Am I Guilty?

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

One of the best thrillers I've read this year, loved it. The story is very interesting it's tragic but I always wanted to hear from the parents point of view when something like this happened. What I really liked about this book is that is what told from all the characters  POV and that just made this story much more strong and made me feel a real connection with them. It was sad and creepy and emotional just great. The only part that I didn't enjoyed was the ending of one of the husband's here but that is because I am I cold hearted bitch and can't forgive but other than that what I ride! Loved it. Brilliant. 4 1/5 stars
Was this review helpful?
Oh my wordy word. Too many things to say-too few words to say them in! So, okay. I suppose I’ll begin by saying when I started this book I was having a conversation with some relatives about books. One of the people I was talking to said they could never ever read any books about children and the other backed them up. I told them (mouth getting carried away of course), that actually a huge amount of the books I read are about kids and you kind of get used to them, as generally I pick books that are on the tame side and not too graphic. ‘There are some great kidnapping books out there about kids going missing,’ I said. They looked at me in horror. ‘Oh, no, don’t worry, the kids are always found in the end,’ I said, backtracking, ‘or the killing happens at the start of the book and you know where you stand. They’re generally not too upsetting.’ There isn’t really anywhere you can go from there. All possibly inappropriate and sealing the deal as me being the loco one of the family (hides face in hands;))

Sorry, where was I? Oh yes! So funny I should say that these books don’t give me as strong as a reaction as they used to on the DAY I read this, a book where the occurrence really really affected me. I don’t know, maybe it’s because even though kidnappings etc are one of those worries, it’s the everyday things that can happen such as this one, an event that’s put down to neglect but could also be put down to a simple lapse in both judgement and memory (it actually happened to a dad in Ireland a few years ago and I remember my friend texted weeks later to say the man had killed himself. It really affected me.) Sorry, I’m digressing. The thing is, when you read about the death of the child in this you are essentially shown a picture of what happened to them, and it was grotesque and it took some time to get the image out of my mind.

This book is about the mother of said child trying to deal with what has happened, as she’s falling apart. She cannot remember anything and is trying to piece it together, while we are also hearing the povs of other people who are in some way connected with the events. I’ll admit, I’d picked one of the characters and run with her and then changed tack, then worried about our protagonist and so it went on, with me trying (and failing) to figure out what had lead to such a horrific event. This really was an unputdownable book, that kept me up late at night and stayed in my head long after I’d finished reading. Beyond beyond beyond recommended! Thanks so much to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for the book in return for an honest review and for allowing me to be part of the blog tour (and apologies for the waffling!).

Rating: 4.5/5
Was this review helpful?
A fantastic story, full of twists and turns. Brilliant read, highly recommended (and I’ve recommended it to loads of people already!) One of those stories where you think you’ve cracked the ending, and yet...
Was this review helpful?
I read this book over a weekend as I could not put it down, it was an emotional read, but gripping from the first page until the last. When we first meet Thea we know that something awful has happened, a great tragedy but not what has happened, we are lead to believe it is her fault but again not how and this concept keeps you reading way into the night as you need to find out the answers. 
This psychological thriller really keeps you guessing until the end. It’s based in a normal suburban residential area with normal families and friendships within a neighbourhood which following the tragic event begins to fall apart, this setting makes the book feel realistic and believable and so slightly unnerving. 
The book is filled with mystery, suspense and many surprises. A must read over the summer holidays.
Was this review helpful?
"One moment I had it all – a gorgeous husband, a beautiful home, a fulfilling career and two adorable children. The next, everything came crashing down around me.
 They said it was my fault. They said I’m the worst mother in the world. And even though I can’t remember what happened that day, they wouldn’t lie to me. These are my friends, my family, people I trust.  But then why do I have this creeping sensation that something is wrong? Why do I feel like people are keeping secrets? Am I really as guilty as they say? And if I’m not, what will happen when the truth comes out…?"

Thea thought she was a good mother to Zander, until she finds herself accused of leaving him in a car and letting him die, but she can't remember!  She accepts what her friends and family are telling her until memories keep popping back into her head and make her doubt what everyone says happened that fateful day.

