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Extended Audio Sample Silent Witness Audiobook, by Richard North Patterson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.73 out of 53.73 out of 53.73 out of 53.73 out of 53.73 out of 5 3.73 (41 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard North Patterson Narrator: T. J. Edwards Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Tony Lord Series Release Date: January 1997 ISBN: 9781415920619
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Silent Witness begins in 1967, in a small Midwestern town. Seventeen-year-old Tony Lord, Lake City’s star athlete, seems destined for great things. His driving ambition is precisely what attracts Alison Taylor, the daughter of the town’s leading family, and it is what sets Tony apart from his two closest friends: Sam Robb and Sam’s girl, Sue Cash.

Suddenly everything changes. Alison Taylor is brutally murdered, and Tony is the number-one suspect. The town turns against him. His friendship with Sam is destroyed. And Tony leaves Lake City, vowing never to return.

Twenty-seven years later, an urgent phone call from Sue changes Tony’s life once more. For Tony Lord is now a San Francisco lawyer—a relentless advocate dedicated to the defense of his clients. Sue’s plea for help is one he cannot ignore: her husband, Sam Robb, now the vice principal of Lake City High School, is suspected of the murder of a female student. In seeking to save him, Tony must confront not only the fear that Sam is a murderer, but the concealed passions and buried truths that underlie Alison’s death so long ago.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dennis | 2/18/2014

    " Like in most books of this type, the ending became obvious long before I got there, following the pattern of early "solutions" and red herrings, until it was obvious what was going to happen (unless something came out of left field - but that would spoil the fun, wouldn't it?) Still, it was well-written and I liked that it led me along by the hand rather than the nose. Good pacing (which is necessary in a book which which is long for this genre) and a reasonable plotline - although you did begin to wonder if the police were so stupid as to not having pursued some obvious lines of inquiry, not to mention that the killer needed a LOT of luck to get away with the first killing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Frederick Bingham | 2/12/2014

    " I listened to this on cassette on the way to Raleigh in July '2002.A story about an attorney named Tony Lord. He grows up in a rust belt town in Ohio. His last year of high school he is accused of murdering his girlfriend. He beats that rap, leaves the town and becomes a successful lawyer in San Francisco. Twenty-odd years later, a friend of his is accused of anther murder, this time of a teenage girl. Tony goes back to defend him and has to confront his own past.This book is definitely not for kids, with depictions of rape, child molestation and anal sex. "

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

    " 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 "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kimberlyn | 2/5/2014

    " tedious, predictable "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jay Fromkin | 1/17/2014

    " 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave Nelson | 1/13/2014

    " Well-written. One of those novels I hate to see come to an end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Julie | 1/13/2014

    " Silent Witness by Richard North Patterson (1997) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 1/8/2014

    " Very well written - great twist at the end. Should read Private Screening first to understand the main character, Tony Lord. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Muriel McLemore | 12/30/2013

    " 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 Derek | 12/20/2013

    " A rather good legal thriller "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/20/2013

    " Good book, but I guessed the ending. There was only one plausible explanation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 12/18/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book--I felt like I was a real participant in the story. I actually finished it 2 days ago and I am still thinking about it. I think the author wove the past and present together really well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lanell | 12/7/2013

    " 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 Toni | 9/2/2013

    " new author for me, like the book a lot "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aileen | 8/28/2013

    " kept me going "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scarlett | 6/19/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 5/1/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 4/27/2013

    " I had forgotten how much I enjoy Patterson's books. lough a somewhat predictable ending, this was still a page-turner and I HAD to finish it. The book challenged loyalties in friendships. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 DW | 3/25/2013

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mel | 2/10/2013

    " While the subject is sick and twisted (as is one of the characters), the book is excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 1/5/2013

    " As good as his other stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darcy Washburn | 8/19/2012

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deborah Harless | 7/4/2012

    " pretty quick read, but I did guess who the killer was about half way thru "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sarah Jowett | 12/22/2011

    " I tried to get into it but I couldn't. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carrie Zagzebski | 12/21/2011

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 11/15/2011

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

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 7/16/2011

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

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denese | 6/8/2011

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

  • 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