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The Verdict

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  364 ratings  ·  119 reviews
A cheating wife. An estranged mother. But is she guilty of murder?

Please raise your right hand.
An affair at work has cost Julia Winter her job and her marriage. There’s no denying she has let her family down.
Please remain standing.
When a body is discovered on the North Downs, it hits local headlines. But for Julia, the news is doubly shocking because the body was buried

Kindle Edition, 339 pages
Published August 12th 2019 by One More Chapter
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: 'Julia Winter?' the woman says.

I stand up. The whole office stops and looks at me.

"You are Julia Winter?'

'Yes,' I say.

The female officer steps forward. 'I am arresting you on suspicion of the murder of Brandon Wells. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence of you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?'

No one moves. The office stands silent.

Louise Wilson
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Julia, along with two previous male housemates, have been arrested for the murder of a body that had been found on the North Downs. The had been there for twenty three years. The first half of the book alternates between 2017 and 1994. The second half of the book tells us about her time in Bronzefield Prison in 2018 while awaiting her trial. We are given "the verdict" in 2019.

I found this story a little slow and confusing for the first fee chapters. It does jump back and forth in time a lot, but
S.P. Aruna
Nov 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller-mystery
Simply superb, this is an exceptional psychological legal thriller, with an emphasis on thriller. The character development is masterful, the prose concise, yet elegant, so that it flows.

Each chapter bounces between 1994 and 2017, the past and present converging towards the truth of the mystery. The reader will need to pay attention to keep track of what time period you’re in. Bits and pieces of the puzzle are fed to the reader in eagerly anticipated doses, just enough to keep you reading.

I cann
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing

A courtroom trial based book has to be done well, really well or else it fails, this book does it very well!
The book is based around a house share in Guildford, a fascinatingly bizarre landlady, her Sister and the 5 tenants, 3 men, 2 women who live there...but only 4 of them get to leave the house, 1 doesn’t, he is killed and buried nearby
The other 4 carry on with their lives, the secret 3 of them share staying a secret
Years later, remains are found, DNA is sought and the secret that was hidden
Feb 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Julia Winter cheated on her husband, lost her family and has a difficult relationship with her mother. With the discovery of a body and mysterious text messages unite to stir up angst for Julia, as police investigate and her past comes back to haunt her. Despite an interesting premise, this psychological thriller does not live up to its promise, as the use of inconsistent flashbacks and unlikeable characters result in a less suspenseful tale. So only a three-star rating of a read.
What a find!
I knew nothing about The Verdict going in; only that it was a mystery/thriller and judging by the title, I assumed there was a court case involved somehow..?
I was really pleasantly surprised by The Verdict. Well, as pleasantly surprised as someone can be by the horrible things that happen to the characters.

I know it’ll sound strange, but I loved how plain Julia was. You know how in books the main characters no matter how hard they try to be written as “simple”, they still have a ch
marnie | once upon a time book reviews
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Olivia has created an edge of your seat thriller that grabbed my attention straight away, not just with the blurb but also the striking cover. I do love a great cover and this one ticks all the boxes for me. This is a real page turner so make sure you have nothing else to do, as this book keeps you captivated right from the get go. Tick!

Olivia has created a tale with a thrilling twist that will definitely keep you on your toes. Set over two decades, we are taken b
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Set over a now and then timeline in Guilford and London the reader is immersed in a story where guilt, jealousy, friendships, fear, conspiracy, secrets, lies, coercion, manipulation, threats and greed are all intertwined in the search for the truth and justice.
OMG BOOM! What an opening. It is short and sharp but delivers that killerhook that had me itching to know more. But that wasn’t it – Oh no…the author decides to throw in another WTAF chapter that made sure I wasn’t leaving my chair until I
Morgan Schulman
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: reader-s-copy
I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review

The plot sounded so intriguing, but the characters did not engage me in the least so it felt a bit like empty page-flipping. The twist did genuinely surprise though, so I will give it a three
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Nineteen ninety-four. Twenty-three years ago. Brandon Wells. Guildford."

