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Editorial 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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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    35
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    20
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    6
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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea
  • Linz, Austria
  • 11-09-10

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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • Gray, Australia
  • 10-31-10

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mimmi
  • RADCLIFF, KY, United States
  • 07-16-12

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Candace
  • Tracy, CA, United States
  • 11-03-10

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 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I have listened to it several times. Loved it!

Good narrator. Good story. Loved the story line between the two main characters. Liked that it was light on sexual descriptions. Don't need so much detail to make a sexual encounter enjoyable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Loved the storyline the characters were great author is one of my favorites and narrator did a good job
Enjoyed

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

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

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Book-Diva
  • 06-22-13

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