Blog Tour Stop! Degrees of Guilt by HS Chandler
A story that can only be classified as a bookworm special:
You see some buzz surrounding a new book by an unknown author, and you think “man that book sounds good, I think I’ll grab a copy”.
You grab a copy, and dive in. Then it’s not just good, it’s UNBELIEVABLY good.
And you think, “man, this is going to be a new favorite author of mine!”
And THEN you find out that this new favorite author? It’s really one of your current, all-time FAVORITE authors writing under a pseudonym. It suddenly all makes sense exactly why you loved this book so much, because this all-time FAVORITE author of yours has never once, not one little bit, written a book you haven’t adored.
And this book is no different.
Degrees of Guilt sounded good to me from the synopsis alone - the kind of book that is right up my alley. Mysterious, suspenseful, unreliable narrators, uncertainty around a certain whodunnit. All my very favorite qualities to an un-put-down-able read. But good heavens, that does not even come close to explaining just how much I loved this book.
When you read this book, you will think you know every twist in the tale.
Maria is on trial for attempted murder.
She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead.
Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide her fate.
She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out.
You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent.
You will be wrong.
A gripping, sexy and twisty novel for readers who devoured ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL, APPLE TREE YARD and HE SAID/SHE SAID.
Before I picked this one up, I was in a bit of a reading slump. I was having trouble focusing on books that I would normally breeze through. It had been a busy few weeks, and I was distracted, tired and generally not really myself. When I picked this one up, I thought I might like it, but I figured my lack of focus was going to follow me into this book too.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Because this book will suck you in in the first chapter. This book will completely absorb you because the premise is so peculiar for a courtroom drama - a woman who not only tried to kill her husband, but calmly, clearly and concisely turned herself in for the crime. This book will demand you not set it down at all, because quite frankly you have no idea exactly where the story is, but you are COMPELLED to find out. This book let’s each detail and twist and reveal come at it’s own pace, without rushing the story and letting the characters become ever the more complex.
This book is frigging AWESOME.
After I found out that Helen Fields is the mysterious HS Chandler, this all came together for me - the fact that I have always loved Helen’s style of writing made all the sense in the world that I so loved how this story unfolds. It seems like lately in stories, there is a rush to the reveal, a push to give you the whodunnit and sometimes that can be a good thing, but more often than not what I want is a book to sink my teeth into. This is the kind of book that really let’s you fall into it.
The premise of this story really just snapped me to attention page one - what kind of situation would cause a woman, who from the outside appears to have a very lovely life, to snap and brutally attempt to murder her own husband using the leg of a chair to bash his head in? What would drive someone to try to murder their life partner in cold blood, and to be devastated upon realizing he was still alive? Helen doesn’t shy away from peeling the layers to that story away, revealing the brutality of human nature in all it’s gory forms.
I love that this story is shared through the court case of Maria’s trial. I think there is something so intriguing about the mix of slowly learning Maria’s story, while simultaneously watching 12 strangers judge her based on their own preconceived notions of her guilt. It made the book so much more compelling to me - I wanted to reach in a shake jury members; I wanted to hug Maria and Lottie; I wanted to scream at the prosecutor trying the case; which is to say I was ALL IN on this read.
All in right to the very end which, honestly, was a Helen Fields Certified mind-twist explosion.
As you likely know - I don’t offer any spoilers for thrillers like this one, books like these deserve to be devoured whole by the reader with minimal expectation. But it would be more than fair to say that the only expectation you should have with this book is a damn good read. A read you won’t want to set down. A read that will leave you reeling, your head spinning and an unquenchable desire to TALK TO SOMEONE who has read this book, because ya’ll, you’re going to want to discuss what JUST HAPPENED.
Grab this book my friends - this will make perfect autumn reading as we head into the Halloween season of spook and drama. An absolute 5 star read for me, and launching easily into my Top 10 reads of the year.
Many many thanks to Compulsive Readers for inviting me on this tour - it has been a blast, and be sure to check out the other stops to hear more about why you MUST add this incredible new read to your autumn TBR’s!