Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Guilty Party” as Want to Read:
The Guilty Party
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Guilty Party

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  109 ratings  ·  68 reviews
On a night out, four friends witness a stranger in trouble. They decide to do nothing to help.

Later, a body washes up on the banks of the Thames – and the group realises that ignoring the woman has left blood on their hands.

But why did each of them refuse to step in? Why did none of them want to be noticed that night? Who is really responsible?

And is it possible that the
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published March 7th 2019 by HQ
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Guilty Party, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Guilty Party

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  109 ratings  ·  68 reviews

Sort order
Ivana - Diary of Difference
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

A mystery that left me curious until the very end. A psychological paradise of a thriller that captures people at their very worst, right when they realise their lives are at stake. These people did nothing. But that doesn’t mean they’re innocent…

Four friends are returning from a festival, and they see a woman being raped in the forest. They all decide to do nothing about it. A few days later, her body is found in the river. Are they guilty for
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
When friends Cassie, Anna, Bo and Rex are at a music festival they witness an assault on a woman and do nothing about it. What motivates them to keep silent?

All 4 friends go away for the weekend to celebrate Bo’s birthday. They are a strange group of friends who had dated one another but then became close friends over the years. Well I say friends but at times are more like frenemies?
Quote “Ties between us had always carried the seeds of rottenness and destruction”

I loved the way this was writt
Whispering Stories
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book Reviewed by Stacey on

Sunday 14th August – After leaving a music festival and getting split up from one another, long term friends Cassie, Anna, Bo and Dex all meet up again in the early hours in a church grounds. Not far away they see a woman being assaulted and what looks like being raped. Although Cassie wants to help the other friends all persuade her to do nothing and tell her that it is probably just two people having a ‘good time’. They walk away offering no
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
An unsettling dark book that basically returns again and again to the main theme ‘what would YOU do’?
4 friends are on a night out when they witness a rape....instinctively they all ‘want’ to report it, for various reasons though one by one they dont....this decision then follows them forward and comes to a head when they go for a long weekend away to Portland (!)
The 4 have been friends from uni and the book cleverly uncovers things they are all aware about each other but as they are so close the
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was ok

This book sounded fabulous and I was positively giddy as I settled in to read it but...

It soon became apparent that this wouldn’t be the book I’d expected. The four main characters are selfish, self-centred and just plain unlikeable. This is obviously deliberately done but it made it a hard read for me. I struggle with any book where I don’t like at least one of the characters.

The writing style takes a bit of getting used to. You have to read the headers. On several occasions I had to skip b
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a real sucker for novels that are both thrilling but also explore loftier themes, and this is a perfect example of that. It follows a group of wealthy Oxford-educated, morally-dubious individuals who befriend a poorer gifted student and she joins their friendship group. The characters are stereotypically what you imagine affluent, upper-class girls to be like - self-absorbed, selfish and rather annoying; I would've really liked McGrath to have reversed this and at least made one of them mora ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

This book sounded fabulous and I was positively giddy as I settled in to read it but...

It soon became apparent that this wouldn’t be the book I’d expected. The four main characters are selfish, self-centred and just plain unlikeable. This is obviously deliberately done but it made it a hard read for me. I struggle with any book where I don’t like at least one of the characters.

The writing style takes a bit of getting used to. You have to read the headers. On several occasions I had to skip b
Liz Barnsley
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Guilty Party is a twisted psychological thriller and tense character driven drama focusing on a group of four friends, who one night witness a brutal attack yet choose to do nothing. But what motivates their silence?
This is a devilishly clever novel in it’s construction as the history and toxic friendship, reliance and turning a blind eye that haunts this seemingly tight knit group starts coming to light. Mel McGrath plays beautifully with hindsight, memory and the ties that bind as one by o
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, crime, suspence, thriller
Follow my blog for more posts: hjbookblog
The Guilty Party is a character driven novel, that revolves around four friends Cassie, Anna, Bo and Dex. They were inseparable but the ties between them had always carried “the seeds of rottenness and destruction”.

When the four friends go away for the weekend to celebrate Bo’s birthday, they witness an assault on a woman, but do nothing about it. But why do they refuse to step in?