This book is gripping, if harrowing at times, fast paced and one you cannot put down because you believe that Thea would not, in fact could not, have done such a careless thing, and someone has set her up, but who?  I really felt sympathy for Thea who thought she was losing her mind and is determined to set the record straight and find out who is guilty, because it cannot be her, surely?

My first from this Author, but will check out anything else she has written, 5* from me.
Was this review helpful?
This was an excellent psychological thriller it got me gripped from the first page. A real page turner with an unexpected twist at the end. The only thing I didn’t like is the animal cruelty.. the characters and story were great. I would recommend this book to people that like this genre. I’ll certainly be looking out for more books by this author in the future.
Thank you netgalley for the opportunity to read this
Was this review helpful?
Is Thea really the awful mother that everyone says she is?  Is she really guilty of the worst possible crime ever?  Everyone tells her that she left her baby son to die in a sweltering car following a boozy lunch with her friend, but Thea just can’t remember.  On trial for his murder, Thea has been suffering from amnesia since the day her son died, but her friends and family have all been telling her what she did, and why would they have any reason to lie to her?  But as Thea starts to remember little bits of her memory, she begins to wonder whether she is really is guilty….

My first book by this author and reading the blurb, this looked just like the type of book that I would really enjoy.  You can’t though really tell though until you start to read it what this story is about, and as it is about a death of a child it may not be for everyone, so a word of warning for those who would prefer to avoid books with that topic.

What an original storyline!  You’d like to think it’s common sense to never leave a child in a swelteringly hot car for any length of time, yet this author has written a story based on the worst thing ever….killing your own child by doing just that.  I have to admit, I initially found it hard to believe that Thea was guilty of killing her baby son as surely no one would be capable of forgetting he was in the car.  As the book moved on though, the storyline was so cleverly written that it made me begin to doubt my initial thoughts.  I would have loved to have said that, without a doubt, Thea was not guilty, but I just couldn’t see what purpose it would serve for all her friends and family to be lying to her.  I spent almost all of the book switching my opinions from guilty to not guilty, from lying to not lying and from feeling sorry for Thea to hating her.

The story is a heart breaking read with so much emotion written into each page.  There is obviously something going on around Thea, but you don’t get to find what this is until much later in the book when everything is slowly revealed.  Of course, I’m not going to tell you whether Thea was guilty or not, but I will tell you that you will be taken on a roller coaster of emotions to get to the jaw-dropping finale. It’s an uneasy read filled with lies and mistrust, but it will keep you reading until the very last word.  The nature of the storyline is obviously going to be upsetting, but the author has done a great job in producing a story which is gripping but sensitively written.  Would definitely recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Everyone following this book page know I love debut authors and I try to shine a light on them as much as possible...
This debut thriller from author Jackie Kabler is nothing short of a cracking read. 
The slow built of the story I thought brilliant, love it.
Alternating chapters between the main characters to the story, Thea, Annabelle & the nanny Flora give such a great insight into each of their lives and how they are dealing with what has happened. 
We are drip fed little nuggets of information in each chapter to keep us longing for more.
To be honest I just couldn't leave the book down.
Her characters are very likeable maybe Thea's friend Isla not so much.
We see Thea struggle with what has happened and very early on in the story we know it's something to do with her son Zander.
Completely addictive, lots of twists and turns to this one...
Highly recommend you go buy it today...
You won't regret it ❤
Was this review helpful?
Am I Guilty is Jackie Kabler's first standalone novel, having previously written 3 books in the Cora Baxter Mysteries series. That series is in the Cozy Mystery genre and Am I Guilty is definitely a step in a different direction and could never be discribed as "Cozy".
The book features two families, connected by the daughters who are best friends and a personal assistant, Flora, who worked with one and now works with the other.
So, to the story itself. Thea is the mother in one of the families and on a drunken afternoon with a friend disaster strikes and she is then labelled as the worst mother in the UK. Everyone tells her "it" happened but she starts to remember things and it doesn't all fit, but why would the people closest to her lie? Or is she having false memories? The incident has a profound effect on both families for various reasons. Each chapter is written from the point of view of a different character and this keeps the story fresh and interesting. 
As I said it's definitely not in the "Cozy" anything genre and touches on the makings of a psychopath which at times I found uncomfortable as it almost implies that things that happened in the character's childhood had made them into a psychopath, whereas in real life experts would seem to believe true psychopathy is a trait you're born with, not one which grows from traumatic experiences. It can also make for a difficult read when children are being hurt in some way in a book, which is the case here.
Overall I did enjoy Am I Guilty as I watched Thea fight through her emotions and try to reach an understanding of what actually happened and how. I'd definitely recommend this book.
Was this review helpful?
What a great read! I could not put it down once I started. I tried to guess what happened but was totally wrong. The book is very well written and the descriptions of the people were clear enough I could easily visualize every character in my head. It's hard to believe this is the author's debut novel. I will definitely be looking for more from her in the future!
Was this review helpful?
She can't remember just what happened to her child, Zander, but he's dead and she's being blamed for his death . . . . She is unsure but feels that something is wrong . . . there are secrets . . . . but she doesn't know what they are, who is keeping them or what will happen if they're uncovered. Her lovely life is in turmoil, everything has changed. Who can she trust? Who is telling the truth? Why are there so many lies? Who really caused Zander's death? Is she guilty?

