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A cheating wife. An estranged mother. But is she guilty of murder? Please raise your right hand. An affair at work has cost Julia Winter her job and her marriage. There’s no denying she has let her family down.   Please remain standing. When a body is discovered on the North Downs, it hits local headlines. But for Julia, the news is doubly shocking because the body was buried A cheating wife. An estranged mother. But is she guilty of murder? Please raise your right hand. An affair at work has cost Julia Winter her job and her marriage. There’s no denying she has let her family down.   Please remain standing. When a body is discovered on the North Downs, it hits local headlines. But for Julia, the news is doubly shocking because the body was buried just opposite the house she lived in over twenty years ago. And it is one of her former housemates.   Please resume your seat. Up on the stand, Julia’s not the only person to have secrets that are unearthed during the trial. But the evidence against her is overwhelming.   And yet one question remains: is she the murderer, or the victim?   Jurors, you may be excused.


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A cheating wife. An estranged mother. But is she guilty of murder? Please raise your right hand. An affair at work has cost Julia Winter her job and her marriage. There’s no denying she has let her family down.   Please remain standing. When a body is discovered on the North Downs, it hits local headlines. But for Julia, the news is doubly shocking because the body was buried A cheating wife. An estranged mother. But is she guilty of murder? Please raise your right hand. An affair at work has cost Julia Winter her job and her marriage. There’s no denying she has let her family down.   Please remain standing. When a body is discovered on the North Downs, it hits local headlines. But for Julia, the news is doubly shocking because the body was buried just opposite the house she lived in over twenty years ago. And it is one of her former housemates.   Please resume your seat. Up on the stand, Julia’s not the only person to have secrets that are unearthed during the trial. But the evidence against her is overwhelming.   And yet one question remains: is she the murderer, or the victim?   Jurors, you may be excused.

30 review for The Verdict

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: 'Julia Winter?' the woman says. I stand up. The whole office stops and looks at me. "You are Julia Winter?' 'Yes,' I say. The female officer steps forward. 'I am arresting you on suspicion of the murder of Brandon Wells. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence of you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?' No one moves. The office stands silent. ABOUT THIS BOOK: A cheati EXCERPT: 'Julia Winter?' the woman says. I stand up. The whole office stops and looks at me. "You are Julia Winter?' 'Yes,' I say. The female officer steps forward. 'I am arresting you on suspicion of the murder of Brandon Wells. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence of you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence. Do you understand?' No one moves. The office stands silent. ABOUT THIS BOOK: A cheating wife. An estranged mother. But is she guilty of murder? Please raise your right hand. An affair at work has cost Julia Winter her job and her marriage. There’s no denying she has let her family down. Please remain standing. When a body is discovered on the North Downs, it hits local headlines. But for Julia, the news is doubly shocking because the body was buried just opposite the house she lived in over twenty years ago. And it is one of her former housemates. Please resume your seat. Up on the stand, Julia’s not the only person to have secrets that are unearthed during the trial. But the evidence against her is overwhelming. And yet one question remains: is she the murderer, or the victim? Jurors, you may be excused. Readers, what is your verdict? MY THOUGHTS: Interesting premise, and I enjoyed the read with one or two reservations. Firstly, the timelines, multiple.... too many. It got quite confusing even though each chapter was headed with the date and location. 1994&5, 2001, 2017&18. This is one book that may have been better served by the story being told in a simpler timeline rather than one which jumped about all over the place. There was a noticeable lack of suspense...and that is a biggie for me. None of the characters were particularly likeable, but they were mostly interesting. My favourite was definitely Genevieve D'Auncey, who claimed to be a classically trained actress, but who is rumoured to have been a 'hostess'. She is still mourning the loss of her son, although she refuses to acknowledge his death. She is mysterious about everything, believing that it makes her more interesting, and invents dramas to fill her time and attract attention. She dresses flamboyantly, and affects mannerisms to match. Her sister Ruth, while lacking the mannerisms, hairpiece and flamboyant clothes, is very much a watered down version of Genevieve (real name Jennifer Pike), but has hidden depths. Brandon is a thoroughly unlikable wastrel, who uses other people for his own gain. Alan is a nasty little, backstabbing wimp. And Gideon is a chameleon, one of those people who fit in anywhere, blending in, making friends. And Julia? Is she the bad mother who screwed around behind her husband's back, a hard-nosed career woman more concerned with climbing the corporate ladder than caring for her husband? Or is she someone being swept along by events that she doesn't have the skills or confidence to control? My favourite quote: A second marriage is a triumph of stupidity, not hope. ***.75 THE AUTHOR: In addition to writing novels, Olivia Isaac-Henry is a crime drama lover, occasional keyboard player, and backing vocalist in the band The Protaganist. She grew up in Worcestershire but now lives in London, where she loves the theatres, food markets and festivals. DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harper Impulse and Killer Reads via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Verdict by Olivia Isaac-Henry for review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own personal opinions. For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads profile page or the about page on my webpage, sandysbookaday.wordpress.com This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon and my webpage https://sandysbookaday.wordpress.com/...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    Julia, along with two previous male housemates, have been arrested for the murder of a body that had been found on the North Downs. The had been there for twenty three years. The first half of the book alternates between 2017 and 1994. The second half of the book tells us about her time in Bronzefield Prison in 2018 while awaiting her trial. We are given "the verdict" in 2019. I found this story a little slow and confusing for the first fee chapters. It does jump back and forth in time a lot, but Julia, along with two previous male housemates, have been arrested for the murder of a body that had been found on the North Downs. The had been there for twenty three years. The first half of the book alternates between 2017 and 1994. The second half of the book tells us about her time in Bronzefield Prison in 2018 while awaiting her trial. We are given "the verdict" in 2019. I found this story a little slow and confusing for the first fee chapters. It does jump back and forth in time a lot, but the chapters do have the years printed on them so we know where we are. The characters are realistic. I liked that Julia seemed a little unhinged. There is a couple of really good twists that I never saw coming. This is a well written book with a more than satisfactory ending. I would like to thank NetGalley, Harper Impulse and Killer Reads and the author Olivia Isaac-Henry for my ARC in exchange for an honest review

