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The Guilty Party

In my opinion

This really was a one flight book- I’d been lucky enough to be given a teaser for it prior to Christmas, and on the strength of that, and having chatted to Mel McGrath, its fascinating author, at a HarperCollins Crime Evening, I couldn’t wait to read this novel.

Once I received it, I read it in the same day- luckily I had to fly somewhere!

By the end of the novel we feel that we know all of the characters, warts and all, they all make mistakes and errors of judgement, and Mel cleverly moves the viewpoint and the reader’s interpretation of what happened, continually making us question, what would I do in this situation?

What did really happen on that evening?

The layers of the story are pulled off further with each chapter, like the skin off an onion, but every time you feel you’re reaching a conclusion there’s a different twist, keeping the suspense tight.

The novel is so cleverly structured, I continually wondered as I read it, how is she managing to keep me hooked? Great technique.

The characters are not particularly likeable, and as ‘friends’ they are not nice to each other. It is certainly not comfortable reading. Readers may wonder how credible it is that people really wouldn’t act in any way to such a terrible situation. Unfortunately, it is horribly realistic. I was on a train last week, where someone was shouting madly, threatening guns, knives and gangland retaliation …and no-one did anything, looked away and hoped the train would get into London Bridge as quickly as possible.

I think, sadly, Mel McGrath understands human nature extremely well, and her chilling final question sent me away from this novel with a shiver up my spine.

Thank you Harper Collins for my ARC of this novel

Want to know more?


You did nothing. That doesn’t mean you’re innocent.

On a night out, four friends witness a stranger in trouble. They decide to do nothing to help.

Later, a body washes up on the banks of the Thames – and the group realises that ignoring the woman has left blood on their hands.

But why did each of them refuse to step in? Why did none of them want to be noticed that night? Who is really responsible?

And is it possible that the victim was not really a stranger at all

My rating...

An uncomfortable five glasses, cheers Mel McGrath, great writing!


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