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Degrees of Guilt

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,072 ratings  ·  269 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 dea

...more
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published May 16th 2019 by Trapeze
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  1,072 ratings  ·  269 reviews


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Nilufer Ozmekik
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-m-intrigued
Wow! Wow! Wow! This might be one of the underrated, exhilarating, unputdowable, riveting, gripping, secret hidden gems waiting for to be discovered by a thriller addicts like me, why didn’t I keep waiting so long, bam bam bam(I’m slapping my head) so I’m sentencing myself to give this book all five million stars I carefully saved for the best ones!

H.S. Chandler surprises us, sucker punches us at the most unexpected moment, forces us question our ethical values, beliefs, dignities with a story
...more
Kaceey
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5*
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
...more
Michelle
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
...more
Paromjit
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
MarilynW
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
...more
Julie (JuJu)
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 a chair leg
...more
Jayme
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally!!

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
...more
Joey R.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars — I read “Degrees of Guilt” by HS Chandler after reading a good review of it on Goodreads. I have to say it was as good as advertised. The book was very fast paced and once I got into it, I couldn’t put it down. The book tells the story of Lottie, who is picked for jury duty in a high profile murder case. She is trapped in a marriage with a controlling husband and does not work outside of the home so she welcomes this opportunity to serve. The author does a great job of packing the jur ...more
Margaret M - hiatus (Limited access- will message when I can)
“This is how coercive control works. It’s slow, incremental. It plays to the parts of its victims that lack confidence and it steals their voice.” But what mistake would be worse “setting a guilty person free, or wrongly condemning an innocent one to prison?”

The Plot (you can skip if you have already read the book)

With the chilling opening of a 999 call and an admittance of guilt by Maria Bloxham as she stands over the bleeding body of her husband suffering blunt trauma to the head, you know you
...more
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.
Bridgett
I normally love courtroom dramas, and I'm not entirely certain I can explain why this one didn't do it for me. But, man, it really didn't.

I started this book on March 2nd. It took me nearly 2 weeks to finish. That's never a good sign. It was just so effing slooooooow. A witness would be questioned for 15 minutes, then the jurors would be dismissed for the day so the lawyers could do something lawyer-ly, while Lottie whined about her life.

And then I figured out the ending.

So yea. Blah.

2.5 star
...more
Matt
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seeking another thrilling read, I turned to this piece of courtroom drama, where the case may not be what it seems, though neither are those who are adjudicating it. Maria Bloxham stands over her husband, whose skull has just been bashed in. As blood and brain matter flow onto the floor, she casually calls the police to report the incident. When they arrive, she does not deny what’s happened and makes no attempt to conceal her actions. When she learns that her husband is clinging to life, she lo ...more
Dash fan
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5☆ An Authentic and Enthralling Legal Thriller.

I haven't quiet read anything like this one before it really gripped me, a thoroughly enthralling page Turner!

Maria has admitted trying to kill her overbearing, manipulative, abusive, bully of a husband and now is about to stand trial for attempting to murder him.
But did she really do it?
I mean if she admitted it she must of done right?

Well who am I to judge, I'm not the jury!
But Lottie is! And Maria's fate lies in her hands alongside the rest of
...more
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
...more
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
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
...more
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
Jayme
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally!!

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
...more
Lou (nonfiction fiend)
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
...more
Dash fan
5☆ An Authentic and Enthralling Legal Thriller.

I haven't quiet read anything like this one before it really gripped me, a thoroughly enthralling page Turner!

Maria has admitted trying to kill her overbearing, manipulative, abusive, bully of a husband and now is about to stand trial for attempting to murder him.
But did she really do it?
I mean if she admitted it she must of done right?

Well who am I to judge, I'm not the jury!
But Lottie is! And Maria's fate lies in her hands alongside the rest of
...more
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
Julie Lacey
Sep 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great read that had me hooked throughout the book.
It all starts with Maria phoning the police, standing over the body of her dead husband. She calls and says she’s killed her husband and then waits for them on the driveway.
She’s soon on trial and we’re then introduced to the jurors who will decide her fate.
We hear a lot about Charlotte, or Lottie, and get an insight into her life. She’s married with a young child but wants more out of life. Another one of the jurors catches her eye
...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
...more
Roman Clodia
As a page-turner this captured my imagination, though there are places where the writing gets a bit bogged down in minutiae that could be edited out without detriment to the tale. I like that there are serious issues at the book's heart about the nature of an abusive marriage: the slow creep of control, the unintended complicity of the victim, the sheer malice of the abuser, the way in which the story can sound unbelievable to outsiders - all of this is handled with sensitivity and insight.

The
...more
Meow
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-words
It took me forever to read this because I feared this would be another "highly touted" book with no substance. Man, was I wrong. A friend loved this and I can understand why! Although there were some "hokey roll my eyes moments (i.e., "his lips were soft, his body was hard")", once I finished, I decided this read is really well put together and absolutely deserves any and all hype! The courtroom drama is dynamic and believable, I didn't hate any of the characters, well paced and great twists tha ...more
KC
How far would you go to protect yourself, to stop someone from terrorizing you, to put an end to the pain and suffering? Maria Bloxham recently made that decision, to stop her husband Edward from ending her life by ending his first, but was unsuccessful and is now on trial for attempted murder. Although I am a huge fan of this author's alter-ego Helen S. Fields and her Luc Callanach series, this one was just okay for me. Maybe it had to do with U.S. courtroom dramas versus U.K. ones. This fast-p ...more
Emma Shaw
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murder. Sex. Betrayal. This compelling courtroom drama has these things and more. Reading it was like eating a bag of maltesers - once I started I couldn’t stop until it was finished.

The book opens with Edward Bloxhom dead from a head wound. His wife, Maria, is calmly drying a mug and thinking about how she’ll get the blood out of the grouting. After a short time she calls the police and goes outside to wait for their arrival, thankful to be free of the man who controlled her life for almost tw
...more
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
Shalini
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever read a book which has caused your soul to hush and go silent just by reading the statement given by accused about her life story? Mine did. Everything which was a woman in me rebelled and cried for Maria as she gave her testimony.

"A hush surrounded my soul
A pain gripped my heart
Freedom was taken away
Control was held affirm
What does a man do show power
How low does a woman need to be
But one day she broke
Her control lost its peace
A chair was broken
A skull was flattened
Meet the accused
...more
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
Yikes I absolutely loved this story.

It’s been ages since I read a courtroom drama and this brings back to me how much I loved them.

We get two women’s stories here. Maria is on trial for attempting to murder her husband. We also have Lottie who is a member of the jury in Maria’s case.

This is one of the best storylines I’ve read this year...totally addictive. The story played in my head like a movie... honestly it was that good!

If you enjoy legal thrillers then I highly recommend you read this b
...more
Ingstje
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
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DEGREES OF GUILT 2 14 May 26, 2020 11:05AM  

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94 followers
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)

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