The story starts with Cassie’s pov and then alters with third person povs f
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this cleverly plotted novel which kept me guessing throughout and featured some memorable – if not hugely likeable - characters! Bound tightly by ‘friendship’ (though author Mel McGrath definitely makes the reader start to wonder quite how much they really care about eachother.

I love the premise – that four friends witness a shocking crime one evening, but all – for reasons yet to be unearthed – unspeakingly decide to turn a blind eye. What follows is an excellently absorbing
Joanne Robertson
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love books that are full of characters who fill you with emotions. It doesn’t matter if I love them or hate them as long as I find them utterly intriguing! The Guilty Party featured a group of friends that I’m glad were no friends of mine as they were the most awful bunch of people! This self obsessed and narcissistic group of friends are out at a festival when they all witness a deplorable act of violence but not one of them steps forward to help the victim. And as the answers to m ...more
Rachel Gilbey
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
The question you will be asking yourself throughout this book from the moment the key occurrence happened is - what would I do in the same situation?

Cassandra and her 3 three friends all witnessed something horrible, but none of them stepped in and tried to help, or even rung the police. They all stood back and were party to it.

The book is told from the four viewpoints, with Cassie's voice being the main one. We see the happenings of that fateful night, play back in reverse, from all the friend
Julie Lacey
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was quite an addictive book as I just had to know what really happened.
Four friends witness a shocking crime one evening, but all decide to turn a blind eye.
You find out gradually through the book why each person did nothing, and so the story is told from different narratives.
None of the characters are particularly likeable but you still want to know why!
There are some real breath taking moments as the stories are told but you need to pay attention to the different time periods being ta
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Do you enjoy hating on the characters you are reading about, secretly hoping they will fail? Well, look no further, because this book was written for you!

Reading this book was like watching those TV series that have every episode end with a nail biting cliffhanger. I could not stop reading! The more I read, the more questions I had.

Cassie, Bo, Anna and Dex have known each other since uni, and always considered themselves close friends, even though frenemies would be a way better term to describe
Gayle Noble
Four friends, Cassie, Anna, Bo, & Dex, witness a crime after a night out but instead of intervening or calling for help, they decide to look the other way. Later on they find out that the woman died and Cassie wants to go to the police, but the others remain adamant that they shouldn't get involved.

I have to hand it to the author as she has written a book where all four of the main characters are almost all despicable. The story is mostly told from Cassie's point of view with interspersed ch
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this book, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This was such a unique book that really centre's around the reader and what would they, or shoud I say What woud YOU do if you were in the same situation as the main character Cassie.

This grabs you from the get-go and really has you questionting what you'd do in the situation and you get to constantly revisit this question as you read more and more through the book. This is told in different time-lin
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Guilty Party by Mel McGrath is a gripping contemporary psychological murder thriller that will have the reader involved from the start.
The novel is about a group of friends who feel more like family. They bond together over a shared history and secrets that become ever more deadly. Just how far would you go to maintain an ever darker friendship?
It’s never too late to do the right thing and to tell the truth. How well do you know your friends? Do you know the lengths they will go to to mainta
Angela  Mellor
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
The Guilty Party is a book that grabbed me, the cover and the blurb sounded right up my street but unfortunately fell very short of this.
Cassie, Anna, Bo and Dex are the characters in this book, they used to be two couples but are now just four friends. I have to say I don’t know wether this was the intention of Mel McGrath or not but I haven’t read a book in a long, long time where I hated every single character. I think if this is the way it is meant to be you have to be still truly invested i
Danielle Dent
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
I had read some good reviews for this book and was looking forward to reading but it just didn’t live up to expectations unfortunately. I found the timelines difficult to keep up with and all of the characters were deeply unlikeable. I feel as though Cassie was the one you were supposed to like out of all of the friends and she was the one I hated the most lol. I enjoyed the before timeline more than the present day but I found myself skim reading large chunks of it - particularly the endless pa ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This sounded like a fabulous read. Four friends witness a vicious attack one night, but, do nothing and the story is how they each deal with that fact and the detail of the attack. However, I'm afraid, I didn't enjoy it. None of the friends are likeable and the story meanders and is difficult at times to follow.
All in all, a disappointing read.

