The Guilty One
by Bill Schweigart
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Pub Date 21 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 24 Jan 2023
Every town needs a hero—and Detective Cal Farrell fits the bill. He stopped an active shooter six months earlier, and now he’s become the darling of the Alexandria press. The problem is that Cal remembers nothing from that day. He’s working with a psychiatrist to recover his memories, but hasn’t had much luck.
Then, on one of his morning runs, he is once again the first on scene for a grisly discovery—a body hanging impossibly high on a tree. Soon there’s another victim, killed by a blade and dumped in a ravine. As the bodies begin to stack up, each staged more gruesomely than the last, Cal sees a baroque pattern to the crimes that no one else seems to understand—something out of legend.
As Alexandria dubs the serial killer “Old Town Jack,” Cal learns that the only thing a city loves more than creating a hero is tearing one down. And if he can’t get to the truth, this hometown hero might just be next in line for destruction.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 16 members
The Guilty One is a suspenseful, page-turning and thrilling read. The sparring between past and present events kept me on my toes. Detective Cal Farrell is dealing with an unfavourable deck of cards of what truly happened when he was one of the responders to an ill-fated mass shooting. He's enveloped in a thick blanket of an identity crisis, testing his work relationships. Bill Schweigart has made it to my list of memorable suspense and thriller writers who sets the scene with sarcastic humour, pseudonymous murder theories, tension and wonderfully crafted puzzle pieces. Cal Farell is a protagonist that grows on you with relatable struggles in mental health and an unfailing will to decipher the truth. Add a dash of secret pining and awkwardness; this goofball of a character had me cheering for him. In terms of the killer, gravity lured my jaw into dropping and staying there for a while. The crescendo was well executed, full of action, uncertainly and acceptance. I'd love for Cal Farell to have a series, and I'm already volunteering as a reading tribute. A 5-star read!
Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for giving me an ARC. This honest review is left voluntarily.
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