Guilty Not Guilty

Guilty Not Guilty

Book - 2019
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It is said that everyone over a certain age can remember distinctly what they were doing when they heard that President Kennedy had been assassinated, or that Princess Diana had been killed in a Paris car crash, but I, for one, could recall all too clearly where I was standing when a policeman told me that my wife had been murdered.' ... Bill Russell is acting as a volunteer steward at Warwick races when he confronts his worst nightmare--the violent death of his much-loved wife. But worse is to come when he is accused of killing her and hounded mercilessly by the media. His life begins to unravel completely as he loses his job and his home. Even his best friends turn against him, believing him guilty of the heinous crime in spite of the lack of compelling evidence. Bill sets out to clear his name but finds that proving one's innocence is not easy--one has to find the true culprit, and Bill believes he knows who it is. But can he prove it before he becomes another victim of the murderer.
Publisher: London : Simon & Schuster, 2019.
ISBN: 9781471173165
147117316X
Branch Call Number: FIC FRANC
Characteristics: 407 pages ; 24 cm.
Additional Contributors: Francis, Dick

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Roundcat
Jun 10, 2020

I had a little trouble sticking with this latest of Felix Francis' books. Both the hero, Bill Russell, and his wife's brother, Joseph Bradbury, are somewhat less than sympathetic characters. The feud between the two men begins when Mary Bradbury, the mother of Joseph and Bill's wife, Amelia, chooses to live closer to Bill and Amelia, because they are giving her more support. Joseph sees it as loosing his mother's support. He is a collections agent with a wife and several children to support. Bill and Amelia are well set and have no children. Joseph is resentful and makes Amelia's life miserable. Mary does not fight him for the sake of a peaceful life. When Amelia dies and is found by Joseph, Joseph makes sure to loudly proclaim Bill as the murderer. Bill's life gets complicated; and the writer, lets us know, in full detail, how much Bill misses Amelia and how resentful of Joseph he is. When Bill starts fighting back, and is injured in a car crash, we live through the hospital stay and rehabilitation also in full detail. The end is a toss up. We don't which of these whiny men to be aligned with. Frankly, having read through all the suffering of everyone concerned, I would have appreciated a bit more decisiveness at the end.

m
maipenrai
Jan 15, 2020

Up until this book I thought that Felix Francis was doing a pretty good job of capturing the suspense and character development that I so enjoyed in his father's ( Dick Francis ) great mysteries. For the first third of the book our protagonist runs around breaking into tears and seems to have no clue how to deal with the police or his predicament. It made me want to do a "Cher" - slap him and say "snap out of it". Then we have a third in which our "hero" recovers from an attempt to murder him and "proves" that he could not have committed the murder because his car did not move from a parking lot. If you are a smart murderer, you would have plan B regarding transportation. Then we have the trial which was nap inducing. There is no "whodunit" - we have the evil brother. The only thing that partially redeems this mess is the ending, but 2 pages out of 400 do not fix this book. It would have made a nice short story. I do not recommend. Kristi & Abby Tabby

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