  3. 4 out of 5

    S.P. Aruna

    Simply superb, this is an exceptional psychological legal thriller, with an emphasis on thriller. The character development is masterful, the prose concise, yet elegant, so that it flows. Each chapter bounces between 1994 and 2017, the past and present converging towards the truth of the mystery. The reader will need to pay attention to keep track of what time period you’re in. Bits and pieces of the puzzle are fed to the reader in eagerly anticipated doses, just enough to keep you reading. I cann Simply superb, this is an exceptional psychological legal thriller, with an emphasis on thriller. The character development is masterful, the prose concise, yet elegant, so that it flows. Each chapter bounces between 1994 and 2017, the past and present converging towards the truth of the mystery. The reader will need to pay attention to keep track of what time period you’re in. Bits and pieces of the puzzle are fed to the reader in eagerly anticipated doses, just enough to keep you reading. I cannot believe I bought this book for 0.99. The publisher is Avon Paperback and digital One More Chapter, imprints of Harper-Collins. This book is as good if not better than other books that have way more hype. I'm recommending it to all my friends.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    A courtroom trial based book has to be done well, really well or else it fails, this book does it very well! The book is based around a house share in Guildford, a fascinatingly bizarre landlady, her Sister and the 5 tenants, 3 men, 2 women who live there...but only 4 of them get to leave the house, 1 doesn’t, he is killed and buried nearby The other 4 carry on with their lives, the secret 3 of them share staying a secret Years later, remains are found, DNA is sought and the secret that was hidden A courtroom trial based book has to be done well, really well or else it fails, this book does it very well! The book is based around a house share in Guildford, a fascinatingly bizarre landlady, her Sister and the 5 tenants, 3 men, 2 women who live there...but only 4 of them get to leave the house, 1 doesn’t, he is killed and buried nearby The other 4 carry on with their lives, the secret 3 of them share staying a secret Years later, remains are found, DNA is sought and the secret that was hidden is no longer a secret but newsworthy and ‘out in the open’ Enquiries are made, arrests happen and it all ends up in Guilford Crown Court in a mesmerising trial full of drama Wonderfully set betwixt the past, the intermediate and the present ( the court case ) the book guides you through this involving story of the tenants and what led up to the killing and why it happened and who was to blame The court case is so well done, the descriptions of everyone involved flawless and the fickleness of the jury fascinating to read The ‘verdict’, well thats not for me to say but it was a surprise and what led to it even more of a surprise, great ending Wonderful ‘love to hate’ characters, and not a filler page to be found I loved the writing style, the story and everything about this clever and unusual book A moot point but the cover, for me, could have shown much much more of what the book is about and not simply a woman in a red coat Excellent reading, loved it 10/10 5 Stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Julia Winter cheated on her husband, lost her family and has a difficult relationship with her mother. With the discovery of a body and mysterious text messages unite to stir up angst for Julia, as police investigate and her past comes back to haunt her. Despite an interesting premise, this psychological thriller does not live up to its promise, as the use of inconsistent flashbacks and unlikeable characters result in a less suspenseful tale. So only a three-star rating of a read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    AtenRa

