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Guilty | [Karen Robards]

Guilty

One cold November night when Kat Kominski was 15 years old, she and some friends held up a convenience store. In the heat of the moment, one of the others shot and killed an off-duty cop moonlighting as a security guard. Kat and her pals fled the scene in a panic, and no one was caught. Thirteen years later, Kat - now Kate White - has built a new life for herself. Now a single mom with a nine-year-old son, she works as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia DA's office. But her dark past returns to haunt her.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Kate White is fighting for the life that, modest as it is, she’s spent 10 grueling years building for herself and her son. Narrator Joyce Bean captures Kate’s gritty determination and complexity perfectly. Here’s a woman whose journey has been truly heroic, but Bean never allows Kate to so much as skirt the edges of being a clichéd victim or cardboard crusader.

As she faces blackmail and worse, Kate’s mounting anxiety is brought to life by Bean. There is an authenticity and texture that creates a gut-level connection for the listener between the polished professional Kate is today and the tough-as-nails street kid she has painstakingly buried in her past.

When it comes to suspense, author Karen Robards is the master of upping the ante at just the right moment. Bean keeps the listener on the razor’s edge between Kate’s fear and her need to conceal it from both her son and the suspicious cop she’s started spending too much time with. And her shading of Kate’s developing relationship with said cop is sexy, smart, and spot-on.

One of the key reasons Bean’s narration is such a pleasure is that she never tries too hard to capture the voices of her characters. Men are strong and relaxed without reaching for a hackneyed baritone. Ten-year-old Ben has the perfect pitch and cadence of a bright and loving kid. The level of narrator skill and confidence here is so satisfying you truly don’t want the story to end.

Another richly drawn character in this story is the city of Philadelphia, which Robards paints with a wonderful feel for atmosphere and mood. And Bean layers these descriptions into her storytelling so smoothly that the city rises up and surrounds these characters in a way that feels both intrinsic and edgy.

Complex and appealing characters, a terrific suspense plot, and one of the most talented narrators in the business have combined to make Guilty a very great pleasure indeed. Nancy Carter

Publisher's Summary

One cold November night when Kat Kominski was 15 years old, she and some friends held up a convenience store. In the heat of the moment, one of the others shot and killed an off-duty cop moonlighting as a security guard. Kat and her pals fled the scene in a panic, and no one was caught.

Thirteen years later, Kat - now Kate White - has built a new life for herself. Now a single mom with a nine-year-old son, she works as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia DA's office. But her dark past returns to haunt her when she walks into court one day and has a devastating encounter with a prisoner, Mario Castellanos, one of her companions from that terrible night.

Hardcore criminal Mario is facing a possible sentence of 20 years. He lets Kate know that he is counting on her, his old friend turned prosecutor, to make sure he goes free instead. If Kate doesn't do what he wants, he'll claim she was the one who killed the off-duty cop.

Kate is in a bind: If the truth about her past gets out, she stands to lose everything, including her son. But she can't do what Mario wants, either. As Mario ups his demands, blackmailing and terrorizing her, she is forced to turn for protection to a sexy homicide detective, Tom Braga, who suspects her of...something. The two clash repeatedly as Tom keeps digging into her past, trying to learn the truth.

Then another, far more menacing, threat rears its head, and Kate realizes that her life - and her son's - are in terrible danger. Frantic, she sees that she has nowhere to turn. Except, maybe, to Tom....

©2009 Karen Robards; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Robards once again shows her flair for coupling first-rate suspense with multidimensional characters." (Publishers Weekly)
"Guilty is truly a pleasure as the ever-popular and prolific Robards gives her readers an especially exciting, top-notch tale of romantic suspense." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (117 )
5 star
 (35)
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4.2 (42 )
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4.3 (39 )
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Performance
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  •  
    LeftyMom North Carolina 04-11-10
    LeftyMom North Carolina 04-11-10 Member Since 2007

    leftymom

    HELPFUL VOTES
    773
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    174
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    "Not as good at Shattered"

    I enjoyed Karen Robards' Shattered so much that I decided to purchase Guilty. I was not as impressed. The story is not as well written and the chemistry between the two main characters, Tom and Kate just wasn't there. The love story developed awkwardly. It still has some good parts and the narrator was excellent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Linz, Austria 11-09-10
    Andrea Linz, Austria 11-09-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    123
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    7
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    "romantic thriller"

    Well developed and at a rapid pace this book kept me hooked from the first minute till (an admittedly overdone) ending.

    Well done narration.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candace Tracy, CA, United States 11-03-10
    Candace Tracy, CA, United States 11-03-10 Member Since 2005

    Daily commuter relying on Audible to keep awake. I need excitement! If something crazy doesn't happen in the first 20 mins I'm done!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    124
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    "Unplausable"

    The story line was OK, but the key figure in the story, Kat, made so many bad decisions to not let the cop she was becoming involved in know the background of her trouble. This I found unbelievable.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Gray, Australia 10-31-10
    Lisa Gray, Australia 10-31-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    1
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    "Distracted by repetition"

    This is my first Karen Robards book but it might be my last....the storyline is actually ok - Even halfway through I was getting terribly distracted by the number of times we heard about Kate'a "pounding heart" or "clenched stomach" or "quickened breathing". I ended up counting the number of times Kate's heart raced or sank or thudded or ached or fluttered rather than paying proper attention to the story.
    The narrator was pretty good though.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer RADCLIFF, KY, United States 07-16-12
    Kindle Customer RADCLIFF, KY, United States 07-16-12 Member Since 2010

    Mimmi

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Top Notch Writing and Narrating!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Guilty to be better than the print version?

