The Guilty Party

The Guilty Party


You did nothing. That doesn’t mean you’re innocent.

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 victim was not really a stranger at all?

Our Review

The Guilty Party by Mel McGrath is primarily about a toxic friendship group. Cassie and her friends Bo, Anna and Dex are out celebrating her birthday when they witness a crime. They decide not to help.

Later, her body washes up in the Thames and the group realises that they may have been able to prevent her death.

But is she really a stranger? And what stopped them all from intervening?

“I’m going to take you back to the summer’s evening near the end of my friendship with Anna, Bo and Dex.

Until that day, the eve of my thirty-second birthday, we had been indivisible; our bond the kind that lasts a lifetime. Afterwards, when everything began to fall apart, I came to understand that the ties between us had always carried the seeds of rottenness and destruction, and that the life we shared was anything but normal. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind I think I had probably known this for years, but it took what happened late that night in August for me to begin to be able to put the pieces together.”

Cassie explains that when she has finished telling the story she will ask the reader what they would have done in her place.

The Guilty Party is written in split person narrative, but this is one of the elements of the book I didn’t think worked. There were times I found it confusing particularly when some of the chapters were set in a different time period.

One of the other struggles with this was that I felt the ending was a bit abrupt and left a lot of unanswered questions. The scene on the cliff was also highly unbelievable.

On the plus side, I didn’t want to stop reading The Guilty Party and resented times when I wouldn’t be able to read it. The characters were believable and for the most part I thought it was a good read.


Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3.5/5

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