The Guilty One-Lisa Ballantyne

The Guilty One
Lisa Ballantyne
Morrow, Mar 19 2013, $14.99
ISBN: 9780062195517

In London, the Islington Police arrests eleven year old Sebastian Croll for the beating death of his neighbor eight year old Ben Stokes in Barnard Park. Juvenile law solicitor Daniel Hunter defends the accused youth.

To mount a reasonable defense, Daniel investigates Sebastian’s life, which increasingly reminds the lawyer of his own troubled past as the child of a drug addicted single mom, which led to foster care until Minnie Flynn took him. Sebastian loves and hates Minnie Flynn who saved his life but also he believes destroyed his soul.

This is an exciting psychological legal procedural as readers wonder whether Daniel’s childhood prevents him from truly seeing Sebastian the violent monster or enables him to see Sebastian the hurting tweener. Though the numerous support cast can be overwhelming and the trial climax interrupted by the past, rotating between the solicitor’s salad days with Minnie and the present day trial. Fans will appreciate the blending of a psychological thriller with a British legal procedural. Daniel, Minnie and Sebastian put a face on government austerity lock them up and throw away the key mentality.

Harriet Klausner

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