Cover image for The last witness : a thriller
The last witness : a thriller
Meade, Glenn, 1957-
Personal Author:
First Howard Books hardcover edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Howard Books, 2014.
Physical Description:
x, 408 pages ; 24 cm
When Carla Lane's husband is murdered by Serbian war criminals, she discovers that she underwent extensive therapy as a girl to suppress memories of a Bosnian genocide and a long-lost brother who may still be alive.
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After a massacre at a Bosnian prison camp, a young girl is found alone, clutching a diary, so traumatized she can't even speak. Twenty years later, the last witness to the prison guards' brutal crimes must hunt down those responsible to learn what happened to her family.

Twenty years ago, after the fall of Yugoslavia, the world watched in horror as tens of thousands were killed or imprisioned in work camps during an "ethnic cleansing" in Bosnia. Carla Lane has little knowledge of what went on halfway around the world when she was a child. She is living a near perfect life in New York City, married and soon to have a family of her own. But when her husband is murdered by a group of Serbian war criminals, strange memories start coming back, and she discovers that she underwent extensive therapy as a girl to suppress her memories. She is given her mother's diary, which unlocks her childhood memories and reveals that she was, along with her parents and young brother, imprisoned in a war camp outside Sarajevo.

As her memories come back, it becomes clear that she is the last witness to a brutal massacre in the prison and that her brother may still be alive. She sets out to find her brother, but first she must hunt down the war criminals responsible for destroying her life. But these killers will stop at nothing to protect their anonymity and their deadly pasts...and are determined to silence the last witness to their crimes.

From the talented storyteller who gave us The Second Messiah , The Last Witness serves up another captivating and nail-biting thriller that will keep you holding your breath right to the end.

Author Notes

Author Glenn Meade has written "Snow Wolf," a book about the Cold War and the CIA's plan to assassinate Joseph Stalin, and "Brandenburg," a story about the taking over of Germany by a neo-Nazi group led by Hitler's son.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

When Carla Lane's husband, a pianist, is killed by a bomb planted in his car, Carla is distraught. When she learns her husband actually lived a secret life, tracking down perpetrators of the Bosnian genocide in the 1990s, she's baffled. And when she discovers that she, too, was touched (when she was a child) by the genocide, she's determined to retrieve her lost memories, locate her long-missing brother, and find the people responsible for her husband's murder. If you buy into that rather elaborate setup, then you should have no problem enjoying this sharply written thriller; if, on the other hand, the setup feels forced, then the story that springs from it might feel likewise. Meade, whose previous history-based novels include The Second Messiah (2010) and The Romanov Conspiracy (2012), does a nice job of blending historical fact and mostly plausible fiction, and Carla Lane is a strong protagonist. Fans of the earlier books will also enjoy this one.--Pitt, David Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The grisly conflict that tore apart the former Yugoslavia serves as the backdrop for this pedestrian and improbable thriller from Meade (The Second Messiah). As a child, Carla Lane witnessed the horrors of ethnic cleansing in Serbia, but, as an adult, she is unable to recall these traumatic experiences-that is, until her husband, concert pianist Jan, is killed in a car bombing by the Serbian war criminals-turned-international gangsters he had been hunting. Carla discovers her late mother's diary and reads about her long-vanished brother, Luka, thereby recovering her last memory of him in a prison camp near Sarajevo. Despite having recently learned she's pregnant, Carla resolves to undergo a dangerous journey to find Luka. Unfortunately, Meade's worthwhile message about ethnic hatred, whether in the Balkans or elsewhere, is diluted by unlikely coincidences, shallow motivations, and broadly drawn characters like the villain with "terrifying gargoyles in the dark belfry of his mind." Agent: Claudia Cross, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.



The Last Witness 2 NEW YORK Carla Lane didn't know it, but that day would begin with life and end with death. Nor did she know if some fleeting premonition had passed a shadow across her dreams in the weeks leading up to that afternoon, warning her of the terrible event that was about to happen. Perhaps it had. But all she knew for certain that day was that she was excited as she came out of the doctor's office, and that she had never felt happier. She spotted Jan waiting for her, sitting on a park bench across the street, reading a newspaper. He looked up when he saw her. He flashed his usual lopsided smile, his fringe blowing in the wind, but then he looked more serious as he folded away his newspaper and came to meet her. "Well? How did it go?" She didn't speak. "Come on, Carla, don't do this to me, honey." "Do what?" "Keep me in suspense. Is it good news or bad?" "Let's put it this way. I'm going to be eating for two from now on." His face beamed, and she knew at once why she'd married this man. "Carla, that's terrific news." He kissed her, slid his hand around her waist, and patted her stomach. "Can they tell yet?" "Jan, I'm only six weeks pregnant." "How long before they can tell?" "Four, five months, maybe. In all the excitement I forgot to ask. It doesn't matter if it's a boy or a girl, does it?" "Not a bit. How about lunch at Barney's to celebrate? I've got a rehearsal at two, so I'm out of handcuffs until then." A shadow flickered across Carla's face. There was something else she had to tell Jan. Something troubling her. "What's wrong? You look distracted." "Nothing. It'll keep until after lunch." "We'll have a drink to celebrate. You think the doctor would mind?" She slipped her arm through his. "Nothing stronger than a glass of sparkling water for me. From now on, Momma's strictly on the wagon." Jan smiled, and whistled to hail a cab. Excerpted from The Last Witness: A Thriller by Glenn Meade All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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