The Guilty One
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.
Praise For The Guilty One: A Novel…
— Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Lisa Ballantyne has written a first novel that is both moving and suspenseful; richly detailed, yet with the eerie simplicity of a parable”
— Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times bestselling author
“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.”
— Joyce Maynard, author of Labor Day
“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.”
— Hallie Ephron, author of There Was an Old Woman
“Thought provoking, brave and challenging, this book is an unsettling and compulsive read.”
— Rosamund Lupton, author of Sister and Afterwards
“One of the best debuts I’ve ever encountered”
— Daily Record
“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.”
— Richard Madeley, Richard and Judy's Book Club, Autumn 2012 Pick
— Cosmopolitan (UK)
“A captivating debut”
— Kirkus Reviews
“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.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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
— Library Journal
William Morrow Paperbacks, 9780062195517, 480pp.
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
About the Author
Lisa Ballantyne is the author of the Edgar Award-nominated The Guilty One. She lived and worked in China for many years and started writing seriously while she was there. Ballantyne now lives in Glasgow, Scotland.