    What a find! I knew nothing about The Verdict going in; only that it was a mystery/thriller and judging by the title, I assumed there was a court case involved somehow..? I was really pleasantly surprised by The Verdict. Well, as pleasantly surprised as someone can be by the horrible things that happen to the characters. I know it’ll sound strange, but I loved how plain Julia was. You know how in books the main characters no matter how hard they try to be written as “simple”, they still have a ch What a find! I knew nothing about The Verdict going in; only that it was a mystery/thriller and judging by the title, I assumed there was a court case involved somehow..? I was really pleasantly surprised by The Verdict. Well, as pleasantly surprised as someone can be by the horrible things that happen to the characters. I know it’ll sound strange, but I loved how plain Julia was. You know how in books the main characters no matter how hard they try to be written as “simple”, they still have a characteristic, a trait that makes them different? Too smart, too pretty, too cynical, too optimistic whatever it is, it’s something that makes them stand out in a way? Julia had none of that, and as a reader I really appreciated it. She was described as completely unremarkable and un-noteworthy. She was living a pretty sad life but she never blamed anyone else but herself. She knew she was a passive pushover and that would probably never going to change. She was still judgemental of others though, a trait I’m pretty sure she got from her mom with whom she didn’t have the best relationship. She easily judged others for making wrong choices while she was fully aware that she made worse. She was a very confused, sad woman and I felt so sorry for her. That is why I occasionally love reading books from non-American authors. I find them to be much more raw and real as opposed to American novels which tend to be a bit more glamorised for the masses. The rest of the characters were equally well crafted (especially Genevieve-loved her!) and they all had an important part to play, they weren’t just background noise. The story was great, even though it lacked the huge big finish. I expected that though, since it’s easy to predict what will happen in the end from early on. There was one thing I definitely did not see coming and it was a pretty good “twist” but as far as the main story is concerned, it was simple and there is nothing wrong with that. A lot of emphasis was given on the trial and the suspects’ testimonies which had me sitting on the edge of my seat. The only thing I didn’t particularly like was how Julia’s relationship with her mother gets fixed with a bland “I didn’t know” from her mother in the end. I don’t think it’s an adequate enough excuse after a lifetime of putting her down and never taking her side. Also, don’t get discouraged if you find it quite slow pacing at first. It picks up after 35% or so. There was a lot of back and forth with different periods of time, and even though I don't mind when it is done properly and the reader knows where and when they are the entire time like this one, some people may find it confusing and tiring so I thought I'd let you know. I went through a lot of “Read now” books on NetGalley to find The Verdict and I’m glad I did. It was a powerful and realistic take on an abused woman’s life, and where her unassertiveness and very bad decisions led her. I’d recommend it to mystery and courtroom drama fans.

  7. 5 out of 5

    marnie | once upon a time book reviews

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Olivia has created an edge of your seat thriller that grabbed my attention straight away, not just with the blurb but also the striking cover. I do love a great cover and this one ticks all the boxes for me. This is a real page turner so make sure you have nothing else to do, as this book keeps you captivated right from the get go. Tick! Olivia has created a tale with a thrilling twist that will definitely keep you on your toes. Set over two decades, we are taken b I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Olivia has created an edge of your seat thriller that grabbed my attention straight away, not just with the blurb but also the striking cover. I do love a great cover and this one ticks all the boxes for me. This is a real page turner so make sure you have nothing else to do, as this book keeps you captivated right from the get go. Tick! Olivia has created a tale with a thrilling twist that will definitely keep you on your toes. Set over two decades, we are taken back to the 90’s over the course of two years and to the present decade where the story continues over 3 years, which is then wrapped up in the year 2019 for the conclusion. At first I was concerned that this was going to be messy and confusing going back and forth over so many years as it is not in consecutive order, but Olivia did a great job at setting my mind at ease very quickly in how she executes this. It is a risk, but one that works and is very clear and concise. Tick! There are a few characters in this story, but each one is integral to it and they all play their part well. They are all extremely well written, developed and are very believable. Although I can’t say that I liked them all, I believe that is Olivia’s intention and which she has achieved perfectly. Tick! The standout character for me was definitely Genevieve. I loved her eccentricity and while this makes her the butt of many jokes from her tenants, she uses it well in masking the pain and grief she feels from losing someone she loves. From the first time I was introduced to her, I instantly thought Norma Desmond (definitely Gloria Swanson’s interpretation) from the movie Sunset Boulevard and this is how she is also described as being like by one of the other characters. Tick! I really liked Olivia’s writing style and how she was able to keep me enthralled throughout. The story moved at the right pace for me, building up the required tension and suspense along the way till the thrilling outcome. Tick! If you have taken notice of the word “tick” I have added at the end of each paragraph, you will see that they add up to 5, which is what I have rated this book. It is a really great read and one which I highly recommend. Olivia is a new author to me and one that I am very glad to have been introduced to via NetGalley. I have now downloaded her debut, Someone You Know which I can’t wait to get stuck into and I look forward to many more books from her in the future. Thank-you to NetGalley, 0ne More Chapter and Olivia Isaac-Henry for allowing me to read an advanced copy of The Verdict which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Noelle

