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When I started reading The Guilty One it reminded me of Primal Fear by William Diehl... and it didn't disappoint. I mean, the two stories and the characters are different but the end was similar.
In The Guilty One, Daniel takes the defense of Sebastian, an 11 year old boy accused of murdering his 8 year old friend while playing in the park.
At once, Daniel can see that Sebastian is innocent: such lovely face, so genuine smile...Sebastian also has problems at home because his father beats his mother up and Sebastian feels he is the only one who can protect her. This situation just makes Daniel feel closer to his little client because, at the same time, Sebastian's broken life reminds Daniel of his own.
He (Daniel) was adopted around Sebastian's age by a lovely woman when his mother died of an over dose. However, something happened between him and his adopted mother that they had a fall out and he didn't talk to her ever again.
Back to Sebastian, the little boy is put on trial and a jury has to decide if the evidence is strong enough to deem him guilty or not. How does all this affect Sebastian? Imagine an 11 year old boy on trial. But Sebastian is not your ordinary kid. He is very smart and cunning... and has a disturbing fascination with blood.
I love this type of books about trials and crimes. in The Guilty One, Ballantyne does a very nice job depicting what the trial of a kid must be like. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the crime and Sebastian's character.
I didn't like that the two stories were mixed: Daniel's and Sebastian's. I wished the story was only about Sebastian because frankly, although Daniel's previous life was interesting, it was in the past so I didn't care much for what went down with Daniel. I hated jumping from one story to the other!
The story would've been much powerful if Sebastian's character would've been fully explored and developed. But I loved the little devil regardless :-)
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Thursday, April 4, 2013
The Guilty One by Lisa Ballantyne