Split into three parts and into chapters reflecting a particular person's point of view, this is a psychological crime thriller, a fascinating and intriguing page turner with an ending that I really hadn't anticipated! The multiple points of view help the reader understand more about individual characters and their relationships, giving an insight into their lives and possible motivations. It is a roller coaster ride where you're unsure just where the author will take you next, keeping you on the edge of your seat. There are many secrets, surprises and dreadful shocks as this fascinating story progresses. It is a well crafted, suspense-filled story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have absolutely no hesitation in highly recommending it to anyone who enjoys intriguing psychological thriller that keep you guessing.

I requested and was gifted a copy of this book via NetGalley and this is my honest review after choosing to read it.
Was this review helpful?
Gripping! What a roller coaster of a read this was. A family torn apart by tragedy. A mother who didn't protect her child. I couldn't put it down once I got into it. No spoilers - but the twists and turns and the growing feeling that something isn't quite right make for a great thriller. 

Thanks to TBC and NetGalley for a review copy
Was this review helpful?
Am I Guilty? had me bouncing back and forth, trying to figure out what the truth was. There are multiple POVs, which means there were multiple suspects and I was convinced more than once on each of the people. I was not expecting the ending. Wow. Just Wow.

This story pulls at the heartstrings with the death of a child. What’s worse is that we aren’t sure whether this was an accident or not. I feel a bit like I have whiplash after reading this, I was going back and forth so much. The twists and turns in this novel are just so compelling and engulfing, that I honestly had trouble putting this down.

I’m not even sure this review is making sense because I’m still processing just how incredible this story was. Jacki Kabler is one talented author, who knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what is truly happening. The heartbreaking premise is full of such tension and despair, that it was a bit anxiety-inducing, but also so compelling that it didn’t matter. I needed to know the ending. I’ll say it again. Wow. Highly recommend – check this one out. 

*I read and reviewed this novel voluntarily through a blog tour hosted by Rachel's Random Resources. All opinions are my own.*
Was this review helpful?
Gritty, harrowing, emotional and heart-wrenching, in Am I Guilty?, her psychological crime thriller debut, Jackie Kabler explores every mother’s nightmare in a chilling and terrifying read sure to linger in the reader’s mind long after the last page is turned.

One moment is all it takes for your life to change forever beyond recognition. One minute you could have it all, and the next your world can come crashing down around your ears and leave you with absolutely nothing. Thea never imagined that any kind of tragedy or calamity could befall her or her family. After all, her life seemed absolutely perfect from the outside looking in: she had a gorgeous husband, an absolutely beautiful home straight out of a glossy magazine and two gorgeous children. Thea leads a life people envy and admire in equal measures, however, when one moment of madness forces her to take her eye off the ball, she commits an error so grave that her entire world is shattered and she ends up losing everything. Thea’s lack of judgement has threatened the life of one of her children, leaving her alone, frightened and with the burden of guilt lying heavily on her shoulder. Her disgusted and grieving husband cannot cope anymore and walks out on her and Thea can only see her other child under supervision a couple of times a week. Is Thea the monster everybody says she is? Would she have been capable of committing something so heinous and cruel? Or is there more to this incident than meets the eye?