    Set over a now and then timeline in Guilford and London the reader is immersed in a story where guilt, jealousy, friendships, fear, conspiracy, secrets, lies, coercion, manipulation, threats and greed are all intertwined in the search for the truth and justice. OMG BOOM! What an opening. It is short and sharp but delivers that killerhook that had me itching to know more. But that wasn’t it – Oh no…the author decides to throw in another WTAF chapter that made sure I wasn’t leaving my chair until I Set over a now and then timeline in Guilford and London the reader is immersed in a story where guilt, jealousy, friendships, fear, conspiracy, secrets, lies, coercion, manipulation, threats and greed are all intertwined in the search for the truth and justice. OMG BOOM! What an opening. It is short and sharp but delivers that killerhook that had me itching to know more. But that wasn’t it – Oh no…the author decides to throw in another WTAF chapter that made sure I wasn’t leaving my chair until I finished the book! Brilliant! Told from the first person POV, and a timeline that takes us into the past while reminding us of the current situation, pieces of the puzzle are neatly dropped in to tease the reader. Although elements of the story were paced quickly, there is a deliciously slow build up of suspense and when the penny drops…well jaysus, I was thrown and loved every minute of it! I would describe this novel as a psychological/legal thriller but only because of the court room scenes which added a great flair to the revelations. This novel was full of some diverse and interesting characters, from the eccentric to the downright sinister, the reader will find themselves wondering who they should believe. Julia Winter is, however, the main character and the story is told through her eyes in the main. Poor, poor Julia. At 48 years old she is living in a bedsit after the collapse of her marriage. She’s insecure, unsure, but there is a strength within her that slowly comes to the surface once she receives a text that will change her life. I found her to be realistic and relatable although at times I did just want to shake her – she was certainly a well developed character that pulled on the emotions, whether that be sympathy, empathy or downright frustration! A few other characters really stood out, although everyone mentioned in novel has a part to play, I definitely was drawn to the following peeps for various reasons. The landlady is an eccentric, substance misuser who has a haunting past and opens up her home to lodgers. What a character! She totally creeped me out at times and I had this Betty Davis like picture in my mind every time she was mentioned in the novel. Brandon was another one that stuck out. I didn’t find him to be very likeable at all, yet I wanted to know more about him. Weird right?! Gideon reminded me of those slimy salespeople or that character from the Netflix film – YOU. I took an instant dislike to him, but if you asked me why – I wouldn’t be able to pin point it. Alan was just a follower. Jealous of others and probably scared of his own shadow. I didn’t take to him either. What I loved about this novel was that even though you could see things about the characters in hindsight, you can never quite put your finger on what there importance is…until HOLY FRIGGIN SH*TBALLS – you’re given one hell of an OMG-moment and all becomes a little more clear…or does it? So what’s my VERDICT? If you are looking for a novel that will have you reeling, one full of intensity, conflict, suspense and some cracking twists – then this is the book for you! Highly recommended – grab a copy of The Verdict today!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Morgan Schulman

    I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review The plot sounded so intriguing, but the characters did not engage me in the least so it felt a bit like empty page-flipping. The twist did genuinely surprise though, so I will give it a three

  10. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    "Nineteen ninety-four. Twenty-three years ago. Brandon Wells. Guildford." Julia Winter, now 48-years-old, had fled London to Guildford after her long-time boyfriend, Christian, had dumped her for another woman. She was then 23 and ended up sharing a grand home with the owner, Genevieve D'Auncey, and 4 other tenants. There was Lucy, Gideon, Brandon and Alan. Tensions are high in the household as the roommates don't get along very well and Genevieve is a bit of a flake and makes Brandon her pet -- "Nineteen ninety-four. Twenty-three years ago. Brandon Wells. Guildford." Julia Winter, now 48-years-old, had fled London to Guildford after her long-time boyfriend, Christian, had dumped her for another woman. She was then 23 and ended up sharing a grand home with the owner, Genevieve D'Auncey, and 4 other tenants. There was Lucy, Gideon, Brandon and Alan. Tensions are high in the household as the roommates don't get along very well and Genevieve is a bit of a flake and makes Brandon her pet -- probably because he reminds her of her own dead son. Their house-sharing comes to a grand halt and the roomies go their separate ways. Or do they? Now, Julia and two of her former housemates are on trial for murder. NO SPOILERS. This was sort of slow-moving and the forward pace was bogged by the shift in time between 1994 and present day. At first, it was very hard to keep track of what was going on in each time period. I must say that all of the characters are pretty unlikable and that made their behavior and relationships hard to understand. Julia is particularly weak and the perfect target for an alpha male. It helped that I read this in one sitting so that I could keep all the characters and the events straight. I admit to being surprised by the conclusion and I was glad that I had stuck with it after all though I'm not sure that justice was adequately served! PS - there was no "affair at work" that cost her job. The synopsis provided is quite misleading in some aspects. Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for the e-book ARC to read and review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Griffiths

    The verdict Wow! This book was incredible. Anyone who loves courtroom drama seriously needs to read this. The book is split into three parts. Julia’s past, after “Guildford” and the court case. At first I found Julia an unlovable character and really struggled to warm to her. I was trying to piece together in my head what had happened, but I just could not. Then in Court we hear about what has happened in Julia’s past and I instantly started warming to her. Although I guessed most of the ending The verdict Wow! This book was incredible. Anyone who loves courtroom drama seriously needs to read this. The book is split into three parts. Julia’s past, after “Guildford” and the court case. At first I found Julia an unlovable character and really struggled to warm to her. I was trying to piece together in my head what had happened, but I just could not. Then in Court we hear about what has happened in Julia’s past and I instantly started warming to her. Although I guessed most of the ending there was a huge twist at the end which i did not get This was a great read and I cannot wait to read more by the same author! Highly recommended for fans of Gillian McAllister!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hannelore Cheney

