EXCERPT: The usher turns to address the court and a wave of fear crashes over me. It doesn’t feel real, this, me in a courtroom, waiting for a verdict. If they find me guilty, I’ll get between seven and ten years. Grace is only seven. She’ll be a teenager before I am free.
The usher turns to the jury. ‘Would the foreman please stand.’
Sarah-Helen rises from her seat and smooths the crumpled skirt of her floral cotton dress. She’s nervous. That makes me feel worse.
‘Madam Foreman,’ the usher’s voice rings out through the wood-panelled courtroom. ‘On this indictment have the jury reached a verdict upon which you are all agreed’
Sarah-Helen clears her throat lightly. All eyes are on her and the stress of the spotlight pinkens her cheeks. ‘Yes, we have.’
‘On count one,’ the usher says, ‘do you find the defendant guilty or not guilty?’
Time slows as Sarah-Helen’s lips part. Please, I silently pray. Please, please. I didn’t conspire to have Dominic murdered. I don’t know who did, but it wasn’t me.
ABOUT ‘THE GUILTY COUPLE’: Five years ago, Olivia Sutherland was wrongfully convicted of plotting to murder her husband.
Now she’s finally free, Olivia has three goals: repair her relationship with her teenage daughter, clear her name, and bring down her husband – the man who framed her.
Just how far is she willing to go to get what she wants? And how far will her husband go to stop her? Because his lies run deeper than Olivia could ever have imagined – and this time it’s not her freedom that’s in jeopardy, but her life…
MY THOUGHTS: The Guilty Couple was a quick, but not a satisfying read for me. I have always enjoyed this author’s books in the past, but this lacks the subtlety and finesse I have come to expect from her writing. Her wry sense of humour was also missing.
There’s not one character, except for the guilty couple’s daughter Grace, that I felt any empathy for. As far as I’m concerned, her parents deserved each other. I don’t require that a story has likeable characters for me to appreciate the book, I love characters I love to hate, but I really couldn’t have cared less about what happened to Olivia, Dominic, Dani or Jack.
The characters are unrealistic – let’s take Dani as an example. She’s a cop, a personal trainer, and yet she doesn’t seem to work at all! She spends all her time either following Olivia around or trying to rescue her sister from her drug addiction.
The plot didn’t hold together for me. It bordered on ridiculous and far-fetched. To be honest, if I hadn’t read and enjoyed this author’s previous books, this would have been a dnf for me. I kept reading hoping that Taylor would redeem herself, pull a rabbit out of her hat and stun me with The edge-of-your-seat, gasp-out-loud crime thriller for 2022 that I was promised. It didn’t happen.
⭐⭐ very dejected stars
I: @cltaylorauthor @avonbooksuk
T: @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK
THE AUTHOR: Cally Taylor was born in Worcester and spent her early years living in various army camps in the UK and Germany. She studied Psychology at the University of Northumbria and went on forge a career in instructional design and e-Learning before leaving to write full time in 2014. She lives in Bristol with her partner and son.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Avon Books UK via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Guilty Couple by C.L. Taylor for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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2 thoughts on “The Guilty Couple by C.L. Taylor”
Wonderful review Sandy! Very honest and I hope your next read is five stars!💜💜
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Thanks Susan. ❤📚
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