The fly leaf indicates this is Nora's 200th book. And, she certainly has her craft well honed. She does characters as well as anybody in the business. Even as the main character in The Witness repeatedly changes her appearance and name throughout the story, I feel like I know her. I am never confused about who she is, nor am I confused about the people (and dogs) around her. They are all crystal clear both visually and emotionally. Needless to say, I liked this book a lot.
The story starts with an initial bout of teenaged rebellion. A sixteen year old girl whose entire life has been regimented like the most rigorous of science experiments finally has had enough. She heads for the mall to buy her first pair of jeans. While there she runs into a girl who knows her from school. They decide to create fake IDs and get into a night club. Elizabeth is in charge of ID, her friend chooses the club. Elizabeth is having the time of her life until it all goes horribly wrong. The club her friend has chosen is run by the Russian mob. The men they are with work for the mob. The evening ends with Elizabeth witnessing the executions of a mobster and her friend. She runs. Escapes.
She finally gets to the police and is placed in a safe house. But the mob has a mole. Her guards are killed and the house blown up. Her US Marshall's last act is to insist she escape out the window. She runs. Escapes.
Fast forward twelve years and Elizabeth, now known as Abigail, has just bought a cabin on wooded acreage in the Ozark Mountains. She, her mastiff, Bert, and her large collection of weapons are trying to settle in. She just wants to live quietly, unobtrusively on the edge of town. But Brooks, the police chief, has other ideas.
Resistance is futile. He gets past her defenses, makes friends with her dog, and finally wiggles his way into her heart. She finally trusts him enough to share her past, and they devise a plan to bring this group of Russian mobsters to justice so Abigail and Brooks can live happily ever after.