    Thank you NetGalley and Harper Impulse & Killer Reads for the eARC. Julia has made many mistakes in her life, but I liked her. The wrong decisions made in one's youth can kick you in the head for years to come, unfortunately! After she leaves London for The Downs (escaping the horrifying breakup with her longtime boyfriend), she moves in with an eccentric landlady and several other tenants; all but one of them creepy. There's a claustrophobic, uneasy relationship between them all. We move back an Thank you NetGalley and Harper Impulse & Killer Reads for the eARC. Julia has made many mistakes in her life, but I liked her. The wrong decisions made in one's youth can kick you in the head for years to come, unfortunately! After she leaves London for The Downs (escaping the horrifying breakup with her longtime boyfriend), she moves in with an eccentric landlady and several other tenants; all but one of them creepy. There's a claustrophobic, uneasy relationship between them all. We move back and forth between the past and now, which is at first a bit confusing, but I got used to it; it works well once you get used to it. There's a steady tension throughout the story, which kept me hooked. And the ending was great, a real surprise - what a great read! Highly recommended.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Gonsalves

    This is one of those books that you'll find akin to a slow burn. The Verdict begins with a prologue that is dark, and sinister enough to keep you hooked. However, a few chapters in, just as I thought that this plot could not be any different from many books out there, the tension picks up and we get back to the gripping and fast-paced thrill of this thriller. When a body is discovered on the North Downs, Julia Winters living her otherwise average life receives a text with the news link warning he This is one of those books that you'll find akin to a slow burn. The Verdict begins with a prologue that is dark, and sinister enough to keep you hooked. However, a few chapters in, just as I thought that this plot could not be any different from many books out there, the tension picks up and we get back to the gripping and fast-paced thrill of this thriller. When a body is discovered on the North Downs, Julia Winters living her otherwise average life receives a text with the news link warning her. Julia immediately knows that someone knows the secret she's buried so long ago when she was just starting out. Soon the body is identified as one of her former housemates from over twenty years ago. Julia is caught in a web of deception, lies, and greed. She's cheated on her husband and been an estranged mother to her son. Will this paint a darker picture of her in the eyes of the jury? With overwhelming evidence mounting against her, will the jury buy Julia's story? Set in three timelines, its a bit confusing to understand the sequence of events at the start, but eventually I got the hang of the story. The plot is well done and I really liked how the events from all three timelines made sense in the end. While I loved the last chapter and the connotations it held, I felt that the sequence of events leading to the ending was just based on a highly chanceable event and not legally realistic given that there is a lot of legal/courtroom drama in this book. I started off indifferent to Julia Winter, then somewhere midway disliked her, but in the end I really really liked her. Even the supporting characters of Audrey, Pearl and Andre were great. However, the character I found most entertaining was that of Genevieve! Her relationship and interactions with Julia and the other tenants were highly amusing in this otherwise dark read. Full marks for this highly colorful characterization. In all, I'd say this was a really good read. I did stumble with making sense of the events during the earlier chapters, something that corrected itself quick enough. And then when the pace picks up in the second half and this book became unputdownable! Thank You, NetGalley, HarperReads, and Olivia Isaac-Henry for an arc!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rosalind

    This book bats back and forwards between 1994 and 2018 and a couple of other years on occasion. It does it every chapter and there are a lot of chapters. Would have been an easier read to have split it into parts as for me it completely broke the flow of the book. It was pretty tedious to get into, but by about 70% the actions ramps up a little. None of the characters are particularly likeable, maybe they are not meant to be. I didn't find Julia particularly believable either, certainly not caree This book bats back and forwards between 1994 and 2018 and a couple of other years on occasion. It does it every chapter and there are a lot of chapters. Would have been an easier read to have split it into parts as for me it completely broke the flow of the book. It was pretty tedious to get into, but by about 70% the actions ramps up a little. None of the characters are particularly likeable, maybe they are not meant to be. I didn't find Julia particularly believable either, certainly not career wise. Although I have never sat in a court in England, something felt off to me and not true to life about the court scenes. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC copy in return for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Hicks

