Last Witness by Jilliane Hoffman

Jilliane Hoffman  is an American writer of legal thrillers She was born on Long Island, New York State, USA and attended both undergraduate and law school at  St. John’s University in Queens, New York.  Before the author startied to write, the author practiced as a lawyer while working as an assistant state’s attorney prosecuting felonies in Miami, Florida from 1992 to 1996. Thereafter, she was a regional advisor for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement consulting with special agents in complicated investigations including homicide, narcotics and organized crime.  With the knowledge obtained through years of work as a lawyer, Hoffman turned to writing legal and crime thrillers. Her first novel, Retribution, was published in 2004, followed by this book in 2005.


In Last Witness C.J. Townsend, a brilliant prosecutor from Miami, returns in Hoffman’s second novel that’s filled with vivid crime scenes investigations and an exciting plot.  Although I had not read the first book in the series it was not hard to catch up and learn that CJ’s rapist and the convicted Cupid killer, William Bantling,  is behind bars.  Also, CJ’s life with Special Agent Dominick Falconetti is set to begin again with their approaching wedding.  Life seems to be going well for the major crimes prosecutor but then a series of cop killings begins.

At first these killings seem to be a tragic set of homicides involving dirty cops. However, CJ realizes that all of the victims have ties to a cover-up that took place during the earlier Cupid case. The list of victims grows and CJ is forced to look on in terror,  keeping a secret that could kill her. The strain leads to CJ making crushing choices and she has to fight for her life.

I found the book quite exciting.  CJ Townsend and Dominick Falconetti are an interestingl couple to read about. CJ’s strength grows in this book and the progression from scared victim to determined prosecutor is great.  The character has flaws that make her more real and make the ordeals she faces really compelling to read about. Dominick Falconetti is still a wonderful balance for CJ and their relationship has its ups and downs to keep the reader hoping for the happily ever after ending that CJ deserves.



The cop killings add intensity to the plot. This amplifies throughout the story and the pace is unrelenting with twists and turns that will keep the reader guessing. Even though some clues are given, there are enough red herrings to keep the killer’s identity a secret until the veryending. This was a gripping read that kept me turning pages until the wee small hours of the morning. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys suspense thrillers. 

Valerie Penny



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