The Guilty One: A Novel (Paperback)
Moving and suspenseful, Lisa Ballantyne’s The Guilty One is a psychological thriller about the darkness in each of us. It explores how we are all tied to our pasts, and what it means to be guilty.
Solicitor Daniel Hunter is called to defend 11-year-old Sebastian who has been charged with the murder of a young boy on a London playground. While examining Sebastian’s life in order to save it, Daniel can’t help but be transported to his own difficult youth spent in foster care—a time when the one he trusted the most was the one who betrayed him…
Emotionally wrought, and with an abundance of twists and turns, The Guilty One is a character-driven novel of suspense that explores the true nature of guilt.
“Sophisticated, suspenseful, unsettling, and highly recommended: a terrific debut from an author to watch.”
“Lisa Ballantyne has written a first novel that is both moving and suspenseful; richly detailed, yet with the eerie simplicity of a parable”
“The Guilty One offers that rare combination of a beautifully crafted story, inhabited with characters we haven’t known before (but won’t forget)--and a story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.”
“On one level, Lisa Ballantyne’s The Guilty One delivers riveting courtroom drama that is unflinchingly true to its characters. At another level, its personal story resonates with love, forgiveness, and the possibility of redemption. The Guilty One will touch your heart even as it leaves you unsettled.”
“Thought provoking, brave and challenging, this book is an unsettling and compulsive read.”
“One of the best debuts I’ve ever encountered”
“One of the most readable, emotionally intense novels of the year, and a debut one at that. Lisa Ballantyne pulls off the key writer’s trick of getting us to care about the characters; by the end of the first chapter, you will be comprehensively on the hook.”
“A captivating debut”
“An accomplished first novel and a good bet for book groups.”
“A child-on-child murder drives Ballantyne’s searing debut . . . [A] scalding exploration of childhood violence, adult refusal to forgive, and redemptive love.”
Ballantyne blurs the line between right and wrong like a double-edged sword in this methodical psychological thriller. The age-old struggle between good and evil takes on new meaning through characters so jaded by life; she makes you question it yourself.
Ballantyne hits some strong emotional beats, and fans of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers will find much to like here