The Weight of Guilt by Jon Ripslinger (Young Adult Mystery/Thriller)
This book intrigued me from the moment I saw the cover, and it didn’t disappoint. The story combines the mystery of a young girl’s murder with the thriller aspects of absolving a young man wrongly accused — and possibly framed — because of a past mistake. The author throws in a budding romance to boot which, for me, could have been left out but was not a game-changer. Overall, I was absorbed in the story and couldn’t put it down. The pace was quick, and I found the main characters appealing. There was plenty of action, and while the outcome was somewhat predictable, how the main characters got there was worth the read.
The story is alternately told from two points of view — that of the young man, John Hawk, who is the accused, and that of Charley (Charlotte) Cotton, the best friend of the murdered girl. In addition to being the outcast in a new high school, John is a tortured soul carrying the weight of guilt after a friend’s death in a car accident, even though the accident was not his fault. Charley is a quiet girl with a no-nonsense personality who doesn’t trust John any more than anyone else does, but also realizes there’s more going on overall than meets the eye. Seeing the same events through the perspectives of two different young people and being privy to their changing attitudes toward each other added extra interest for me.
Grandma gives The Weight of Guilt four and a half stars.
Potty-mouth Index: MODERATE. Some use of the “f” word, but not excessive.