    Julia Winter, like her namesake, lived a very cold and frightening life—putting up with a rotten husband, a son that refuses to speak to her, let alone acknowledge her existence, was it a surprise that she was on trial for murder? Twenty-four years prior, Julia was a young lady trying to find her way. She wanted to get away from her mother, Audrey, who nearly drove her insane with all her mothering. Julia finally broke free and found a nice and quiet apartment in Guilford, where she met other yo Julia Winter, like her namesake, lived a very cold and frightening life—putting up with a rotten husband, a son that refuses to speak to her, let alone acknowledge her existence, was it a surprise that she was on trial for murder? Twenty-four years prior, Julia was a young lady trying to find her way. She wanted to get away from her mother, Audrey, who nearly drove her insane with all her mothering. Julia finally broke free and found a nice and quiet apartment in Guilford, where she met other young people her age living their best lives. The other young tenants who occupied the apartment were an eclectic group. Julia found most of them strange, but she learned to adapt and adjust. One night, as she was nursing her wounds from a previous broken heart, she and Brandon, another tenant, went out for drinks. And that should have been the extent of their meeting, but when you throw alcohol in the mix, you’re bound to get a concoction of raging hormones, emotions and lust. When Julia woke the next morning, she discovered that she had, in fact, slept with Brandon. Uh-oh! Now Brandon was expecting a relationship after their one-night-stand, and Julia wasn’t giving him or their rendezvous any more thought. When Gideon and his friend arrived at the apartment, Julia was quite smitten with Gideon, and Brandon wasn’t feeling that at all. But the landlady who owned the building they were living in, had a thing for Brandon. She was in her fifties trying to lore young Brandon with money and other things, if he dared, but Brandon was only interested in her money. Twenty-four years later, Julia finds herself sitting in a jail cell wondering how the hell she got here? Ooh, Julia knew exactly how she got there. She began receiving strange text messages advising that a body had been found. Julia knew exactly whose body had been found in North Downs—Brandon Wells. She, along with her husband, Gideon, and his good friend, were awaiting their fates from the jury. Brandon disappeared all those years ago and he has come back to haunt her. Since being estranged from her husband, Gideon, she had an affair in which her son caught her in the act, which is why Sam had nothing to do with his mom. Only now, he stood to lose both of his parents at the same time for being accused of murder. Were they guilty? Well…readers, you’ll have to dive into this story to find out the rest. I must say there was a great deal of twists and turns. This was one of those stories where the past and present collided in a major way. Some authors execute the complexities of the past and present effortlessly, and some should never try to do this. Isaac-Henry did a pretty decent job keeping the reader guessing, but I found that a lot of the story was a bit boring for my tastes. To me, I wanted a bit more excitement during the past stories, and I felt the story fell flat at times. It wasn’t until I got to about 60% of the story, where I was totally invested in it. The trial was amazing. I was reading it like a tennis match. The back and forth was awesome! Isaac-Henry really did her homework on the trial aspect of the case. It was truly great to read. I love a good legal drama, and she really brought it out in the trial. I just wished she’d written the entire novel that way and this would have been an even greater read. The Sexy Nerd gives The Verdict four bangs of the gavel. Overall, I felt this story lacked complete excitement, but the trial was truly enjoyable to read. The story line will keep the reader engaged to want to find out if Julia and her husband were guilty of murder? The ending was quite surprising, leaving a serious question in the reader’s mind. To read original post, please go to: https://www.thesexynerdrevue.com/2019... Thank you.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    A truly excellent thriller/part courtroom drama with a dual/triple timeline and an incredible plot. Julia has just gone through a massive heartbreak and rather than move in with her overbearing mother, she chooses to take a room in a large house, the proprietress of which is an interesting character, to say the least. An aging hippy type, Genevieve lost her son years ago, but through vodka and pills has managed to put off truly dealing with that loss, instead choosing to treat another new boarde A truly excellent thriller/part courtroom drama with a dual/triple timeline and an incredible plot. Julia has just gone through a massive heartbreak and rather than move in with her overbearing mother, she chooses to take a room in a large house, the proprietress of which is an interesting character, to say the least. An aging hippy type, Genevieve lost her son years ago, but through vodka and pills has managed to put off truly dealing with that loss, instead choosing to treat another new boarder as the "return" of her dead son. Brandon is more than willing to take advantage of this, and after a one night stand, has started treating Julia as though she's conquered property. The other boarders in the house don't like him any more than Julia does, and after one fateful night, Brandon ends up buried on the Downs, across the street from the boarding house. They've gotten away with it, up until 25 years later when Julia begins receiving text messages after a body is discovered on the Downs. Who could know after all this time? And is Julia's involvement really what we believe it to be? This book was a fascinating gripper right from the start and I flew through it overnight. More than one shocker is deftly woven into the plot, to the point where I had to go back, did I read that correctly? OMG. I DID. This is storytelling at its best, Isaac-Henry is a truly talented writer.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shalini

    A slow burn mystery suspense which traversed 20 years of the main character Julia's life and came to a banging finish. An affair at work broke down Julia's family. A message with a link led to a body buried twenty years ago when 5 tenants lived in a house owned by an eccentric landlady. And only 4 set forth in the world. One was buried. And a trial was set for that murder which she had to undergo today. The biggest question was - a murderer or a framed victim - what was she? My second book by this A slow burn mystery suspense which traversed 20 years of the main character Julia's life and came to a banging finish. An affair at work broke down Julia's family. A message with a link led to a body buried twenty years ago when 5 tenants lived in a house owned by an eccentric landlady. And only 4 set forth in the world. One was buried. And a trial was set for that murder which she had to undergo today. The biggest question was - a murderer or a framed victim - what was she? My second book by this author, though a slow start with multiple confusing timelines, the story picked up midway and ran with the suspense. A courtroom drama pulled my interest in. I didn't like any of the characters, but I have to say they were highly complexed with layers to them. They appeared close-mouthed, but the chapters soon peeled off the layers. The writing style was initially a bit difficult for me, I soon got into the rhythm of it when the pace picked up. I loved the twists hidden in the story, they got my pulse racing. For me, it was the court case and the arguments which closed the suspense in. I found myself reading it all in one go just to get to The Verdict. And boy, was it flammable with hidden secrets. Overall, a fun read on a Sunday morning.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karen Whittard

