The Guilty One

The Guilty One - Lisa Ballantyne When called upon to defend an 11-year-old accused of killing another child, Daniel Hunter is reminded of his own childhood and the woman who loved him enough to turn his life around.He wanted to give the case up, not because of what it was, but because of what it promised to be… If the boy was charged the media would be all over it. Daniel didn’t feel ready.I was afraid I wouldn’t like this book. I don’t read a lot of courtroom dramas, and I tend to steer away from books having to do with the death of children, but I took a chance with this one.It definitely took awhile to get into the story; the narrative focuses a lot on somewhat mundane everyday occurrences (such as Daniel planning for his case as he jogs) but never really discovering new information or clues or revelations. At the same time, his young client Sebastian reminds Daniel of himself as a child, making him reminisce about Minnie, the woman who adopted him — a fabulously vivid character. I read through the last half much more quickly than the first, and found myself hurrying to get to the end to discover the resolution.Although the ending wasn’t quite what I expected, and seemed to leave a couple things emotionally unresolved, I was left with the overarching feeling of “Wow, that was intense.”Overall: An emotional and thought-provoking story about childhood, justice, innocence vs evil, and — of course — guilt.