " I enjoy this author's writing style. I'd be open to reading more of his books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 9/28/2010

    " LOVED this book! One of my favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 8/13/2010

    " I read this book a long time ago but remember being a very strong murder mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 7/6/2010

    " I really like Richard North Patterson. This book appeals because it is about an accused murderer who was never convicted who comes "home". I thought it was a good summer read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J. | 6/3/2010

    " Richard North Patterson can write and this is one of his better efforts. It is a good read and very enjoyable.

    J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debbie | 5/18/2010

    " Was interesting story of betrayal and deceit. Liked how it started in present day and took you back to the high school years. Really didn't know the end until very late in the book, so I would say it had suspense.
    Not the best written, but entertaining without being too predictable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ioanna | 5/5/2010

    " it's been some years that i read it,but i liked it a lot "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 4/14/2010

    " Well written and not so predictable. However, I didn't really need the graphic descriptions. "

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About the Author
Author Richard North Patterson

Richard North Patterson is the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil’s Light, In the Name of Honor, The Spire, and a number of other bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, he was the SEC’s liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups. Patterson has appeared on such programs as the Today show, Good Morning America, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and Buchanan and Press

About the Narrator

Boyd Gaines’ many film credits include Second Best, I’m Not Rappaport, Heartbreak Ridge, Fame, and Porky’s. He’s won two Tony Awards for performances in the The Heidi Chronicles and the musical She Loves Me. On television he’s appeared in A Woman Called Jackie, A Son’s Promise, and in the popular series One Day at a Time.