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I was hooked because of the way that it is written. It is in the form of email, and WhatsApp messages which I loved because it was a refreshing change. It follows the story of a community who is lead by one family basically. Who run an am dram group. This family sadly has a grandchild who is very poorly and has been diagnosed with cancer. The granddaughter is about to start chemo when the family hear about a new drug in American. The only problem is. This drug I really enjoyed reading this book. I was hooked because of the way that it is written. It is in the form of email, and WhatsApp messages which I loved because it was a refreshing change. It follows the story of a community who is lead by one family basically. Who run an am dram group. This family sadly has a grandchild who is very poorly and has been diagnosed with cancer. The granddaughter is about to start chemo when the family hear about a new drug in American. The only problem is. This drug comes with a hefty price tag. So the community all rally together in order to raise the money for the little girl. But do not be perturbed by this simple explanation of the book. There are many twist and turns along the way, many red herrings, unreliable narratives and some twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing what is going on and what has happened. All in all its a really well written book and I enjoyed reading it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Wood

    Julia Winter is a woman with big problems; her marriage has collapsed after she had an affair,  her son and husband have disowned her and life revolves around work and life in a one bedroom flat. Her best friends since they were all in school, Pearl and Andre, try to help but there are secrets even they don't know, secrets which are about to force their way to the forefront of everyone's lives. A newly discovered dead body is big news, when it's lain undisturbed for decades it becomes huge and th Julia Winter is a woman with big problems; her marriage has collapsed after she had an affair,  her son and husband have disowned her and life revolves around work and life in a one bedroom flat. Her best friends since they were all in school, Pearl and Andre, try to help but there are secrets even they don't know, secrets which are about to force their way to the forefront of everyone's lives. A newly discovered dead body is big news, when it's lain undisturbed for decades it becomes huge and the spotlight is suddenly on people who might not have connected for a very long time. This is the situation for Julia and her ex-housemates as they find themselves back in the middle of a missing person cold case which is now considered as murder and threatens them all. Shown from a multi-time framed view of Julia's life with the present day in the first person there are plenty of 'oh!' moments and it was an easy book to get lost in. There was a small section which I felt gave away a part of the ending and even after finishing the story I still couldn't decide how intentional it was or why it was done in that way. There are quite a few characters in this novel but it was never confusing or unrealistic and the days of bedsits and unknown housemates definitely revived a few memories. As in real life we can't like everyone we meet and some people get a bit of an undeserved bad rep, these too were here adding to the realism. I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a crime story from a slightly different perspective or a courtroom drama from a British point of view.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The Verdict is about a woman named Julia Winter. She and 2 of her former roommates are on trial for the murder of one of their other roommates about 25 years earlier. I really liked the plot of this book. There were some interesting characters. Some I liked and one I really hated but I think that was the point of that one character. I did feel however that it was almost 2 different books. I went into this thinking that it was only going to be all about the trial and the trial doesn’t happen till The Verdict is about a woman named Julia Winter. She and 2 of her former roommates are on trial for the murder of one of their other roommates about 25 years earlier. I really liked the plot of this book. There were some interesting characters. Some I liked and one I really hated but I think that was the point of that one character. I did feel however that it was almost 2 different books. I went into this thinking that it was only going to be all about the trial and the trial doesn’t happen till like a third of the away into the book. Also the, I think, 4 different timelines got a bit jumbled in my head. I did like how the book all came together in the end. I wouldn’t call this a suspenseful book and most of the time you can figure out what happened but I loved that you got pulled in to the story and didn’t realize you were reading. Love a book that can make you do that. Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Achour

    Great read! The Verdict is a British mystery and this was my first novel by Olivia Isaac-Henry. It was slow going but the story captivated me from start to finish. The way it was written made me eager to keep reading as well as all the time wondering what will happen next. Details and the past of the protagonists are sparingly disclosed but at exactly the right time. The author developed the plot using multiple periods, in an alternate way, between 1994 and 2018 which was original and make all t Great read! The Verdict is a British mystery and this was my first novel by Olivia Isaac-Henry. It was slow going but the story captivated me from start to finish. The way it was written made me eager to keep reading as well as all the time wondering what will happen next. Details and the past of the protagonists are sparingly disclosed but at exactly the right time. The author developed the plot using multiple periods, in an alternate way, between 1994 and 2018 which was original and make all the time readers to ask more details. All characters were interesting and realistic. I particularly loved the development of the main character, Julia Winter. At the beginning I found her unpleasant and not likable acting in such way that drive readers to have no compassion or sympathy for what she is confronted with. But all things will be clear and understandable when certain events she faced in the past will be discussed at the courtroom during the trial. Julia is among the 3 people accused of the murder of Brondan, one of her housemates, 24 years ago. The part related to the trial is really well written and was greatly enjoyable to read. I would definitely recommend this novel. Read: August, 2019 Source: NetGalley and the Publisher: Harper Impulse and Killer Reads