Thea cannot shake off this feeling deep in her gut that her friends and family are keeping something from her. They’ve all told her that her actions have resulted in the death of her child and although Thea knows that they would have no reason to lie to her, are they telling her the whole story? Are they keeping something from her? They might be the people she loves and respects most in the world, but can she trust them? Thea feels that there is a dark and dangerous secret at the heart of this story which nobody dares reveal to her. What will happen when the whole truth is uncovered? Have the people around her set her up to take the blame for something which she did not do? Or is Thea really the monstrous mother everyone says she is?

Regardless of what happened on that fateful day, Thea’s baby is still dead. Will she ever find out the truth about her innocent child’s death? Or will her loved ones do whatever it takes to ensure that the truth never comes out?

Having been a huge fan of Jackie Kabler’s cosy mysteries featuring journalist Cora Baxter, I was looking forward to reading her first thriller and I was not disappointed. Jackie Kabler makes a seamless transition from cosy crime to visceral, hard-hitting and emotional domestic thrillers with Am I Guilty? and she has penned a chilling tale that shocks, terrifies and mesmerizes readers and will keep them on the edge of their seats, chewing their nails wondering what is going to happen next.

Am I Guilty? is an outstanding thriller that is not an easy read, but Jackie Kabler writes with great intelligence, understanding and compassion and keeps her audience hooked without resorting to melodrama or mawkishness.

A captivating tale of trust, deception, secrets and regret, Am I Guilty? propels the talented Jackie Kabler to new heights and I cannot wait to see what this gifted storyteller comes up with next.
Was this review helpful?
Am I guilty by Jackie Kabler was a pretty emotional book, it was centred around a tragedy. A heart-wrenching tragedy. And as a mother, I felt for the main character – Thea, even if I didn’t like her.

Thea was an unreliable narrator. And I generally like unreliable narrators in my fiction, as a plot device I think it can add an interesting twist. Thea was a drunk, a mother who neglected her child, who caused the death of her beautiful son Zander. Or did she? The title asks the question that the whole book, plot, characters all revolve around – Am I guilty? Is she? And the only way to find out is to read on.

Thea, wasn’t the only unreliable narrator. I didn’t much care for Flora or Isla or Greg or Rupert. The whole book was filled with characters that I didn’t like.

But I did like the structure of the book and I thought that the alternating chapters from different character’s point of views worked well. Even if I didn’t like any of the characters. I didn’t trust any of them. But that didn’t stop me from enjoying following their stories as everything came together for the ending. An ending that I didn’t guess! Am I guilty? Kept me reading late into the night. I wanted to know.

The writing was great and the book had lots and lots of short chapters – a favourite of mine. It was a good book, and I would happily read more from Jackie Kabler in the future.

Am I guilty? Well, I was guilty of enjoying the book, but…

The only small criticism I had was – I thought it all started very slow. I love a character driven story and they can tend to be slower reads in general, I think? Or the ones I have read lately have been a bit slower. But I was a little bored for the first 20% or so, I felt that it was all background information and no real substance. I’m glad I stuck with it and I ended up really engrossed and invested in finding out what happened. Finding out who the real evil of the story was. And was Thea guilty?

I would like to thank Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for including me on the book tour and the publisher for providing me with a copy of the book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
We,Humans are many things but we are definitely not infallible,we do make mistakes. Some are tiny and inconsequential and some have major consequences and can affect more than just one person.

Thea made a catastrophic mistake,a mistake that resulted in the death of her baby and Thea being labelled the worst mother in the world. She can't remember exactly what happened that day but everyone she trusts keep insisting that it was her fault and they wouldn't lie to her.....would they?

Then Thea starts to remember tiny snippets from that tragic day and starts to have the feeling that something is wrong. Are the people she trusts lying to her and keeping secrets from her? Is she as guilty as they say and if she is innocent,then what really happened and what will happen when the truth comes out?

This compelling thriller is a story about three women from different social standings, Thea,Annabelle and Thea's ex personal assistant Flora who is now working for Annabelle. There is also Thea's ex husband Robert and their young daughter Nell. Thea's best friend Isla, Annabelle's husband Greg and their children Millie and Ollie. Many of these characters wouldn't have known how to tell the truth even if their lives depended on it. Most but not all of them were flawed and not very likeable. I really wanted to feel some sympathy for Thea as her life feel apart around her but she  really didn't help herself at times. I did feel a lot of sympathy for one of the women and the poor children who found themselves caught up in the lives of these so called responsible adults.