    YES ~ I think Joyce Bean added demensions to the story ~ she brought the characters to life as if you were watching them on TV


    What other book might you compare Guilty to and why?

    Any Karen Robards book ~ she has an AMAZING way of making her characters walk off the pages, and of making you taking a liking to them, even when you know they're doing the wrong thing. Her characters are far from perfect...I think that's why I love them so much. They're normal people struggling to BECOME better, more than what they were, for whatever reason...in this case, for her son. What better reason?


    Have you listened to any of Joyce Bean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, and it's excellent...she's never let me down. I love her characterization. She can do ANY voice, from male to female, old to young. She can make you SEE them in your head.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Oh, yeah. Especially when Sam, the little boy, is taken. My heart was breaking for her.


    Any additional comments?

    I just love Karen Robards' writing ~ she never fails to deliver an excellent story, with humanization that touches every heartstring you have. Being a single Mom myself, I totally get where Kate was coming from ~ her son was first and foremost in her life, period. Whatever that took. And that meant burying her past. I love that Ms. Robards gets the romance in the story, but makes it believable for us...real life.

    The bad guys aren't all BAD guys...sometimes they're people who are on the take, who ARE bad, but you'd never guess it. I've read all her books, but I'm totally enjoying listening to them again!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Gibs Bloomington, IL, United States 03-23-11
    M. Gibs Bloomington, IL, United States 03-23-11

    MagiMags

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Bad-Room For Improvement"

    This is the first KR book I've had an issue with. Don't get me wrong, I liked what I read in the synopsis but I found Kate...annoying.

    The story definitely had potential but she was too emotional and irrational. As an attorney you'd think she'd know better but I suppose when you're in the thick of things your mind won't process the same way.

    Kudos to Joyce Bean for an excellent narration!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bestuvall northern Cal 11-21-10
    bestuvall northern Cal 11-21-10 Member Since 2008

    bestuvall

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tousled, clenched, tendrils and oh so much more"

    First.. the narrator was very good but the book.. oh my..if I heard one more time about Kates tight bun with loose tendrils framing her beautiful face and Toms' tousled hair and strong muscled arms i would have puked ( if I had not been driving). The story line seems implausible.. a juvenile witnesses a murder.. then it "haunts' her for the rest of her implausible life.. until TOM arrives.. sorry, crimes committed while a juvenile are not usually enough to throw you in prison for life..especially a crime as simple as being a witness ( Kate thinks through all of this that she could be called an accomplice.. and she is a lawyer?? Come on.. get real.. even it is is fiction.. we are not stupid.. but this book is.. avoid... boring and repetitive with a story line that is chock full of .. well... tousled and tendrils.. and by the way.. no one wears pantyhose AND panties at the same time.. do they? and if they do.. does the reader really need to know?

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate+Mitchell Powell 07-28-11

    I listen to audio books while working.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "implausible and repititious"

    really, this woman has written 40 books? do they ever edit her? she kept talking about breathing and doing it all for ben . . . a lawyer who doesn't knwo the law? the whole book was just pretty bad. i finished it because i had nothing else available.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid 02-18-11
    Ingrid 02-18-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""GUILTY" is not credible"

    I love a series like Harry Potter where the author has fleshed out the cast so fully that no one ever acts in a way which betrays his or her character. In "Guilty," the main character, Kate, is a prosecuter, a nice girl (with a past) who lies relentlessly and plans a murder, although the intended blackmailer dies before Kate can act. Her policeman love interest is the most incorruptible man on the force, Apparently he suffers partial amnesia as the story wraps up, remembering only that he's crazy about her (he'd have to be crazy), but forgetting that she's lied to him continuously, she's breached ethics as a lawyer; and she was willing to commit murder. Hey, love conquers all I guess.
    In addition to the obvious gaps in character development, the book will make you squirm with impatience as each description is doubled and tripled unnecessarily. After you're told the air was crisp, you'll still have to hear how it felt on her face and that she pulled her coat tighter and shivered a little. Come on, just move the plot along!

    The book's greatest success was in building drama and suspense. Had it been better edited, I might have given it half a star more on that count. But the lack of credibility in the characters' actions is an overwhelming flaw.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • Amazon Customer
    EDINBURGH, United Kingdom
    6/22/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the verdict is in"
    What made the experience of listening to Guilty the most enjoyable?

    the twists and turns were brought to life by the story teller


    What other book might you compare Guilty to, and why?

    very similar to Nora Roberts and Sandra Brown. Always a good book


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    when Kate's son is kidnapped


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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