cover image False Witness

False Witness

Karin Slaughter. Morrow, $28.99 (512p) ISBN 978-0-06-285809-2

In 1998, teen sisters Callie and Leigh, the heroines of this superb thriller from bestseller Slaughter (The Silent Wife), murder Buddy Waleski, who sexually abused them for years while they babysat his son, Trevor, in Chicago. They leave the Waleski kitchen spotless after cleaning up any evidence of the murder and hide Buddy’s body. In 2021, Callie, who became addicted to heroin after a gymnastics accident left her in constant pain, and Leigh, a defense attorney, unexpectedly confront the past after Leigh’s boss assigns the case of an alleged serial rapist to her. During their first meeting, Andrew Tenant tells Leigh he’s actually the little boy she once babysat—Trevor Waleski—and implies that he knows the sisters killed his father. Callie and Leigh work urgently to determine how and what he knows. Breaking into the abandoned former Waleski house, Callie finds a crawl space with cameras aimed both at the kitchen where Buddy’s murder occurred and the living room couch where Callie was repeatedly raped as a 12-year-old by Buddy. If Leigh doesn’t secure a not guilty verdict, the pathological Andrew threatens to retaliate by releasing his father’s videos to the media and murdering her 16-year-old daughter. A shocking tragedy at the end will keep readers transfixed. Slaughter is writing at the top of her game. Agent: Victoria Sanders, Victoria Sanders & Assoc. (July)

Correction: An earlier version of this review mischaracterized one character as an alleged serial killer. The character is an alleged serial rapist.