Julia Winter, now 48-years-old, had fled London to Guildford after her long-time boyfriend, Christian, had dumped her for another woman. She was then 23 and ended up sharing a grand home with the owner, Genevieve D'Auncey, and 4 other tenants. There was Lucy, Gideon, Brandon and Alan. Tensions are high in the household as the roommates don't get along very well and Genevieve is a bit of a flake and makes Brandon her pet --
Sarah Griffiths
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The verdict

Wow! This book was incredible. Anyone who loves courtroom drama seriously needs to read this. The book is split into three parts. Julia’s past, after “Guildford” and the court case.
At first I found Julia an unlovable character and really struggled to warm to her. I was trying to piece together in my head what had happened, but I just could not.
Then in Court we hear about what has happened in Julia’s past and I instantly started warming to her.
Although I guessed most of the ending
Hannelore Cheney
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you NetGalley and Harper Impulse & Killer Reads for the eARC.
Julia has made many mistakes in her life, but I liked her. The wrong decisions made in one's youth can kick you in the head for years to come, unfortunately! After she leaves London for The Downs (escaping the horrifying breakup with her longtime boyfriend), she moves in with an eccentric landlady and several other tenants; all but one of them creepy. There's a claustrophobic, uneasy relationship between them all. We move back an
Samantha Gonsalves
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is one of those books that you'll find akin to a slow burn. The Verdict begins with a prologue that is dark, and sinister enough to keep you hooked. However, a few chapters in, just as I thought that this plot could not be any different from many books out there, the tension picks up and we get back to the gripping and fast-paced thrill of this thriller.

When a body is discovered on the North Downs, Julia Winters living her otherwise average life receives a text with the news link warning he
This book bats back and forwards between 1994 and 2018 and a couple of other years on occasion. It does it every chapter and there are a lot of chapters. Would have been an easier read to have split it into parts as for me it completely broke the flow of the book.
It was pretty tedious to get into, but by about 70% the actions ramps up a little.
None of the characters are particularly likeable, maybe they are not meant to be. I didn't find Julia particularly believable either, certainly not caree
Kimberly Hicks
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-on-kindle
Julia Winter, like her namesake, lived a very cold and frightening life—putting up with a rotten husband, a son that refuses to speak to her, let alone acknowledge her existence, was it a surprise that she was on trial for murder? Twenty-four years prior, Julia was a young lady trying to find her way. She wanted to get away from her mother, Audrey, who nearly drove her insane with all her mothering. Julia finally broke free and found a nice and quiet apartment in Guilford, where she met other yo ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A truly excellent thriller/part courtroom drama with a dual/triple timeline and an incredible plot. Julia has just gone through a massive heartbreak and rather than move in with her overbearing mother, she chooses to take a room in a large house, the proprietress of which is an interesting character, to say the least. An aging hippy type, Genevieve lost her son years ago, but through vodka and pills has managed to put off truly dealing with that loss, instead choosing to treat another new boarde ...more
Nov 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A slow burn mystery suspense which traversed 20 years of the main character Julia's life and came to a banging finish.

An affair at work broke down Julia's family. A message with a link led to a body buried twenty years ago when 5 tenants lived in a house owned by an eccentric landlady. And only 4 set forth in the world. One was buried. And a trial was set for that murder which she had to undergo today. The biggest question was - a murderer or a framed victim - what was she?

My second book by this
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. I was hooked because of the way that it is written. It is in the form of email, and WhatsApp messages which I loved because it was a refreshing change.

It follows the story of a community who is lead by one family basically. Who run an am dram group. This family sadly has a grandchild who is very poorly and has been diagnosed with cancer. The granddaughter is about to start chemo when the family hear about a new drug in American. The only problem is. This drug
Tracy Wood
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: z-netgalley, za-2019
Julia Winter is a woman with big problems; her marriage has collapsed after she had an affair,  her son and husband have disowned her and life revolves around work and life in a one bedroom flat. Her best friends since they were all in school, Pearl and Andre, try to help but there are secrets even they don't know, secrets which are about to force their way to the forefront of everyone's lives.

