The Witness

The Witness

3.7 11
by Josh D. McDowell

From Monte Carlo to Morocco to Egypt and into Petra, Marwan Accad is pursued by authorities for murders he did not commit. Tracked by advanced intelligence-surveillance technology, his every location is eventually found out, thrusting those he loves into danger. Nurtured by a bitter past that equipped him with what he needed for his company to thrive, Marwan Accad


From Monte Carlo to Morocco to Egypt and into Petra, Marwan Accad is pursued by authorities for murders he did not commit. Tracked by advanced intelligence-surveillance technology, his every location is eventually found out, thrusting those he loves into danger. Nurtured by a bitter past that equipped him with what he needed for his company to thrive, Marwan Accad never looks back. Yet the way forward promises only uncertainty, and living each day is a lie in which corruption and greed play in the lives of man. For whose lie is he going through all of this? Even as Marwan races against time to find his pursuers and their motives, he must grapple with what is beyond his life, with what is eternal. Tyndale House Publishers

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Tyndale House Publishers
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A novel
By Josh McDowell

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2008 Josh McDowell
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-3412-7

Chapter One

His daughter was dead. His wife was missing. And now Rafeeq Ramsey clearly feared for his own life.

"We have only two more days," the old man said, pacing the sumptuous living room of his palatial flat on the shores of Monte Carlo and chain-smoking like a man who might rather die of lung cancer than a car bomb or an assassin's bullet. "I received a new note just before you arrived. If I don't wire them more money by Friday, they say they'll kill Claudette and come after me. So please, Mr. Accad, I beg of you-tell me you have good news, because I don't think I can take much more of this."

"How much are they asking for now?"

"Twenty-five million," Ramsey said. "On top of the 11 million euros I've already paid."

It was an enormous sum of money-at least it would be for a mere mortal. But the seventy-nine-year-old Ramsey was no mere mortal. Six months earlier, he had sold his company-Blue Nile Holdings, founded with his late brother back in 1963-to a French conglomerate for a cool €563 million. He was now one of the wealthiest men in Egypt and a living legend among the business elite throughout North Africa and the Middle East.

Marwan Accad sat a few meters away on a long couch made of rich Italian leather and took in the moment. In so many ways, Ramsey was the perfect client-old, rich, and terrified. It was men like this for whom Marwan had launched his executive security business in the first place.

But this case had left the vilest taste in his mouth. Greed. Corruption. Blackmail. Murder. Everywhere he looked, every stone he turned over, he found himself face-to-face with the depravity of men's souls. He certainly did not have any words of solace for this wretched old man, now bereft of the two women he loved most in the world, and he began to wonder if it was time to get out of this business once and for all.

Marwan finished his espresso and stared out over the glistening Mediterranean and at the reflection of the late-afternoon sun in the windows of the other luxury apartments nearby. He wondered what his parents would have thought of the life he now lived-the jet helicopters and the Humvees, the Armani suits and the Kevlar vests. The more risks he took, the more money he made. Wasn't that just good business?

He knew what his mother would say. She had begged him to get out of Beirut after his army service and become a doctor or an engineer and move to Paris. She had longed for him to live a safe and quiet life, to have sons and raise them to be men of peace, men of science, men of accomplishment. But like a fool, he had not listened. Could she see him now? Did she know how much time he spent helping the rich buy their trophy wives back from blackmailers and drug lords? Did she see how much time he spent jetting clients in and out of Baghdad and Mosul and Fallujah? Did the dead cry themselves to sleep?

"I do have news," Marwan Accad said at last. "But I'm afraid it is not good."

"What have those animals done to Claudette?" Ramsey demanded. "I'll kill them. I swear to you, Mr. Accad. I will not rest until I hunt them down and make them suffer."

Marwan shook his head.

"It is about Claudette, but it's not what you think. Please, have a seat."

"Just tell me what you know."

"I will, Mr. Ramsey. But please, sit, and then I will tell you everything."

A corpulent man whose health had been slipping fast over the past two weeks, Ramsey slumped down in a large overstuffed chair and nervously lit another cigarette. His eyes were red and moist and filled with anxious expectation. He leaned forward. "Please, Mr. Accad, don't toy with me."

Marwan nodded. "Mr. Ramsey, what does Sco Paulo mean to you?"

The old man looked confused. "You mean the city, in Brazil?"


Ramsey shrugged. "Nothing; why?"

