As the result of a momentary lapse in concentration, Simon Mills causes the death, by dangerous driving, of a family friend. What then follows is a cautionary story of the resulting consequences, when Simon, once a successful solicitor, is sent to prison to atone for his crime. The story focuses on the very real problems of what happens when families are split apart. For those who live on the outside, life will never be the same again, and Claire, Simon’s wife, is forced to make some really harsh decisions which impact on both herself and her son, Ben. Prison life is no bed of roses either, and Simon is constantly plagued by guilt as he is forced to recognise his own culpability.
Written in two distinct parts; the first deals with Simon’s time in prison, the second when he is eventually released, both stories focus on the alternate viewpoints of Simon and Claire and make for compelling reading. The author writes with great conviction so that life ‘inside’ really comes alive with all its rules, regulations, petty squabbles and insidious boredom. Equally compelling is the story of Claire’s overwhelming struggle on the outside, as she copes with the crisis of losing everything she once considered important.
Overall, this was a compelling and thought provoking read. The story flows really well, and neither patronises nor sensationalises what is happening on both the inside and the outside, and yet successfully serves as a warning that this really could happen to anyone.
My thanks to Accent Press for my ecopy of this book.
Guilty is out now in Paperback and on Kindle
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