As I Guilty is a extremely well written,shocking tale of secrets,manipulation,infidelity,lies and deception that hooks the reader in from the first page,keeping you captivated as the twists,turns,secrets and lies hit you at breakneck speed. And as for the chilling ending, I seriously had goosebumps,what a shocker. This is an amazing book,I loved every word on every page. Very,very highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
Having just come off the back of a brilliant read, i was worried that despite being excited for this tour it wouldn't live up the expectation. Boy was i wrong. This was fantastic. 

We meet Thea whose life has come crashing down around her, she killed her beloved son Zander. They said it was me, i did it - i cant remember because my brain blocked it out because it was that horrific. Thats how she is feeling, but that being said - something doesn't quite add up, and Thea starts to think things are not as they seem.

We meet an array of characters who all have had contact with Thea and Zander. This was a slow burner of a read, i honestly never saw anything coming as we spend time getting to know everyone, their own stories  I felt i liked some characters, disliked others but i feel i should of being more open minded.To me, it was clear cut - it must of been Thea - but serious, this is 100% worth reading - its gripping, and so unexpected. When you start to get answers as a reader - it makes you question every single thing! The twists were shocking, awful but fan bloody tastic too. Whilst the subject is a tricky one i feel it is handled pretty well. I really can't wait for more from this author, this was a 5* read.
Was this review helpful?
Everyone thinks I did it…maybe I did.

Yes, I read this book.

I never thought it would happen to me…

Yet I felt my stomach churn and my blood run cold.

We are scared of so many things. Spiders, earthquakes. But the real thing we should be scared of is ourselves.

Am I Guilty?

I am. I am terribly guilty to have enjoyed this novel so much! I am guilty of having ridiculously loved disliking one character after the other. I am guilty of having had a blast at watching multiple lives unravel. I am guilty of having loved such a wicked psychological thriller! I’m guilty and happy about it! Oh, and now I’m totally convinced I should become a nun and hide in a monastery!!!!

Thea is inside the eye of a hurricane. Around her, life is swirling but all she can do is stand there and watch it pass. When we meet her, she is walking outside. People stare at her. Talk. My chest tightened when I read the first chapter, still unaware of the reason behind such behavior. The author doesn’t beat around the bush, but she doesn’t draw you the elephant in the room. It doesn’t take long to understand something horrendous happened. To everyone’s eyes, she is responsible. We get snippets of the events through different eyes: Flora, her ex personal assistant, Annabelle, who hired Flora after the fact and has been in Thea’s mom circle without them ever getting so close, Thea, whose voice stirred everything in me. Guilt is like shackles attached to her ankles, dragging her down. Always down.

So what went wrong??? Saying I was impatient to know the truth would be a euphemism! Jackie Kabler’s clever way to ensure the reader connects to each protagonist before revealing the big secret that is not a secret reminded me of a woman dropping candy behind her in the park, luring me away from the sun, the ‘safe’ world, to transport me to hell. A hell created by us, human beings. It worked. I ate all the candy. I kept changing my mind. I thought I had it all figured out, I doubted myself. Then I got run over by THE BIG BAD EVENT.

It is often said that it takes a second to change the world. After having read this book, I say it takes actions, big and small, aggravating until the last brick makes everything tumble down!

Am I Guilty is a sentence I associate with everyone in this story. We all have skeletons in our closet but here, you get a full cemetary!!!! Oh my God! Everyone is guilty, everyone looks suspicious, and everyone adds grains of sand to create a whole that engulfs two families.

No, I won’t tell you what happened. Nor will I tell you what happens. Not because I am a sadistic reviewer, but because in the end, you don’t get addicted to this book for its plot, but for the amazing analysis of what our emotions lead us to do. Appearances play a part, pity showed up, so did contempt. I was swaying all the way. Could I trust a mother who sounded as if she were trying to find excuses for her actions? Could I blame a woman for being nosey when I was totally nosey myself, intruding in their lives to get my dose of shivers and thrills? Would the husbands escape my angry eye?

