Reviewer Sandra Shwayder Sanchez: Sandra is
a retired attorney and co-founder of a small non-profit publishing
collective: The Wessex Collective with whom she has published two short fiction collections
(A Mile in These Shoes and Three Novellas) and one
Her most recent novel, The Secret of A Long Journey is soon to be released by Floricanto Press in April 2012 and her first novel, The Nun, originally published by Plain View Press in 1992 is being reissued in a 2nd Edition with additional material by PVP in March 2012.
Author: Gabriel Boutros
Author: Gabriel Boutros
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
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
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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