How I Read It: Audiobook
Dates Read: 10/13/21-10/15/21
How I Found It: Book of the Month
Trigger Warning: This book includes instances of rape, criminal trials, and police corruption. If these are triggers for you, read at your own discretion.
Rachel has a podcast called Guilty or Not Guilty that focuses on a true crime where she breaks down the evidence to figure out whether the suspect is guilty or not guilty. She travels to Neapolis, North Carolina for her subject of season 3, a rape trial between a future Olympian and the granddaughter of the former chief of police. She continues to post podcast episodes throughout the trial, giving her audience the chance to be in the jury box.
On her way to Neapolis, Rachel discovers a letter from a fan, Hannah, who asks for Rachel to look into her sister’s, Jenny’s, death. While the official report is that Jenny died from an accidental drowning, Hannah is sure that is a lie. Telling her story over a series of letters, Hannah slowly lets Rachel in on Jenny’s death and why she thinks that Jenny died under suspicious instances.
Following a present rape trial while we follow the death of another rape victim, we slowly begin to investigate who is guilty, and how history repeats itself.
As I was looking through my TBR pile, this was the book that I gravitated to the most. There is something so modern and cool about following a podcast in a book. While I am aware that she chose to follow a rape case because she wanted as much attention as she could get, there is something that feels uncomfortable about the whole guilty or not guilty thing. Considering how difficult it is for women to be believed in sexual assault trials anyway, I don’t like the idea of basically saying “do you believe her or not?”. It just doesn’t sit well with me.
I do like the idea of Hannah’s storyline, but I don’t like that we don’t meet her until the end of the novel. It just feels like a really weird resolution that totally could have happened earlier in the novel. They also totally could have met before the final scene. It almost seemed like overkill.
Ultimately, I enjoyed this novel. I think I had slightly higher expectations, but it was a solid novel nonetheless. Overall, I would give this a 4 out of 5 stars.
If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at email@example.com. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!