A gritty novel examining child murder and dysfunctional families
Two eleven-year-old boys.
One two-year-old girl.
A murder that shocked the nation.
Ten years after being convicted of the brutal killing of a toddler, Mark Slater, formerly Joshua Barker, is released on parole from prison. Only the other boy jointly sentenced for Abby Morgan’s murder, the twisted and violent Adam Campbell, knows the truth. That Mark played no part in Abby’s death.
Four years later, Mark’s on-off girlfriend discovers a letter revealing his conviction as a child killer. At risk of having his protective cover made public, Mark’s need to confront the injustice of his sentence becomes overwhelming. Desperate to find answers, he initiates a friendship with Abby’s older sister, something strictly prohibited by the terms of his parole. Rachel Morgan, however, unaware of Mark’s former identity, is battling her own emotional demons.
Meanwhile, circumstances have thrust Mark back in contact with Adam Campbell, who, aged twenty-five, is more domineering and chilling than ever. Can Mark rewrite history and confront his nemesis?
A gritty novel examining child murder and dysfunctional families, Guilty Innocence tells of one man’s struggle to break free from his past.
A selection of Amazon reviews for Guilty Innocence
“I couldn't put it down. I was involved with the characters from page 1 and the twists and turns in the storyline captivated me. It's raunchy, but the sex is never overdone or out of context, and funny and heartbreaking in equal measures. Brilliant. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good read”.
“Another "must read" from Maggie James,"Guilty Innocence" investigates the histories and human relationships of its characters,forensically, until their component parts are laid bare. Where does true guilt lie? What really constitutes blame? Who can be held ultimately responsible? These questions and many more are answered with consummate skill and attention to detail by the author. Each character is gradually stripped back to his or her very kernel as the story unfolds in a surprisingly entertaining manner,considering the somewhat unsavoury subject matter at its core. This is a strong and uncompromising story of complex and often toxic alliances where weakness and strength are frequently interchangable, truth is questioned and lies accepted,you will be drawn in to the intricacies of this masterful tale, expertly told”.
“Another really good story from Maggie that drew me in and grabbed my attention right from the start. It explores the tragic mess of emotions and mental suffering of not just the people left to pick up the pieces following a shocking crime, but those of Mark Slater, as he is now known, in his attempt to come to terms with his involvement in it and face his demons. Each of the characters have their own problems and issues which are dealt with sensitively, and it is interesting how they approach the idea of guilty innocence. I found myself quite unable to put this book down until I had reached the satisfying finale”.
“Guilty Innocence is a gripping read right from the first page when you start asking questions about the characters and immediately there are things you want to know. The people in it are engaging - even when you aren't sure you should engage with them! - and I was very pleased with the ending (which can so often let a book down, particularly when it's been dramatic throughout). I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes a literary thriller and peeking inside other peoples' heads”.
“A thoughtful, well-plotted and compelling read that keeps delivering surprises…arguably Maggie James' best work to date”.