When Constance Lawson goes missing, all efforts are initially focused on finding the thirteen-year-old and reuniting her with her grieving family. All that changes when ambitious journalist Amanda Bowe zeroes in on Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson, twisting his close relationship with Constance into something sordid, implying that he is responsible for her disappearance, destroying Karl’s life in the process. It only took seven days.
Six years later, Amanda has everything she ever wanted. She’s married, has a young son, and is the host of a hit talk show. All it takes is a single phone call to shatter the illusions of her perfect life, plunging her into a nightmare that feels all to familiar…
Guilty is a complex story that slowly builds. I often found myself feeling frustrated by the slow pace and seemingly mundane details. (Many of these details proved to matter later on, but not all of them.) My first thought, upon finishing the book, was that it felt like I’d read two books instead of one.
Even though I enjoyed the overall story, I can’t shake a mild feeling of dissatisfaction. The story is broken up into four parts, and while important things are revealed in all them, parts two and three felt tedious to read. The pace was too slow for my liking, and I didn’t understand the point of most of those details until I reached part four.
All of this left me feeling terribly conflicted. Despite being dissatisfied with things, Guilty still manages to tell a great story, and Elliot’s writing is very good. The snail-like pace of large portions of the story bogs it down, dimming what would otherwise shine.
That said, the vast majority of Goodreads reviewers gave this book four and five stars. So I’m inclined to think it’s a case of Guilty not being a good fit for me, than anything else.
About the Book
It begins with a phone call. It ends with a missing child.
On a warm summer’s morning, thirteen-year-old school girl Constance Lawson is reported missing.
A few days later, Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson suddenly finds himself swept up in a media frenzy created by journalist Amanda Bowe implying that he is the prime suspect.
Six years later …
Karl’s life is in ruins. His marriage is over, his family destroyed. But the woman who took everything away from him is thriving. With a successful career, husband and a gorgeous baby boy, Amanda’s world is complete. Until the day she receives a phone call and in a heartbeat, she is plunged into every mother’s worst nightmare.
About the Author
Laura Elliot has written six novels which have been widely translated. Under the pseudonym June Considine, she has written twelve books for children and young adults. She has also worked as a journalist and magazine editor.
She is a full-time writer, living in Dublin, Ireland, where she lives with her husband, Sean. After serving on the Board of the Irish Writers Centre, she established WORD, a group that connects professional writers. She is also one of the founder members of the Freedom to Write Campaign, which advocates on behalf of imprisoned writers around the world.