"Nothing?" Marwan insisted.

"No. Should it?"

"Did Blue Nile Holdings have any offices or factories there?"


"Were any of your senior management team from there?"


"Were any of your employees from there?"

"I don't think so."

"Have you ever been to Sco Paulo on business?"

"No, I tell you."

"Have you ever been there on vacation with your wife?"

"Who has time for vacations?" Ramsey sniffed. "I am a busy man."

"Has Mrs. Ramsey ever been to Sco Paulo alone for any other reason?"

"No, of course not."

"You're absolutely sure?"

"I don't see what you're trying to-"

"Are you sure, Mr. Ramsey?" Marwan pressed. "Think."

Rafeeq Ramsey got up from the chair and began pacing around the room again, taking long drags on his cigarette.

"Well, actually, come to think of it, I think she did," he said after a moment.

"Tell me about it."

"There's not much to tell," Ramsey said. "Claudette's second cousin once married a Brazilian. It lasted about six months before they got divorced."

"Did you go to the wedding?" Marwan asked.

"No, but Claudette did. She hated it-Sco Paulo, that is. Too crowded. Too noisy. New York without the charm, she said."

"When was the wedding?"

"I don't know, maybe three or four years ago," Ramsey said, mixing himself a drink at the bar by the windows. "Why? Where are you going with all this?"

Marwan reached down, opened his briefcase, pulled out a large manila envelope, and held it out to Ramsey.

"What is that?" the old man asked. He sipped his martini.

"Open it," Marwan said. "You'll see."

Ramsey stared at Marwan for a moment, then set down his drink, walked over, took the envelope, and opened it slowly.

As he pulled out an eight-by-ten black-and-white photograph, all color drained from his face, and a look of profound confusion filled his eyes.

In Ramsey's hands was a photograph of his wife, date-stamped less than forty-eight hours earlier. Unlike the previous photos that had come with the ransom notes, in this one she was not bound. She was not gagged. Instead, she appeared to be sitting in an office, in front of a desk, talking to a clerk or manager of some kind.

"I don't ... I don't understand," Ramsey finally managed to say, though his voice was weak and his hands were trembling. "What is this? Where was this taken?"

"It was taken by a surveillance camera inside a bank in Sco Paulo," Marwan explained. "Your wife withdrew funds from the money you wired for her ransom."

Ramsey was clearly having trouble processing the image in his hands.

"What are you saying, Mr. Accad?" the old man said at last. "That my wife ... you think she planned this whole thing? You're saying this is proof that she betrayed me?"

Marwan said nothing. He waited for the painful truth to sink in before he offered his client a plan of action. But he never got the chance. The plate-glass windows suddenly exploded around them. The noise of two shots filled the room. The old man crashed to the floor. His blood formed a slowly growing pool on the carpet.

Rafeeq Ramsey was dead, and Marwan Accad feared he might be next.


