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Degrees of Guilt

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  134 ratings  ·  75 reviews

'A compelling legal thriller - I loved it' Katerina Diamond, Sunday Times bestseller

'Timely, anger-inducing and very powerful - it's excellent' Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange

When you read this book, you will think you know every twist in the tale.

Maria is on trial for attempted murder.

She has confessed to the crime and wanted her husband dead.

Lottie is on th

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published May 16th 2019 by Trapeze
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4.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  134 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A new voice in the thriller genre!!

Maria is set to stand trial after a vicious attack on her husband. She’s admitted to the attack, even going so far as reporting it to the police and confessing. Surely there’s more to the story.

Bailiff, bring in the jury....

No one wants jury duty! But when it comes knocking, hopefully we all show up to do our duty. Begrudgingly perhaps, but necessary…for some more than others. Pathetic excuses are creatively concocted, as certain potential jurors hope to be
This is the riveting debut psychological thriller from HS Chandler, an author with a background in law that informs the courtroom drama that unfolds, although liberties are taken that deviate from standard law practices. It is a highly pertinent read in our contemporary world of #MeToo, crawling beneath the surface of ostensibly normal marriages and relationships, to lay bare the murky darkness that lies underneath. The narrative revolves around the working group dynamics of a serving jury on th ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Let me just start by saying that I'm not sure if this was a case of a right book at the right time or if it was something I was in the mood for that I didn't even realize I needed. All I know is that I loved this book. I was completely captivated by this court room drama from first page until last.

The problem is that I can't really say much about it because this book relies heavily on secrets, lies and slow revelations and as you read you are constantly trying to figure out who and what to beli
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Omigahhhhh....this book is the definition of a twisty-turny thriller.

You think you know but you don't, so you start theorizing and feeling smug and then you get slapped into place by the ending.!

Degrees of Guilt tells the story of Maria, on trial for murdering her jerk husband and Lottie, a juror who pulls some jerk moves of her own. No one is perfect, everyone is keeping secrets, everyone is telling their own versions of the truth and everyone is playing fast and loose with morals a
Monika Sadowski
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow! What a page turner. Great courtroom drama with twists and turns, very well-developed characters and good writing. Till the end I wasn’t sure what to think and then big shocker. I had goosebumps when I read some of the descriptions. Loved it. I will absolutely read more books by HS Chandler.

Thank you to NetGalley, Orion Publishing Group and Trapeze for a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Liz Barnsley
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really really loved this book, a right old proper page turner that not only deals with some currently relevant and emotional topics but was also genuinely unpredictable- a novel in which almost any outcome would be surprising.
There are two sides to this story- on one side Maria, on trial for murder, already an admitted killer but can she persuade the jury she had no choice? On the other side of the courtroom sits Lottie, judging Maria and herself at the same time, whilst possibly about to make
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I have been on a “thriller slump” with only one out of my last SEVEN thrillers earning a full 4 stars, and the others earning less.

This was the first thriller in awhile that I COULD NOT WAIT to get back to reading, every chance I got.

Mrs. Bloxham is on trial for attempted murder. She has not pled “guilty” even though she calmly called the police and confessed to the crime. She is hoping that a “jury of her peers” will acquit her.

Lottie has lost her self confidence, and now finds her
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Degrees of Guilt had me hooked from the very beginning of the book. How could it not when it starts with a husband on the floor of his kitchen, with his head cracked open, brains oozing out. His wife was standing above him, holding a bloody table leg, hair embedded in the blood, glad that her husband was dead. Maria then calls 999 to report that she killed her husband. Maria was terribly abused, in so many ways and she had been at the end of her rope, ready to give up, until this moment.

Much to
JuJu (Julie)
My thoughts:
This debut legal thriller deserves more than 5 ⭐’s!

Just as the book blurb stated, I thought I knew what was going to happen. I was wrong! Even if I’d been correct, it would have been an interesting read. But wow, with all the unpredicted twists, it was amazing.

I enjoyed every page of this courtroom drama! A gruesome murder at the start pulled me right in...except it wasn’t a murder. Maria is calm when she calls emergency services after bashing in the head of her husband—Edward—with
Mandy White
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Degrees of Guilt by HS Chandler is a fantastic legal thriller that will keep you surprised until the very end. The story opens and you think you have it all worked out but the story twists and turns so many times you get dizzy!! If you think you know how it is going to end - believe me you don't! I love a book that keeps me interested all the way through and this was one of those books.

