Trigger Warning: This book has mentions of self harm, and I will talk about this in my review.
About the Book
Maria is on trial for attempted murder.
She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead.
Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide her fate.
She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out.
You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent.
You will be wrong.
This book was absolutely amazing. I’m a huge fan of Law & Order: SVU and this could definitely be the plot of an episode. I was completly hooked by the end of the first chapter. I read this on the train up to Aberdeen and it made the entire journey fly by (and coincidentally was the perfect length for the journey).
The story alternates between Maria, who’s only regret is that her husband didn’t die, and Lottie, a frustrated housewife who’s enjoying her role in something bigger.
To the outside world, Maria’s husband was the perfect gentleman, but Maria tells a darker tale of an abuse and manipulation.
Lottie is becoming frustrated with her role as wife and mother, and this jury duty seems like the perfect opportunity to add some excitement to her life. She slowly becomes enamoured with another jury member, but will she risk her marriage for him?
Throughout the book we get Maria’s story of her life with her husband, and how cruel he really was, and then the jury’s opinions on what they had heard. This tells the story of how hard it is for victims to convince the outside world when the abuser has spent years building up their reputation. Even without her husband in court, the jury want to believe his lies, because they’re a much nicer story than the truth.
Amongst all of this the reader gets a sense that there is something else going on we are not aware of. Is Maria telling the truth? Is this part of something bigger?
Part of this book deals with Maria’s self harm, and I thought this was handled incredibly well. As someone who has struggled with self-harm for years I thought the author managed to capture the thoughts and emotions around this world wonderfully. This is an extremely difficult topic to deal with and the author did so in a very respectful way.
Overall this book was an amazing read that I’ll recommend to anyone who’ll listen to me. I can’t wait for the next book.
Have you read Degrees of Guilt yet? What did you think?