Good morning, all! I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Lisa Ballantyne's The Guilty One today!
Daniel Hunter is a solicitor specializing in defense of minors. His own upbringing and being bounced around from foster home to foster home, led to his decision to become an advocate for children in the same sorts of situations. In fact, if Daniel hadn't been adopted when he finally was and cared for by the woman he'd come to call mom, he might have ended up exactly where these kids are.
Eleven-year-old Sebastian Croll is accused of murdering his eight-year-old neighbor. The crime is particularly brutal and the evidence does seem to point to Sebastian's guilt. But Sebastian insists that he is innocent. Daniel sees some of himself in Sebastian and while he isn't sure whether to believe the child or not, the fact that this kid will be tried as an adult for such a terrible crime weighs heavily on the lawyer. When his adopted mother passes away in the midst of everything, Daniel is forced to face the demons of his own past as well.
This debut from Lisa Ballantyne is an immensely captivating read. In Daniel, his past, and the case, Ballantyne has created a story that is haunting and impossible to walk away from. Daniel's decision to distance himself from Minnie is kept from the reader for the majority of the book as is the truth behind the case itself. These elements alone are guaranteed to keep any curious reader hooked, but when you add in Ballantyne's style and characters you end up with a book that will appeal to a wide range of readers.
The Guilty One was released last year in the UK and has already garnered Ballantyne quite a bit of attention. Now US readers have a crack at it as well. I expect the book will be equally as well received here (Ballantyne earned a starred review in Publishers Weekly).
To see what others on the tour have to say, check out the official tour page here.
For more on Ballantyne and her work, visit her official website. You can also like her on facebook. And for a peek inside the book, visit the publisher's page here.