The Guilty Man - Helen H. Durrant

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

In a declining town in the North of England, a man is tortured by a ruthless criminal. The victim’s severed hand is left on his wife’s doorstep.
Meanwhile, Detective Harry Lennox and DI Jess Wilde are involved in the case of a missing child. The little girl, presumed dead, turns up playing happily in a local park. The child’s mother who lives on a notorious estate doesn’t seem to care.
Detective Harry Lennox is battling his own demons, trying to bury a secret from his past with alcohol. He is staying in a rundown campervan on a friend’s driveway. Jess wants to know why he’s living like this, but he refuses to tell her anything.
How do the cases connect and who is trying to drive people out of their homes?

My Thoughts:

I’m afraid I didn’t enjoy this book at all. I have enjoyed the Rachel King series that I have read by this author and haven’t given her anything lower than four stars before. So, I was really surprised by how terrible I found this new crime series.
For only 208 pages it really dragged, I just felt like I was taking ages to get through it. I think this is because I just couldn’t connect with the characters and there were so many little plot holes it was distracting. The characters jump to conclusions with nothing to back up their thoughts. They then state these thoughts as fact. For example, the guy leaving Bab’s house, they have no idea who this or why he was there but later on it is stated that he lives there and they know who he is. How do they know this, when was this information discovered? This is just one of many examples of inconsistencies. It was very off-putting, and I had to keep going back in the book to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. Another factor that added to how long it took me to read such a short book.
The writing felt stiff, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say this was the author’s first-ever book. I’m even wondering if someone else wrote this on her behalf as it was miles away from the standard of her other books that I have read.
Jess is a very annoying character, and I felt like she was just on repeat saying over and over again that Harry needed to sort himself out and save a deposit to buy a house. This was the least of the man’s worries, yet it was all she seemed to harp on about.
The story itself was over-complicated; there was too much thrown at it. There were too many characters to keep track of, and like I have said a lot of the storylines were based on nothing to back them up. They just seemed to be plucked out of thin air by the detectives, treated as fact and then developed on. It was all very bizarre.
The only slight positive I can find was the small twists at the end. I didn’t see them coming, and they were a welcome addition.
So, I’m afraid I won’t be reading any more in this series as I was terribly disappointed.

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The Guilty Man
by Helen H. Durrant
Date Started
20th October 2020
Date Finished
22nd October 2020
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