By Lisa Ballantyne. Grade: C
A little boy was found dead in a children’s playground…Daniel Hunter has spent years defending lost causes as a solicitor in London. But his life changes when he is introduced to Sebastian, an eleven-year-old accused of murdering an innocent young boy. As he plunges into the muddy depths of Sebastian’s troubled home life, Daniel thinks back to his own childhood in foster care – and to Minnie, the woman whose love saved him, until she, too, betrayed him so badly that he cut her out of his life. But what crime did Minnie commit that made Daniel disregard her for fifteen years? And will Daniel’s identification with a child on trial for murder make him question everything he ever believed in?
This book starts out with the story of Sebastian. A child on trial. The book also shares with us Daniel’s story. The lawyer on trial. But he’s on a very different judgement stand than Sebastian. Daniel is on his own trial. He’s overcome with grief and resentment towards his foster parent Minnie for betraying him and now she’s dead. We don’t see these emotions playing a large part in the court case he has taken on though. What we do see is the understanding Daniel has of Sebastian’s predicament.
It seems both Daniel and Sebastian had mothers they had to take care of because the mothers couldn’t always take care of themselves. They both had rough spots they had to get over and they both had to deal with violence. But then Daniel is the lawyer and Sebastian is the kid. They are both individuals and the similarities have to end somewhere.
I didn’t find the book particular memorable. It’s something you may read to pass the time. A good airplane book maybe. The story progresses slowly and you may have to commit yourself to finishing it. This book isn’t filled with explosions and twists and turns. There is a small bit of anticipation but you may get bored before you see your anticipation fulfilled. I would say this though, it is not so easy to guess the end.
And maybe that’s what’s wrong with this book for me. The reading was so slow, so little information was given or hinted that I wasn’t really trying to make any guesses. The writing was slow and methodical. It was practiced and poised, not leading you on…just taking you there. Like a slow coach train.
In conclusion, there are other books I have enjoyed more. But you could enjoy this book. Possibly you would have to be someone who never saw a police drama on television in your life. Then you wouldn’t be used to the very creative writers who come up with very creative ways a crime can be committed and the reasons crimes are committed. On the other hand, sometimes bad deeds are just bad deeds and maybe that’s what this book was written for.