Thirteen-year-old Irish school girl Constance Lawson goes missing. spurred by a media furore created by journalist Amanda Bowe, Constance’s favourite uncle, Karl Lawson, is the prime suspect in the case. Without strong evidence, Karl is never prosecuted, but his marriage, family and life are left completely ruined by Amanda’s witch-hunt.
Six years later Amanda is living the life she always dreamt of, she’s famous, has a husband and a baby. Everything is perfect, or at least it is until she receives a phone call that sends her into every mother’s worst nightmare.
This was an enjoyable book that while it is centred on the disappearance of a child does not contain gratuitous violence, instead, the focus is very much on physiological tension and suspense. Throughout the book you are left feeling understanding for Karl and Amanda at different times, it keeps you and your thinking on your toes as more information is revealed and has you reevaluating what you thought you believed.
Guilty is a gripping read which keeps you questioning what you know and surprising you with twists that keep you turning the page for more.
Read Guilty if you enjoy:
- Books that keep you guessing
- Books told from different points-of view
Excerpt from Guilty by Laura Elliot
‘Are you being arrested on suspicion of the murder of Connie Lawson?’ She held her recorder towards him.
‘That’s enough now.’ The guard escorting Karl glared at her. ‘Out of the way, Miss. You’re hindering our progress.’
‘The public have a right to know.’ She stared defiantly at Karl. ‘Did you silence your nephew Matthew with threats to prevent him telling the guards that Connie was going to your house on the night she disappeared?’
She had abbreviated Constance’s name into a headline and had eviscerated Karl with the same callous indifference. His hatred had a raw energy, a clarity that shone through the muddied incomprehension of his grief. He would have struck her down if a second guard, sensing trouble, hadn’t guided him firmly into the station.
His solicitor had already arrived. Fionn Drury looked young enough to be smoking behind the bicycle shed in secondary school. A boy who would hardly be old enough to vote; but his voice was deep enough to reassure Karl that it had broken some time ago. ‘
I keep reading about this “close relationship,”’ he said when Karl was ushered into the small meeting room before his interrogation. ‘What exactly is this journalist implying?’
‘Do you have nieces or nephews?’ Karl asked him. ‘
Four,’ he replied. ‘Two of each.’
‘How would you describe your relationship with them?’ ‘
It’s close.’ He nodded. ‘But I’m not the one sitting where you are. Perception makes a lot of noise and the truth can get lost in the hubbub. Talk to me. I need to know everything that’s happened to you over the last seven days.’
Karl’s feet tapped against the floor as he struggled to piece his week together. Already, it was fragmenting into moments of clear recollection and long periods of incomprehension. The solicitor took notes, interrupting him occasionally to ask questions.
‘Did you coax your nephew to hide relevant information from the police?’ he asked. ‘
No, I didn’t.’ What exactly had he said to Matthew that night when he found him in the attic? Something about angry talk not being true. ‘Matthew had some notion in his head that it would reflect badly on his parents if he told them Constance preferred living at my house. He’s only eight. A kid. He was frightened and bewildered. All I did was reassure him that Constance never came to my house and that he didn’t have to say anything about her “angry talk” to the guards.’
‘So, you did tell him not to pass that information to them. Your wife was correct in what she reported to the liaison officer.’
‘My wife… what do you mean?’