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The Guilty One

Edgar Awards, 2014

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780749957285

Price: £9.99

ON SALE: 12th January 2023

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Crime & Mystery

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‘Sophisticated, suspenseful, unsettling’ Lee Child

‘Grips like a vice’ Daily Mail

‘Compulsive’ Rosamund Lupton

‘Moving, insightful’ Guardian

Daniel Hunter has spent years defending lost causes as a solicitor in London. But his life changes when he is introduced to Sebastian, an eleven-year-old accused of murdering an innocent young boy.

As he plunges into the muddy depths of Sebastian’s troubled home life, Daniel thinks back to his own childhood in foster care – and to Minnie, the woman whose love saved him, until she, too, betrayed him so badly that he cut her out of his life.

But what crime did Minnie commit that made Daniel disregard her for fifteen years? And will Daniel’s identification with a child on trial for murder make him question everything he ever believed in?

‘One of the most readable, emotionally intense novels of the year’ Richard & Judy Book Club

‘It kept me up all night and guessing the whole way through’ Jenny Colgan

‘A page-turner with real emotional depth’ Daily Express

‘Moving and suspenseful’ Joyce Carol Oates

‘Absorbing’ Company

‘Will touch your heart, even as it leaves you unsettled’ Hallie Ephron

‘Outstanding’ Daily Record



Ballantyne paints such vivid portraits of her characters that it is impossible not to sympathise with the tolerant and loving Minnie, and this psychological drama will keep you wondering right to the final chapter
Townsville Eye
This is as assured debut novel that has 'bestseller' slapped all over it
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
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, bestselling author of Sister and Afterwards
I couldn't get this book out of my head. It kept me up all night and guessing the whole way through, I loved it
Jenny Colgan
A mature, gripping book you'll be desperate to tell your friends about
Big Issue (Scotland)
Gets better as you read it . . . a novel that grips . . . engrossing the reader who will want to find out what happens
Dulwich Book Reviews
It's one of the best debuts I've ever encountered
Shari Low, The Daily Record
An absorbing psychological debut
Company (Top Pick)
It's a work of genuine substance about real human beings with real human flaws, in which nothing can be tied up neatly because life doesn't work like that. The Guilty One puts her firmly on the list of writers to watch
Irish Independant
The Guilty One beautifully blends both past and present in a novel that will keep readers interested
RT Book Reviews
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 from Richard and Judy’s Book Club, Autumn 2012 Pick
Gripping stuff
This is an outstanding work of fiction, and the real crime would have been if the talent of Lisa Ballantyne had never been discovered
Daily Record
[a] moving, insightful debut . . . It's easy to see why this caused such a stir at Frankfurt last year. If it isn't this year's Before I Go To Sleep, I'll eat my laptop
The Guardian
Fast-paced and emotionally charged, we were tearing through it well into the night. Keep a tissue handy - you'll be a wreck by the end
Emerald Street
This is an outstanding work of fiction, and the real crime would have been if the talent of Lisa Ballantyne had never been discovered
Daily Record
Wow! I finished this late yesterday afternoon at the beach...This is a really good legal thriller. I like the way the chapters alternated in time. This doesn't always work, sometimes confusing, but the author Lisa made it happen and did it very well
Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books