The Weight of Guilt by Jon Ripslinger

The Weight of Guilt by Jon Ripslinger

Look, I know I’m a grown up, and thus, suspect, but, kids, I promise this is solid advice:  Don’t hang out with guys who have dead girlfriends piling up in their wake.  It’s dumb.  I know you think he needs you to rescue him.  I understand.  Still.  If you still don’t believe me, you can read this book, which will tell you something different, but will ultimately prove my point.

When Charlie’s best friend is found floating in the Mississippi, the obvious suspect is the new guy in town.  After all, the last girl to leave a party with John also ended up dead.  But Charlie knows that Megan was keeping secrets, and her gut tells her that the biggest threat in her small town is not John.  The alternating narrative between Charlie and John, has appeal for both male and female readers, but it does result in some repetition of events, which slows the pace.  There are plenty of secrets and suspects, but I was able to guess the murderer long before the characters puzzled it out, so most readers will find their experience is more about the tension of dramatic irony than suspense.  The action is fairly well paced, but I did find the resolution was a little overly complicated, and, ultimately it demanded a suspension of disbelief I wasn’t prepared for in a contemporary mystery.  I think this is an enjoyable, if average read.  It is a little edgy, and it certainly feels like the threat to characters is real, so I think my high school readers, the target audience, will find it engaging.  More discerning readers will find it less compelling.  

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About queenbook

When the final bell rings, I stash those messy piles of essays and analysis assignments in a desk drawer and I head home to a pile of good books. My kids and dog eat too many chicken nuggets and the house could be neater, but as long as I get my daily read, I guess we are doing all right. When I was twelve and fifteen and eighteen and twenty, I believed I needed to get out there and do those things I had just been reading about, which ended in disaster, tears, a tattoo that scares me every time I catch a glimpse of it in the mirror, and the realization that some of us are meant for action, and some of us are meant to critique the pace of action in a book. I read primarily YA fiction as I have a rather hulking classroom library and a hundred high school readers to engage daily. Nothing makes me happier than coming to school and finding an impatient teenager waiting by my door to turn in a book and get another one just like it. I adore a good zombie, a medieval princess, or girl assassin (I would like them all in one book if you are a writer looking for some inspiration). I add historical mystery to my wish list a year in advance, and you should get out of my way when the next Outlander book comes out. I have an embarrassing fondness for rock star books, but only if they don’t get too trashy and embarrass me. My favorite book of all time is The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. My book boyfriends include Gilbert Blythe, Alonzo Wilder, and Jamie Fraser. They are mine and you can’t have them.

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