Author: Gabriel Boutros

ISBN: 978147277759


From the first sentence to the last, The Guilty is completely captivating, sometimes hysterically funny, sometimes heartbreaking, ultimately heart healing. Each and every character is authentically drawn, and the central character, lawyer Robert Bratt, is a man serious readers will come to know, care for and even want to talk to as he goes through a serious moral crisis and ends up doing the right thing despite the cost to his career. 

The setting is Montreal which is beautifully described. Robert Bratt is a defense attorney with a reputation that he hopes might catapult him onto the bench. He is a widower who has raised his eighteen year old daughter, Jeannie, alone since she was ten. At the beginning, Jeannie  is angered by the defense tactics that got her best friend’s rapist acquitted. Her father had turned down the case but had once, years earlier, defended the accused, getting him off and out of jail. 

Jeannie loves her father but blames him for the fact that this guy was free to re-offend against her own best friend. She decides she needs to move out of her father’s home and be with friends her own age. This is hard on him. He, meantime, is attracted to a police woman, Nancy, who returns his feelings but is afraid to be seen with him in public as she is struggling to maintain her position in a male dominated profession.

Into his already complicated life comes Jennifer Campbell an extremely religious woman whose son has been accused of murder. Jennifer wants the best attorney in the world (or so she tells him she’s been told) to defend her son and keep him out of jail.

He takes the case and takes on the newest attorney in his firm as second chair. They meet the accused who is an angry and highly disrespectful young man. Robert is haunted by the belief that Marlon (called Brando on the street) is in fact guilty even though his sidekick believes he is innocent. 

The threads of the various stories, Robert’s romance with Nancy, Robert’s familial, career and ethical issues, the murder trial and Jennifer Campbell’s religious inspirations, are all perfectly woven together to create a tapestry of  colorful characterizations, fascinating plots and important moral messages. The courtroom cross examinations are brilliant, the psychological insights are deep, the dialogues are sometimes shocking, sometimes sweet, often funny, no word is wasted and in the end all the issues are resolved.  Start this  most excellent book when you have time to read it through as you will not want to put it down. 

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