This week I’m turning to the SCRLreads blog. A staff member posted a recommendation for The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne. In light of the murder recently of a young boy by another child, this certainly is a timely book.
An eight year old boy is found dead in a playground. His eleven year old neighbour is charged with the murder, although he claims he’s innocent. Leading the defense is London solicitor Daniel Hunter. Daniel is reminded of his own troubled childhood, his drug addicted mother, and his foster mother whom he grew to love, but later felt betrayed by. The two stories – that of the current trial and the story of Danny’s childhood are skillfully interwoven. The author makes the point that if the same amount of money was spent on rehabilitating young offenders, as is spent on incarcerating them, we could rescue a good percentage of children that are on the wrong side of the law. This book sheds light on a very serious social problem, and the roles played by parents, the juvenile justice system, the media, and the government (us).
This character driven novel explores the true nature of guilt; is a real page-turner and definitely worth a try.