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by Brigitta Moon

Review by Barry Boy

Guilty by Brigitta Moon is a novel written in the third person, set in a fictitious town in modern-day Maryland, USA.

Miss Moon soon gets down to the story and shortly after meeting the teenage schoolgirl, Rose, the main protagonist, we are told that she had claimed to have been raped by the school coach, and that he had been found innocent. Naturally, the trauma does not end there for Rose or her family who believe her, despite the fact that the school administration and all the pupils support the popular, charismatic coach.

However, Rose does have a few supporters too: particularly her family and a small group of police officers, all of whose instincts tell them that Rose is telling the truth.

From here, it is a windy route to the truth, told in a slightly florid manner, but not enough to slow the pace of the book. The characters are also well-drawn and plentiful.

Guilty is fast-paced and very enjoyable, but what let’s it down especially is the grammar, and inattention to some details.

First the grammar. Miss Moon’s use of the comma, or rather, lack of its use, is annoying and sometimes forces the reader to halt in order to reread a phrase. The most common error is in this vein: “It’s big Dick!”; instead of, “It’s big, Dick!”.

As for lack of attention to detail, Miss Moon calls Rose’s family name ‘Cantor’ sometimes, and other times, ‘Canter’, and there are about half-a-dozen cases where the autofill has selected the wrong, but similar word to the one intended. There were a several cases where phrases seemed incomplete to me, as in: ‘She pulled on her tennis’. Tennis is a game to the vast majority of readers in the world, but perhaps it is slang for tennis shoes in Maryland. We also have two instances of people shaking their head to mean ‘Yes’ in chapter 67, but perhaps they were Greek.

The story hangs together well, but we do hear Officer Thorn announce in chapter 69 that there is a room full of raped girls, when he couldn’t have known who they were. The title suits the storyline, but the cover a little less so.

In short, this is a good novel, but it could be greatly improved with good editing, which is the reason why I am giving it a four out of five.

Well done, Miss Moon, I enjoyed reading Guilty and would read a sequel.

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