Am I Guilty? is a brilliant and heart-rending novel hiding a devious face. You will think you’ve guessed who and why. Maybe you will. I didn’t. I had part of the story, but too engrossed and too involved in the web of lies and deceit, I was blind to the real evil.
Definitely character-driven and unconditionally tense, Am I Guilty? is the right read for you if you’re looking for an exciting and powerful domestic thriller!
Was this review helpful?
Favorite Quotes:

… it happened again. A weird, crawling sensation, like a bony hand running up my spine… A strange, shivery feeling, that had nothing to do with being cold. A feeling of unease, so intense that it was almost a physical sensation. This morning it had come and gone in a flash, and I’d put it down to being in that odd, semi-awake state but now, as I leaned against the kitchen counter, it stayed, first that shiver up my back, then a sense that something was trying to wriggle its way into my consciousness, a voice far, far too tiny for me to hear trying to make itself audible. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut, trying to listen, but just as quickly as it had arrived, the feeling was fading again, and then it was gone.

He’s just an idiot boy, Mum. Sienna can be a bit bratty but he’s so horrible to her. Can’t you send him away to boarding school or something? You know, like those old-fashioned ones in films where the teachers will hit him with sticks and make him eat slugs for dinner?

I didn’t realize I was probably a psychopath until I went to university. I’d always known I was a little bit different to other kids I knew, never really had close friends growing up. But I didn’t realize I was that different until I started at Northampton Uni, doing my English and Psychology degree, and there it suddenly was one day, on the big screen in front of me in a crowded lecture theatre –a checklist of psychopathic personality traits. A checklist of my personality traits. … not a sociopath – they were messier creatures, emotionally unstable, impulsive, lacking in patience. Psychopaths make fewer mistakes. I looked down on sociopaths, and even as I realized this I was amused by it. It was a bit like an alcoholic looking down on a drug addict, wasn’t it?

My Review:

This was a book of multiples - multiple POVs, multiple suspects, multiple twists and misdirections, multiple liars committing multiple selfish and consciously deceitful acts.  Any tale involving the death of a child will undoubtedly be a heart squeezer whether the fatality was accidental or something more heinous, and I was back and forth in my theories of which type of act resulted in the death of eight-month-old Zander. 

So many secrets were swirling and compounding the issues.  The characters were first presented in a singular dimension with all fingers pointing toward the mother, whose shock and overindulgence of alcohol had blanked her memories of the day.  But as the trial date approached, odd pricklings of recall were itching at her brain, were they real or wishful thinking?  And the myriad other characters were not at all trustworthy and were all rather vile creatures.

The premise was heartbreaking while the characters were all deeply flawed and tainted with duplicity yet oddly compelling and continually pricking at my curiosity.  The storylines were slowly paced and tense in tone, full of angst, despair, regret, guilt, anger, and anxiety while compelling and craftily hinting at undercurrents of subterfuge and deception.  I was taut with tension and biting my cuticles as my hypotheses bounced among the various suspects, and while I was partly correct I would never have put it all together or as cleverly as this cringe-worthy conclusion.  This was my first experience reading the well-crafted words of Jackie Kabler and I am kicking myself for not noticing her prior works, she’s got mad word skillz!
Was this review helpful?
Am I Guilty? is a book that made me angry. Like, literally angry. I can't recall a book that's made me feel so much rage before. And that's a good thing. There were so many times I had to stop, take a breather, and go rant to my husband about everything that was going on. 
As a mom, this book made me feel bad for Thea, but then as more and more secrets started piling up and being uncovered, I realized I hated everyone. Except maybe Nell, Thea's daughter. And her friend Millie. Those two were the only two characters I even remotely cared for, and even then I was frustrated with them (although I did understand why they had secrets).
Am I Guilty? is a very emotional intense book. It's so well-written, and it kept me on the edge. I honestly felt like I was losing my mind at times trying to figure out what was going on/who was possibly good or bad/what really happened/etc. And I can say I didn't quite expect the slight twist there at the end. It just made me feel white-hot anger and rage. 
If you're a fan of suspenseful thrillers that will keep you on your toes and keep you guessing until the very end, grab a copy of Am I Guilty? today. You won't regret it.
Five very well-deserved stars from me.
Was this review helpful?