Maria is on trial for the attempted murder of her husband. She confessed to the crime and wants her husband dea

I have been on a “thriller slump” with only one out of my last SEVEN thrillers earning a full 4 stars, and the others earning less.

This was the first thriller in awhile that I COULD NOT WAIT to get back to reading, every chance I got.

Mrs. Bloxham is on trial for attempted murder. She has not pled “guilty” even though she calmly called the police and confessed to the crime. She is hoping that a “jury of her peers” will acquit her.

Lottie has lost her self confidence, and now finds her
Aga Durka
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I just loved this book. I don’t usually enjoy courtroom dramas because I find them a little boring at times, but this book was so well written, and the mystery and psychological aspects of the story kept me glued to its pages. The characters were well developed with Maria being my all time favorite. I rooted for her even though at times I had my doubts if she really was as innocent as she claimed to be. The lies, secrets, manipulations, and deceit made this story a guessing game for me, and ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Degrees of Guilt is a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable courtroom drama/legal thriller and given HS Chandler (Helen Fields's nom de plume) is a criminal barrister she allows her extensive knowledge of the law to inform this superb thriller and create an authenticity that is missing from so many of these books. I can personally attest to the accuracy of the law within these pages having gained a law degree myself.

Although this centres very much around the legal system it is accessible to thos
Caroline Mitchell
When I heard that one of my favourite crime authors, Helen Fields, had written a psychological thriller, I was instantly intrigued. I love her DI Callanach series and was thrilled when I was sent a copy of Degrees of Guilt. Helen has a style of writing that I instantly recognised as someone who has spent time in the field. It is gritty, authentic and written with such confidence that you soon become emerged in her characters' world. Having safeguarded high-risk victims of domestic abuse in my fo ...more
Lisa-Books Smiles
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s been a very long time since I’ve read a courtroom drama/thriller that had my head swinging in so many different directions. This had a bit of a slow start but if you can make it past the first couple of chapters I promise you will not be disappointed. These characters are complex with multiple layers to each of their stories. I love how well thought-out the plot was and how perfectly it all came together. Well Done!

Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for an e-arc copy in exchange for a
The Book Review Café
Nothing in life is ever black and white, there are shades of grey that blur our opinions, our thoughts, it’s one thing hearing the facts, but what about the untold story? What hidden truths could change a guilty verdict around or vice versa? Degrees Of Guilt by H.S. Chandler is a thrilling book where your opinion of the guilty, in this case Marie who freely admits to killing her husband, will sway at almost every chapter. This has to be one of the most exciting, complex, and compelling legal thr ...more
3.5 stars. This was a page turner and I couldn't wait to find out how things turned out. This is a courtroom drama that features both the defendant, a woman who killed her husband, and a juror, who is feeling neglected in her own marriage and begins an affair with a man she meets on the jury. It's hard to say much without giving anything away, since there are multiple twists--I didn't find any of them especially surprising, but they were satisfying and overall I really enjoyed this. I don't thin ...more
“Degrees of Guilt” was one of the best novels set in a courtroom that I’ve recently read and it’s also a début! I found it completely captivating and this totally brilliant legal thriller had me utterly engrossed with every chapter until the fulfilling conclusion.

I highly recommend it to all lovers of the thriller genre.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel at my own request from Orion Publishing via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Do you enjoy legal thrillers? Whatever the answer to this question, Degrees of Guilt NEEDS to end up on your TBR. This is my mission for the day!

Many thanks to Alainna and Trapeze for inviting me to read Degrees of Guilt in exchange for an honest review.

Innocent. Guilty. Two words among the millions which can be found in any dictionary. Except those ones decide on people’s future. On paper, it is easy to make to see the difference and draw a bold line between those nouns, but life is anything

May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, 5-stars
I enjoy stories that involve morals and put you on the spot. I adore novels that provoke a reader and make you question the side you’re on. I love novels that secretly make you want to cheer the bad guy on.. it’s wrong to do so and you feel guilty but ok not all that much because sometimes, you know, it just can’t be helped. Degrees of Guilt is exactly this kind of brilliant novel, it hits all the high notes. In hindsight, I have to admit the title kind of gives it away but I was still very much ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely wonderful !!!
This brilliant read brought out such strong emotions in me that at times I had to put my kindle down as I felt such anger at a certain character in the story. Geez what a book this is and so hard to describe without giving anything away but suffice it to say I loved it from the first page to the last and Maria was such a well written character in this courtroom drama that has so much more than you expect when you first start to read. An illicit encounter between Lottie wh
Set in Bristol, this is a court case and then some.

