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Dead Witness [Paperback]

Joylene Nowell Butler
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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From the Publisher

Métis Canadian, has been writing for 25 years. A retired emergency responder, she was born in Manitoba, moved to Maple Ridge, B.C. as a child, attended Douglas College and Simon Fraser University. She and her husband Ralph moved to Prince George in 1979 where they raised their five sons. In 1992 they built a cottage on Cluculz Lake, near Vanderhoof. In her spare time, Joylene teaches Tai Chi. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
"Dead Witness" gripped me by the gut and wouldn't let go.
The heroine is wonderful, and the villains are scarey as hell. Ms Butler weaves a mesmerizing story. I hated to reach the end. But then I read her next release "Broken but not Dead." That helped, because it, too, is beyond wonderful. But where's your NEXT book, Ms Butler??? Help! I'm going through withdrawal...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read! Dec 22 2008
Format:Paperback
Refreshing is the word that comes to mind if I had to describe this book in one word. Refreshing to read something as original and as well written and thought out from a debut book.

On a trip to the US, Valerie McCormick witnesses the murder of two men and suddenly finds herself on the run from a drug cartel the FBI has been tracking for months. When the head of the drug cartel escapes federal custody just before Valerie is to testify, she can only think of her family ' her three daughters ' and what this killer would do to them.

With the aid of the RCMP, the FBI begin watching Valerie and her family until one day they learn of a plan to blow up Valerie's van (with her in it) and they set they're own counterplan in place ' one that will separate Valerie from her three girls forever.

Butler takes us on a ride of twists and turns that rival Tami Hoag and Tess Gerritsen. In a writing world full of formulaic writing and an overabundance, it seems, of suspense, Butler is sure to be a success.

She has certainly impressed this editor!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Watch out for Joylene Nowell Butler. Her first novel, Dead Witness, is a gripping tale of a woman whose life changes forever when she witnesses the leader of a Latin drug cartel murder two FBI agents. The FBI desperately wants Valerie to testify; the drug lord is just as determined to make sure she never does.

It's a rollercoaster ride of chilling plot twists and turns. Butler takes us into the mind and heart of a woman who lost her parents as a child and now loses her children, when the FBI force her into hiding. As she struggles to elude the drug lord and return to her children, she discovers an inner strength that allows her to not only face the demons in her past, but also find romance in a most unlikely place. Butler's writing is fluid and compelling: she evokes each scene with an attention to detail that makes you feel you're actually there.

Plot, pace, characterization and prose: Butler delivers on all counts. Pick up Dead Witness and you won't want to put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A bit more than a mere thriller Sept. 6 2008
Format:Paperback
Review: Dead Witness: Joylene Nowell Butler:
Current edition in Lulu paperback $19.95 ISBN:978-1-4357-3249-0

When Valerie McCormick stumbles upon the scene of a murder she becomes the only witness who can testify in the trial of crime boss Miguel DeOlmos, and becomes a target for murder herself. While the story unfolds at a thriller pace, author Butler weaves a compelling tale of Valerie, a woman who will risk everything for the sake of her endangered family.

I have to admit to breaking all the rules in this review; Joylene Butler has been an online writing buddy for years and I critiqued an earlier draft of this novel, but I wanted to showcase a self-published novel as atonement for casting aspersions when I ceased accepting them for review. A self-published novel can be as good a read as this and do well, but it must contain the same amount of critical reading and novel craft as a commercial publisher would require. The only aspect I would fault in this edition of Dead Witness is to suggest it needed stronger copy editing, and if another edition is intended, now would be a good time to do it.

While murder and violence underlie the action this is no bang bang shoot em up where the author sacrifices depth and characterization for impact; which may have caused potential publishers to shy away from something so different from the kind of mindless TV drama most thriller writers aim for. We are thrust into Valerie's turmoil as the FBI whisk her away from DeOlmos's attempts to silence her and she has to let her husband, brother, and beloved daughters believe she's dead.
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Format:Paperback
Dead Witness is definitely a Friday night read. If you start this book on a school night, prepare to spend the next day sleep-deprived. Joylene Nowell Butler's crisp plot races forward and never relents. The book delivers an exciting story at a hot pace; but that is not what makes it a five-star read. What distinguishes Dead Witness is the outstanding quality of the dialogue and the depth and complexity of its characters.

Nowell Butler's heroine, Valerie McCormick, is a Canadian housewife and mother from Prince George, British Columbia. When the machinations of the FBI fail to protect her or her family from Colombian drug lord Miguel DeOlmos, Valerie makes the decision to seek DeOlmos on her own terms. Those terms are what make this heroine so appealing and so interesting, as one quiet, determined BC housewife takes her fate in her own hands and sets the FBI, and its star agent, Michael Canady, on their ears.
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