CONTENT WARNING: Suicide threat, partner murder, child abuse.
This has been terribly mis-marketed. The UK edition has the word "thriller" TWICE on its back cover: one as a classification, and one in publisher's hype. This wouldn't be a problem, except...this book is not a thriller. I'd call it general/mainstream fiction. Anyway, the mislabelling could explain the middling reviews - people did not get what they expected.
Also? The novel's summary talks about an event as if it takes up the whole story, which was what I expected. Instead, that event is resolved within the first few chapters. That's it.
And entire chapters feature nothing but shopping, cleaning, and inventory. I'm not even exaggerating.
I'm no stranger to Sophie Littlefield's works, having previously read and enjoyed four of her other books. And I like The Guilty One to an extent. It's about life AFTER crime, for parents of the perp and the victim. Can people escape generations of violence, or are they - like their forefathers - doomed to hurt those they love?
Had The Guilty One been more honestly marketed, it would've been received better. Still, it's great to see a positive representation of women being friends.