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Download The Guilty One Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Guilty One, by Lisa Ballantyne Click for printable size audiobook cover
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Moving and suspenseful, Lisa Ballantyne’s The Guilty One is a psychological thriller about the darkness in each of us. It explores how we are all tied to our pasts and what it means to be guilty.

Solicitor Daniel Hunter is called to defend eleven-year-old Sebastian, who has been charged with the murder of a young boy on a London playground. While examining Sebastian’s life in order to save it, Daniel can’t help but be transported to his own difficult youth spent in foster care—a time when the one he trusted the most was the one who betrayed him.

Emotionally wrought, and with an abundance of twists and turns, The Guilty One is a character-driven novel of suspense that explores the true nature of guilt.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sophisticated, suspenseful, unsettling, and highly recommended: a terrific debut from an author to watch.”

    Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Lisa Ballantyne has written a first novel that is both moving and suspenseful; richly detailed, yet with the eerie simplicity of a parable.”

    Joyce Carol Oates, New York Times bestselling author

  • The Guilty One offers that rare combination of a beautifully crafted story, inhabited with characters we haven’t known before (but won’t forget)—and a story that will keep you turning the pages late into the night.”

    Joyce Maynard, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A page-turner.”

    Cosmopolitan (UK)

  • “Murdered children aren’t uncommon in genre thrillers, but children who are killers are harder to find. That alone makes Lisa Ballantyne’s jolting first novel…something of a novelty…But this young Scottish writer isn’t simply out to shock; she’s intent on raising awareness of how parental abuse and societal indifference instill in some children a smoldering, explosively violent rage.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A child-on-child murder drives Ballantyne’s searing debut…[A] scalding exploration of childhood violence, adult refusal to forgive, and redemptive love.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This is a sensitive and insightful narrative that gradually builds suspense during Sebastian’s trial and Hunter’s revelations. Truth is revealed in the final pages, but Ballantyne leaves it to the reader to determine just where the guilt lies. An accomplished first novel and a good bet for book groups.”

    Booklist

  • “Ballantyne hits some strong emotional beats, and fans of Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers will find much to like here.”

    Library Journal

  • “A captivating debut.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Finalist for the 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Paperback Original
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About the Author

Lisa Ballantyne was born in Scotland and studied English literature at the University of St. Andrews. She lived and worked in China, where she started writing seriously. Before being published, her work was short-listed for the Dundee International Book Prize. Her debut novel, The Guilty One, was long-listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, was short-listed for an Edgar Allan Poe Award, and was chosen for the Autumn 2012 Richard and Judy Book Club.