  22. 5 out of 5

    Agustina

    I was given an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Olivia Isaac-Henry! This is the first book I read by the author and I’ll definitely go back and read her other one. The chapters go back primarily between 1994 when the ‘event’ happens and present time. It brilliantly gives you the entire picture. The characters are well developed without overdoing it. I read it quickly because I couldn’t quite figure out how/who have ‘done’ it and I wanted to find out how it was going I was given an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review. Thanks Olivia Isaac-Henry! This is the first book I read by the author and I’ll definitely go back and read her other one. The chapters go back primarily between 1994 when the ‘event’ happens and present time. It brilliantly gives you the entire picture. The characters are well developed without overdoing it. I read it quickly because I couldn’t quite figure out how/who have ‘done’ it and I wanted to find out how it was going to turn out. There were a few twists that I wouldn’t have seen coming!! I would definitely recommend this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Diah R

    (I received a digital ARC via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 3.5 stars The Verdict was an engaging story about a woman who had to face the court for a murder 24 years prior. I like the writing, the plot, the way author explains the (not two, not three, but) four different timelines (lmao), and the resolution. It's been a while since I enjoyed I good plot and twist. Unlike other books where I had to shake my head due to main lead's mistakes, I actually care with Julia and hers we (I received a digital ARC via NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 3.5 stars The Verdict was an engaging story about a woman who had to face the court for a murder 24 years prior. I like the writing, the plot, the way author explains the (not two, not three, but) four different timelines (lmao), and the resolution. It's been a while since I enjoyed I good plot and twist. Unlike other books where I had to shake my head due to main lead's mistakes, I actually care with Julia and hers were understandable.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I found the story quite slow to begin with. It was quite confusing with the four different time lines. Once it got to the actual trial it really picked up. There were a few twists to keep you guessing. Once it got going I did quite enjoy it and I would read more from this author.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jayanne Rahal

    Thank you to NetGalley as well as Harper Impulse and Killer Reads for this advanced copy in exhange for an honest review! A multi-timeline crime thriller with a solid concept behind it. I typically enjoy the back-and-forth of having flashbacks versus current time frames as it breaks the monotony of a narrative and keeps me interested. I felt these time jumps were handled well for the most part but nonetheless had their confusing moments which I felt could have been approached more simply at times Thank you to NetGalley as well as Harper Impulse and Killer Reads for this advanced copy in exhange for an honest review! A multi-timeline crime thriller with a solid concept behind it. I typically enjoy the back-and-forth of having flashbacks versus current time frames as it breaks the monotony of a narrative and keeps me interested. I felt these time jumps were handled well for the most part but nonetheless had their confusing moments which I felt could have been approached more simply at times. The characters aren't particularly likeable but I felt this added more depth to the book in ways, as everyone has something to hide. The action was fairly lacking for me which makes up a majority of my rating as I prefer action-packed intensity or some form of suspense which I feel The Verdict could have had more of. Nonetheless I enjoyed the book and its atypical court environment for a good half of it, and would recommend it to anyone who likes crime / law / courtroom dramas.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Keith Haworth

    This stunning second novel surpasses the author’s debut, which I would also highly recommend. Dark and full of suspense this is a highly addictive page turner with multiple plot twists and turns that left my head spinning.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gail Wylde

    This is a book of two halves, the first half I found hard to get into and a real struggle but I kept persevering and I was very glad I did. The second part came with a big "Oh no" moment and I almost missed my bus stop! On the whole I didn't really like any of the characters but I did warm to Julia a bit towards the end. All this said I would read this author again. This is a book of two halves, the first half I found hard to get into and a real struggle but I kept persevering and I was very glad I did. The second part came with a big "Oh no" moment and I almost missed my bus stop! On the whole I didn't really like any of the characters but I did warm to Julia a bit towards the end. All this said I would read this author again.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I really enjoyed The Verdict! This book really had me hooked from the very beginning. A page-turner! I found myself not wanting to do my everyday life until I found out what was going to happen. I found the jumping around the years a little hard because I would get used to information and then new information was being tossed at me that felt out of place for the information I just received. I felt the character development was really good but at times I found myself wanting a little more develop I really enjoyed The Verdict! This book really had me hooked from the very beginning. A page-turner! I found myself not wanting to do my everyday life until I found out what was going to happen. I found the jumping around the years a little hard because I would get used to information and then new information was being tossed at me that felt out of place for the information I just received. I felt the character development was really good but at times I found myself wanting a little more development between them. Huge Thank You to NetGalley and Harper Impulse and Killer Reads for the eARC!!!

  29. 4 out of 5

    MeWriter

    Rounded up to 4 stars. While a solid supsenser, it was slow going after the initial hook. There are multiple timelines which is fine but they jumped quickly and at first it was hard to follow. The book did pick up again with a worthwhile finish. I will definitely read another by this author.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pam

    This book took a little bit to get into, but once I did I really enjoyed it. I like the style of writing in this book - but every once in a while had to go back to check the year at the beginning of the chapter. Unfortunately, I never really connected or even liked any of the characters. I wanted to like the main character, Julia, but I never did. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Impulse & Killer Reads for the eARC of this title.

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