This is one scary book.
Not because it's populated with zombies or vampires, werewolves and things that go bump in the night.
No, this is a scary book because it is populated by men and women who are elected to serve the people but who, in their ideological madness, perpetrate horrible crimes against citizens of the United States.
The most scary thing about this novel, however, is that it is not only plausible, it's rooted in actual fact.
Author Rebecca Forster's 'Forgotten Witness' is based on the startling revelations in the 1970s that the U.S. government had - for many years - conducted brutal, mind-warping experiments on its own citizens without their consent. In effect, elitist U.S. government officials, convinced of the rightness of their cause and supremely arrogant enough to think they were justified in whatever they did to ordinary people because it was for 'the greater good,' stole the lives of hundreds - perhaps thousands - of Americans by pumping them full of drugs, incarcerating and torturing them and then carefully noting down their reactions to this outrageous treatment.
If you think that sounds like what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s and during World War II and not in America it's time that you think again because, in truth, it actually did happen here and, for all we know, it may still be happening.
In her book Forster imagines what might have happened to some of the victims of those unethical, immoral experiments once their minds were shattered. Her heroine, Josie Bates, must come to terms with what was done to members of her own family as part of those experiments - something she was not aware of until many years later. An attorney, who doesn't always act like a buttoned-down lawyer, Josie is singled out one afternoon by a man who appears demented and hands her a small package of information. That information sets her on a trail that will take her from the corridors of power in Washington, DC to the paradise that is Hawaii. It is there that she will learn things that will not only shock her but, in a very real sense, turn her emotional life inside out.
This is an excellent book for many reasons, not the least of which are the memorable characters Forster has created. In addition to Josie, there is a displaced - and occasionally seasick - Englishman who lives with three beautiful girls on Maui; a young woman with an unsettling past who is the daughter of the demented man and assorted Washington players who are so lacking in conscience that using the word "evil" to describe them is a gross understatement.
'Forgotten Witness' is the sixth book in a series featuring Josie Bates but it is the first one I have read. Because of that, I'm going to have to go find the other five because Forster has gotten me hooked not only on her heroine but also with her writing and the almost uncanny way she pulls her readers into the narrative.