Excerpted from THE WITNESS by Josh McDowell Copyright © 2008 by Josh McDowell. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Witness 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
ilovemy5kids More than 1 year ago
Have you ever seen the Jason Bourne movies? This book was so similar but with a Christian twist. It had my heart pounding at times with all the excitement of cops gone bad, high speed chases, international conflict and a love story mixed in. I loved how the gospel was presented in this book. It was simple yet for the hardened heart. I was impressed with how the author had made every detail personable to anyone. As much as I would want to recommend this book, it had some very disturbing images portrayed i.e. drugs, intimate issues, and violence. This book is not for young eyes. However, I wouldn't mind giving this book to a man who loves to read suspense. Blessings to you! You are loved! Note: I was sent complimentary copy for review purposes only. This review has not been monetarily compensated. The review was my honest opinion and views and not influenced by the sponsor in any way.
MaopaatLuscious-Deals More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading this book and following Marwan through his adventurous run from the law. This book is a good mix of romance and action, I'd have to say it was hard to put down. I highly recommend this book to those of you looking for a bit of romance and action.
devasha More than 1 year ago
The Witness is an action packed new novel by Josh McDowell, the renowned Christian apologist. I have greatly enjoyed non-fiction books by McDowell and was interested to read his fiction work. From Monte Carlo to Morocco to Egypt and into Petra, Marwan Accad is pursued by authorities for murders he did not commit. Tracked by advanced intelligence-surveillance technology, his every location is eventually found out, thrusting those he loves into danger. Nurtured by a bitter past that equipped him with what he needed for his company to thrive, Marwan Accad never looks back. Yet the way forward promises only uncertainty, and living each day is a lie in which corruption and greed play in the lives of man. For whose lie is he going through all of this? Even as Marwan races against time to find his pursuers and their motives, he must grapple with what is beyond his life, with what is eternal. I must say I was rather disappointed with The Witness. The premis of the story is intriguing- a man on the run for a crime he did not commit, but not original. The romance in the story seemed a bit forced and awkward. I appreciated the faith driven plot, but it was predictable and not inventive in its approach. As I neared the end of The Witness, the story began to grab me and pull me in, but it was far too late to completely enjoy the book as a whole. Josh McDowell is a fabulous apologist, but I believe his work is best spent in non-fiction. I was provided a free copy of this book by Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my review.
sunflowermommie More than 1 year ago
"The Witness" arrived in the mail and my son whisked it away before I had a chance to even look at it. He could not put the book down. He said it was awesome. It was so difficult for him to keep his mouth shut about the details until I had a chance to read it, but he did. It was finally my turn to read the book and I have to concur with my son. This book was riveting. The action draws you in and the carefully crafted story pulls you along until the very last page. If you like action packed suspense and drama, then this book is for you. It has been a very long time since I read anything (like fiction) just for the pure enjoyment of the story. The thing that had the biggest impression on me was how clearly the gospel truth was weaved through this book by the author, Josh McDowell. If this was the only introduction someone had to the Gospel, then it would be enough for them to find Jesus Christ. Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purposes of conducting this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own (and my son's).
rmattos More than 1 year ago
This is a very well-written book with a fast pace plot. It starts in Monte Carlo, where Rafeeq Ramsey has his daughter murder and his wife kidnapped. He hires the service of a security company owned by Marwan Accad and his brother, Ramy Accad. When they start figuring out what is going on, things start to happen. Marwan and his brother thinks the kidnap was fake by Rafeeq's wife and Rafeeq is murdered while in a meeting with Marwan when he was telling Rafeek about his suspicions. Marwan has to escape, trying to save his life, but he turns from primary witness to primary suspect of the murder. He scape to Casablanca where he meet his long term friend Kadeen, a converted to Christian that helps him healing from his wounds (physical and spiritual wounds). But Marwan is afraid that he put his friend and his family in danger and flies to Cairo. When he arrive there, he meets Dalia and fall in love with her. The search for him increases and he found that his friend Kadeen was murdered and he is also accused of killing his friend. Although against his best judgment, he proposes marriage to Dalia and while they are travelling to spend the weekend together, someone tries to kill him and he has to react and kill two attackers. He has to open his heart to Dalia and tell her the whole truth about himself. After forgiving him, Dalia wants to have the blessing of his family to marry Marwan, so they head to Jordan to meet her family. Dali's father figures out who he really is and after pressing him, he admits his problems and he is converted to Christianity by Dalia's father, who is a Pastor. They travel to visit Petra and while there, a last try to kill Marwan is attempted, but through the intervention of the Monte Carlo inspector and Marwan's brother, things are cleared and the responsible for the real plot is captured. It is a clean book, easy to read and will maintain your full attention from the very beginning till the last page. If you like Christian mystery books, this one is for you. It took me around 13 hours in total to read this book. This book was written by Josh McDowell in 2010. It was published by Tyndale Publisher House also in 2010 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their blogger book review program.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
arcook More than 1 year ago