Thanks to Netgally and the publishers for the opportunity to preview in exchange for this honest review.
Linda Barrett
Dec 03, 2018 rated it liked it
The Guilty Party by Mel McGrath is an interesting book.
When I read the blurb it sounded like a fantastic book I could really get in to but I found it very long winded and could have been better if a little shorter.
Whilst the storyline was good and kept me turning those kindle pages I honestly couldn't connect to the 4 main characters but maybe that's how the author wanted it.
This could be how she wanted her readers to respond to them as their not very likeable at times.
We could all love to hate
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I listened to Give Me the Child a little over a year ago, I fell in love with Mel McGrath's writing style, the way in which she was able to develop characters who both fascinated and repulsed, and the way in which her she really drew me into the story, a complex and multi-layered tale in which you were never quite sure which was was up. So when I got the chance for an early read of this latest novel, The Guilty Party, I jumped at it, and boy am I glad I did.Now, I won't lie. There are eleme ...more
Rachel Bridgeman
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: march-2019
Mel McGrath has created a moral dilemma based book.4 people in their early 30’s, who have known each other since uni, decide to celebrate one of their birthdays by going to the Wapping Festival. Dex, Bo, Cassie and Anna become variously intoxicated, lost and entangled in the atmosphere and then seperated.

Each sees something in a churchyard, the same thing but from different angles, but it is something inherently wrong.

All of them decide, for their own purposes, to say nothing and do nothing. The
Cheryl M-M
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm not going to lie. The first chapter isn't easy to read and digest. Not because it's overly graphic or violent, just from a moral point of view. In fact the same could be said about the whole story. The characters and their actions say so much about society and the new norm, well it's disturbing and simply disappointing.

Of course it's also a darn good read. Not that I expect anything less from McGrath, who does like to mix things up a wee bit. I do think this premise takes the reader into wat
Gaby (GNTxREADs)
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Firstly, the cover is so bold that it really stood out from a lot of other similarly themed thrillers. The hardback itself is a vibrant red which is complemented so nicely by the sleeve.

My initial thoughts based on the first couple of chapters was that this book was going to be a twisty guess who type read, whereby the reader would be led to suspect all the characters involvement in the death of Marika. The discovery of her body shocked me, and slowly the story of how Marika came to her end is r
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Four friends with an unshakable friendship that has lasted for fifteen years. Bo is the high flying tech entrepreneur, Anna is the brittle beauty who has to be in control, Dex is the born again gay man and Cassie is the one from the wrong side of the track. They met at Oxford University and despite taking different routes in life have stayed together with an unwavering bond.

On a late August night/very early morning, at the end of a music festival, they witness a violent assault on a young woman
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Once I got used to the timeline in this book (read the chapter headings carefully!) I realised how very clever this book is plot-wise. Yes, the four main characters are hard to connect with, due mostly to them all being a bit horrid in personality, but also cos we really don't get to know them very well at the beginning so a connection was hard to established. But, I persevered and, as more from the past came out, I started to gel to them as people even if I still didn't really like any of them ...more
Noemi Proietti
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Happy publication day to Mel McGrath!!! THE GUILTY PARTY is her new gripping novel and it’s out today, so go out to a bookstore (or online) and grab a copy because this is a very suspenseful and dark novel that will keep you completely engrossed from the first to the very last page.

Meet the Group. Cassie, Anna, Bo, and Dex have been best friends for fifteen years, since their days at Oxford. They are friends, they are ex-lovers, they are family. They come before their husbands, children, boyfrie
Jane Hunt
Four old friends witness a terrible crime, individually and finally, collectively, there are numerous opportunities where they can make a difference to the outcome, but they don’t.

The story moves forward to a different group gathering when they inadvertently find out the outcome of that night. Should they have acted differently? Are they guilty? Why did they react in the way they did?

Switching between timelines and different points of view the dilemma is revealed and painstakingly unravelled. Th
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
It's ok to have a book with characters you hate, but they need to be the sort of character you love to hate, and to delight in their wickedness. The characters in this book were always going to struggle to redeem themselves after the book opens on a shocking scene and their lack of action, but they only ever came across as selfish, spoiled and mediocre. I struggled to believe that the group were still such good friends when they have little in common and are, at best, irritated by one another, a ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Melanie McGrath is a Romford-born English non-fiction writer and crime novelist.
Born in Romford, McGrath's parents moved several times during her childhood; to Basildon in Essex, then to a village in Germany, to Kent, then north to Lancashire, and south again to Buckinghamshire. She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University.
She won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1995 for he