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Josie Bates Books In Order

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Publication Order of Josie Bates Books

Hostile Witness (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Silent Witness (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Privileged Witness (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Expert Witness (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eyewitness (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Forgotten Witness (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dark Witness (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hannah's Diary (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lost Witness (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

An American best-selling author of countless mystery thriller, young adult and romance novels, the writer Rebecca Forster has been writing for some time now. Getting inside the minds of her characters, she has really been able to offer an engaging series of novels. With readers worldwide, she has been building her audience for quite some time as well, with more and more finding her work everyday. One series that she is particularly well known for is that of her long-running series of The Witness, or her Josie Bates franchise as many have come to know it. Following the exploits of the eponymous protagonist, it charts each case file of the defence attorney Josie Bates. Shrewd and quick witted, she is always thinking on her feet, as she runs her own practice ensuring that justice always prevails.

Running for over seven books so far and counting, this series has a lot of potential to continue indefinitely. The character of Josie Bates herself is a strong one, something which Forster really brings out in her arc as the series progresses. Maintaining its pace throughout, it manages to draw the reader in keeping them there, something which will carry on for some time to come as its popularity continues to grow.

Hostile Witness

Initially brought out on the 3rd of February back in 2004, this was the book that established the Witness series overall. It also introduced the character of Josie Bates to the mass reading public as well, building her character and backstory in the process. Creating the style and the tone too, it really manages to evoke a sense of atmosphere and ambiance as well.

This isn’t just a murder mystery novel, as a lot of other themes and ideas come through, with Forster making it into something else. Whilst many of the more traditional tropes of the genre lie across the surface, it examines concepts of youth and growing up. Looking at politics too, it examines how they can become a real problematic obstacle in the pursuit of truth and justice. Set in California, this really manages to bring out the darker side to the state, juxtaposing a lot of the action against its location. This is somewhere that Forster clearly understands, managing to bring out a real sense of what the story is about through it. That’s not to say that it isn’t universal, as it’s open to anyone, with many of its themes ringing true worldwide. The character of Josie Bates herself is a somewhat sympathetic one, as she hoped to initially get away from her life as a hot-shot defence attorney for something more simpler. Her practice in Hermosa Beach exemplifies that, and it is here that she hopes to settle down in and make a new start. With life getting in the way again, though, it appears this isn’t to be, as she gets more than she originally bargained for.

Facing an arrest as an adult, sixteen year old Hannah Sheraton has been convicted for the murder of her step-grandfather. That’s when Josie Bates steps-up at the bequest of the teenagers mother; the chief justice of the Californian Supreme Court and her old former room-mate. Not everything is as it seems though, and despite her reservations, Josie Bates feels there must be something she can do. Will she be able to uncover the truth? What are the politics behind it all? Where is the hostile witness?

Silent Witness

Released just one year after the first, this quickly picks up from where the last left off, working as a direct sequel. Originally brought out on the 1st of February in 2005, it has seen a number of republications over the years as its popularity has grown. With the character of Josie Bates, Forster has worked well at developing her character and building upon her backstory as well.

This time looking into love and what lengths people will go to for those that they care about, it manages to be something more than a murder mystery once again. Facing the true cost of law and order, Bates is once again the catalyst for many bigger questions facing the author. Knowing her world well, Forster takes her readers on journey to answer some of the deeper more fundamental issues facing the legal system today. Heading back to California again, the character of Josie Bates is definitely someone who is very attached to her environment. Knowing it well, Forster once again says what she wants to say through not just the people inhabiting her world, but the world itself. Becoming a character almost in of itself, she manages to draw the reader in, regardless of whether they’ve been there or not. Not being able to leave her high-flying legal career behind, Josie Bates is a somewhat reluctant protagonist to what’s going on. Continually pulled back into her former life, it’s easy for the audience to sympathize with her and her predicament. Always wanting to do the right thing as well, it’s easy for the readers to empathize with her, creating a bond in a sense.

Accused of murdering his disabled son, Archer, the ex-cop and lover of Josie Bates has been framed it seems. It is then up to Josie Bates to prove his innocence, despite not knowing he even had a son in the first place. Up against the clock, she soon finds that her only place to turn is the testimony of one silent witness, as they offer some extremely dangerous evidence. Will she find the real killer before it’s too late? Can she save her lover? Just who is this silent witness?

The Josie Bates Series

This isn’t just any run-of-the-mill mystery novel series, as Forster manages to create something entirely new and fresh in the process. What she offers here is something that really subverts the genre, along with audience expectations as well. Taking the more traditional tropes of the genre she works at turning them on their head, keeping the reader guessing right until the very last page. Not only that, but her characters are also extremely well defined as well, with them resonating their audience long after the books are finished. Josie Bates herself is one of the most enduring characters, though, as she’s managed to build an archetype that’s entirely free of cliches. This is what has ensured that the series of Josie Bates throughout the Witness novels is one of her most successful to date, and will be for some time to come.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Josie Bates

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