The first chapter opens and you think it's a slam dunk

But of course it's not

If you love a good court room drama with mainly female characters and some sizzling court room scenes then this is for you. There were a few sections which dragged slightly and the crossover from the two points of view changed at the wrong times for me - or maybe this was the point and the more you're rocked by revelations, the more unstable your reading experience becom
Gabriel Alexander
Natural justice versus legal justice. Loved that the ending wasn't too clean - much more believable. Thought the Cameron character was great. The description of the emotions felt during the self-harm were spot on. Very moving. Tension was amazing. Hoping the author writes another.
Rachel Bridgeman
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: may-2019
'Degrees of Guilt' is a howl of feminst rage wrapped in a taut, legal thriller, as it not only exposes the soicetal depiction of women and the ties that bind them to their pre-ordained roles, it precisely accounts for the way that the justice system deals them unfair blow after unfair blow.

This is absolutely no tale of women to be pitied, this is the story of the woman who roared, and in doing so , was reduced, subdued and made monstrous.It is the story of her counterpart, a woman who never beli
Jen LaRowe
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
One of the most well written books I have read in a long time. The characters felt so real and I could understand why their lives and motivations were what they were. Maria and Lotte make wonderful main characters and the supporting characters just make the story even stronger. There is even a few curve balls that I never saw coming. It gives a solid ending that makes you want to know more, but you are satisfied with the book as a whole. 5 stars

I received an advance ecopy through netgalley in ex
V Nerd
This fabulous little courtroom thriller jumps straight into the action with Maria Bloxham standing over her Husband’s dead body, murder weapon in hand, after calmly washing her tea-cup she dials 999 and tells them she has just killed her husband.

She waits for them to arrive, and gets into the back of the police car after they arrest her.

We are then shot forward to her court case and the 12 people that are going to decide her fate.

We meet each one of jury, but the story focuses only on a few of t
Johnna Whetstone
This was a very riveting read, which was very full of suspense and made sure to keep my mind spinning! I found it thrilling, chilling, and very suspenseful! Recommend to my fellow domestic drama/thriller lovers!
Will be recommending to chapter chatter pub!
David John
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was given an early uncorrected proof of this at Harrogate last month in the brilliant Incident Room and read it overnight. It's courtroom drama at its best - tense, claustrophobic, read through the cracks of your fingers stuff - and it's completely devastating in the way the writer handles subjects like marital control and self-harm. With a predominantly female cast, Degrees of Guilt takes an uncomfortably close look at women in (and out of) relationships at all ages and stages. The more feminis ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Degrees Of Guilt’ is the first book written by the author H. S. Chandler. I will let you into a little secret but don’t tell anybody I told you. Although this is H. S. Chandler’s first book, she has actually released a bestselling series featuring the enigmatic Detective Luc Callanch under the pen name of Helen Fields. In other words H. S. Chandler and Helen Fields are one and the same person. I adore the Callanach series and I just knew that I would love reading ‘Degrees Of Guilt’. I must be p ...more
Mary Picken
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a massive fan of Helen Fields’ police procedurals, set in Edinburgh. So when I heard that she had written a psychological thriller under a nom de plume, I could not wait to get my hands on it.

A bonus for me is that this is a legal thriller, predominantly set in Bristol’s High Court. I do love a good legal thriller, and this one is a cracker. Maria Bloxham is on trial for attempted murder. She was hoping that it would have been murder, but sadly her husband for the last 18 years, Edward Blox
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DEGREES OF GUILT 1 5 May 18, 2019 12:56AM  
A former barrister, HS Chandler practised for thirteen years in both family and criminal law. Having extensively prosecuted and defended, she is an avid believer in the right to a fair trial, and in the invaluable role that juries play in the British legal system.

(source: Amazon)