Marwan Accad runs a security business for extremely rich people. He seems to specialize in those rich people that are having problems with kidnapping or blackmail. As Marwan is meeting with a client, he finds himself surrounded by assassins that are determined to kill his client and him. Marwan watches as his client and everyone around him is killed, then goes on the run. It doesn't take long for the police to mark Marwan as the prime suspect in the murders. The Witness takes the reader through two continents as Marwan runs from the police and real killers.*** Although The Witness is a fast-paced action mystery, I found myself almost skimming through parts of it. At the same time, I had a hard time finding a place to stop reading. There are some Christian overtones in the book, but they are very subtle. This was a welcome change from some "Christian fiction" books that tend to break into a sermon at least once per chapter.*** Josh McDowell is a Christian author so as an added bonus, there was no inappropriate language or scenes in the book. Some of the action may be a little intense for younger children, but otherwise the book could be enjoyed by the whole family.*** ***I received this book free from Tyndale Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."***
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I picked up "The Witness" by Josh McDowell, I was looking for a sitting-in-the-sun-on-a-lazy-afternoon kind of book. The back cover promised me thrilling danger and intrigue with a little romance thrown in to make it fun. True to his word, the author delivers non-stop action from the very first chapter. Part 1 of the book (the first 16 chapters) is reminiscent of a Rambo movie, bloody action sequences with not a moment between them to catch your breath. In all honesty, it was almost too much. I began to wonder if there was going to be a storyline to accompany all the violence. This, coupled with the fact that the main character is a pretty unlikeable guy, almost lost my interest. Fortunately, I continued on to chapter 17 . where I discovered the beginning of the bigger story. It is not surprising, coming from this internationally known author and speaker, that this book is a very well-written, easy read. And, other than the story's villain being obvious from the outset, the plot is fast-paced and has enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing right to the end. While "The Witness" was definitely slow to draw me in, in the end, it delivered on all it had promised and I found I couldn't put it down. In my lazy day quest for good entertainment I would have to say, "Mission accomplished". FYI: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
lilredhenJP More than 1 year ago
Marwan Accad and his brother Ramy own an executive security business, protecting rich and famous clients. Refeeq Ramsey hired them to find his wife's kidnapper, and the killer of his 12 year old daughter. He had already paid 11 million dollars, and now they were wanting 25 million more or they would kill Claudette. While meeting with Ramsey, they were ambushed, Ramsey was killed, and Accad's driver was blown up. Then at his hotel, he is ambushed, and barely comes away with his life, after being shot in the shoulder. Suddenly Marwan was on the run, accused of murder, and it seemed everywhere he went, they were able to track him. Who could be wishing him dead that much, and why? This is a book that I didn't rush though. It is very interesting, but it takes reading it while you can pay attention to the plot. There are a lot of locations, with great descriptions and also the characters are really well thought out, and interesting. Tyndale House Publishers 374 pages I was given a free copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers, to read and review. No other compensation was given. The opinions expressed here are my own.
HMY More than 1 year ago
The Witness by Josh McDowell is a suspense/action novel that follows the story of Marwan Accad. After recently launching his private security business Accad finds himself working for Rafeeq Ramsey whose wife has been kidnapped. As Accad is sharing some of his discoveries with his latest client, the client is killed by sniper fire. On the run from unknown assailants, accused of a crime he was a witness to Accad must work to answer the questions of who and why. I found the plot enjoyable, but even as a fan of Christian fiction the christian part of the book seemed a bit preachy to me. It felt forced into the storyline rather than a seamless piece. Personally, the writing style wasn't for me but I couldn't put my finger on why. There isn't anything wrong with it, overall it was a decent read. If you like suspense, action and a little complexity to your stories than this may be the book for you. Tyndale House Publishers was kind enough to provide me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Monte Carlo, septuagenarian Rafeeq Ramsey is frightened for his life and that of his kidnapped wife Claudette especially since the abductees killed their twelve year old daughter. He paid their first of eleven million Euros ransom demand, but now they want twenty-five million or she dies and he will as well two days afterward. Having sold his firm Blue Nile to a French conglomerate he has the money and is willing to pay again, but believes his adversaries will kill Claudette and him anyway. Desperate the wealthy Egyptian hires Muslim Marwan Accad, who runs an executive security business. Marwan shows a photo of Claudette withdrawing money from the bank in Sao Paul where the eleven million was deposited. Before the stunned elderly man could respond to the betrayal a sniper fires two shots through the window killing him. As Marwan wonders how the enemy knew that Ramsey hired Accad and Associates, they hunt him. He flees for North Africa with assassins and police from Europe and Africa stalking him as he is the suspect in the homicide. Morocco proves unsafe so he heads to Cairo; the enemy keeps coming and they do not care about collateral damage. He also fears for Dalia Nour, a woman he has just met who by associating with him is in danger. Additionally with mortality chasing him to Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East, Marwan ponders eternity and increasing evidence that the Christ is genuine. The Witness is an exciting Christian conspiracy thriller that is at its best when the enemy chases after the hero as he overcomes overwhelming odds in various locales. The story line at times turns preachy especially at moments when Accad understands the maxim that there are no atheists in the trenches. Fans of international conspirator Christian thrillers will enjoy Marwan's efforts to obtain the gift of salvation as he is the witness not the killer. Harriet Klausner