Degrees of Guilt by HS Chandler #BookReview #NetGalley @Helen_Fields @TrapezeBooks


Author: HS Chandler

Genre: General Fiction

Format: Paperback 368 pages

Release Date:  5 September 2019

Publisher: Trapeze

I would like to thank the publisher and the author for the opportunity to read this book via NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


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.

My Thoughts

This story really opens with a bang with the attempted murder of Maria’s husband in their kitchen. Unfortunately for him, he somehow manages to survive by a tenuous thread, although the life he is subjected to living is not much of a life as he is effectively paralysed and brain dead. 

Maria confesses and finds herself on trial for his attempted and with her husband unable to give evidence on his own behalf we only have Maria’s word for what happened and the words from the lawyers as they try to paint their respective pictures from both sides. 

Maria’s tale is oh so tragic and at times really difficult to read. I warn readers now that this story heavily revolves around domestic abuse, not necessarily in the physical sense, but in the emotional sense. The author has clearly done her research in this area as the descriptions she gives when Maria is describing her time married to her husband is captivating in a way that made me feel so much sympathy for Maria. 

The other main character, Lottie, is tasked with deciding Maria’s fate when she finds herself one of twelve individuals on the jury at her trial. As I read through the book and listened to the evidence unfold, much as Lottie would have done whilst on the jury, I found myself wondering what way I would have decided, Guilty or Not Guilty, had I been on that jury. 

Lottie’s character has more to add to this story though than just being a member of the jury. She finds herself in a rather tricky situation and I must admit that towards the end of this book there were a few twists and turns I did not anticipate or see coming. 

I really enjoyed this book as it got me thinking about a range of different things. Definitely one I would recommend and after the calibre of this author’s writing, definitely a name I will be keeping in mind for future reads. 

About the Author

HS Chandler is the pen name of Helen Fields. AS HS Chandler she writes psychological thrillers and legal thrillers. With a background as a criminal and family law barrister, she now runs a media company and writes the Callanach crime series.

For more reviews and updates you can follow me on Twitter @BooksBucks

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