The Price of Guilt
Patrick M. Garry
Kenric Books (2011)
Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views (12/11)
Thomas Walsh is a successful lawyer who also has an interest in politics. However, an incident from his past haunts him. While at his twenty-fifth high school reunion, memories resurface and Thomas tries to find a way to assuage the guilt he feels regarding events that occurred when he was a teenager which left one of his classmates, Donavon Killerman, blind. Thomas decides to head to the rundown lodge owned by Donavon under a false name to try to make Donavon’s life easier. The question is how far he is willing to go to try to atone for his past.
“The Price of Guilt” is narrated by Thomas from his jail cell in Orono Prison. The story is told through the use of flashbacks that are in chronological order and easy to follow. The readers are allowed to look deeply into Thomas’ mind as he relives the guilt from his youth. But they also experience his adult mindset as he agonizes over how trying to make something right could have turned out so wrong. There are many introspective scenes as he attempts to figure out how the events that led to his fall came about and how he could have been so easily manipulated.
I enjoyed the way the author presented the story. Sharing Thomas’ thoughts as he relives the events that led to his imprisonment permits the reader to understand his character and his insecurities. The flashbacks allow the facts to be presented so the reader can try to formulate an opinion as to why events turned out as they did. Having the story unfold slowly, instead of hitting the reader with one big jolt at the end, provided a sense of pleasure because I felt drawn into what was happening.
“The Price of Guilt” is a truly exceptional book by a talented author. This story is appropriate for adults aged eighteen-years and older. It contains a lot of drama, including: adultery, manipulation, deception, and vengeance. However, there are also positive moments in which the kindness of humanity and the attempts to correct past misdeeds are highlighted. This would be an excellent choice for a book club because there are many concepts in the story that people would passionately debate.