A newly discovered dead body is big news, when it's lain undisturbed for decades it becomes huge and th
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Verdict is about a woman named Julia Winter. She and 2 of her former roommates are on trial for the murder of one of their other roommates about 25 years earlier. I really liked the plot of this book. There were some interesting characters. Some I liked and one I really hated but I think that was the point of that one character.
I did feel however that it was almost 2 different books. I went into this thinking that it was only going to be all about the trial and the trial doesn’t happen till
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books, rec
Great read!

The Verdict is a British mystery and this was my first novel by Olivia Isaac-Henry. It was slow going but the story captivated me from start to finish. The way it was written made me eager to keep reading as well as all the time wondering what will happen next. Details and the past of the protagonists are sparingly disclosed but at exactly the right time.
The author developed the plot using multiple periods, in an alternate way, between 1994 and 2018 which was original and make all t
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was given an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Olivia Isaac-Henry!

This is the first book I read by the author and I’ll definitely go back and read her other one. The chapters go back primarily between 1994 when the ‘event’ happens and present time. It brilliantly gives you the entire picture. The characters are well developed without overdoing it.

I read it quickly because I couldn’t quite figure out how/who have ‘done’ it and I wanted to find out how it was going
Diah R
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
(I received a digital ARC via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

3.5 stars

The Verdict was an engaging story about a woman who had to face the court for a murder 24 years prior. I like the writing, the plot, the way author explains the (not two, not three, but) four different timelines (lmao), and the resolution. It's been a while since I enjoyed I good plot and twist. Unlike other books where I had to shake my head due to main lead's mistakes, I actually care with Julia and hers we
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I found the story quite slow to begin with. It was quite confusing with the four different time lines.

Once it got to the actual trial it really picked up. There were a few twists to keep you guessing.

Once it got going I did quite enjoy it and I would read more from this author.
Jayanne Rahal
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to NetGalley as well as Harper Impulse and Killer Reads for this advanced copy in exhange for an honest review!

A multi-timeline crime thriller with a solid concept behind it. I typically enjoy the back-and-forth of having flashbacks versus current time frames as it breaks the monotony of a narrative and keeps me interested. I felt these time jumps were handled well for the most part but nonetheless had their confusing moments which I felt could have been approached more simply at times
Keith Haworth
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This stunning second novel surpasses the author’s debut, which I would also highly recommend. Dark and full of suspense this is a highly addictive page turner with multiple plot twists and turns that left my head spinning.
Gail Wylde
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is a book of two halves, the first half I found hard to get into and a real struggle but I kept persevering and I was very glad I did. The second part came with a big "Oh no" moment and I almost missed my bus stop! On the whole I didn't really like any of the characters but I did warm to Julia a bit towards the end. All this said I would read this author again. ...more
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed The Verdict! This book really had me hooked from the very beginning. A page-turner! I found myself not wanting to do my everyday life until I found out what was going to happen. I found the jumping around the years a little hard because I would get used to information and then new information was being tossed at me that felt out of place for the information I just received. I felt the character development was really good but at times I found myself wanting a little more develop ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rounded up to 4 stars. While a solid supsenser, it was slow going after the initial hook. There are multiple timelines which is fine but they jumped quickly and at first it was hard to follow. The book did pick up again with a worthwhile finish. I will definitely read another by this author.
This book took a little bit to get into, but once I did I really enjoyed it. I like the style of writing in this book - but every once in a while had to go back to check the year at the beginning of the chapter. Unfortunately, I never really connected or even liked any of the characters. I wanted to like the main character, Julia, but I never did. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Impulse & Killer Reads for the eARC of this title.
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