The Sinner was appealing as a read to me due to the topic of prisons and the lines between guilt and innocence. Having never read a book by the author previously I was keen to delve into a story of crime and consequences.

The book did not disappoint an avid fan of crime and mystery, taking the reader on a journey of self-doubt, duty and survival. The characters were well developed, with prisoners and civilians alike demonstrating multiple dimensions to their personalities shaped by their circumstances. The story was unpredictable, taking the reader from comfortable to wondering as it took unexpected turns.

The author’s depth of knowledge of the prison system and the way inmates and prison staff interact was apparent throughout the take. Whether this was demonstrated through the descriptions of the setting or the growth of each inmate, the notion of resilience resonated through the story.

My expectations of the book were enhanced as the tale developed as what appeared to be a straightforward battle between good and evil became an intricate web of complexity, perpetually blurring the lines between right and wrong. I felt the author’s writing was intelligent, drawing on empathy and hope from the reader for a dark subject. Ultimately, it is a book for fans of crime that will not disappoint.

Rekha Duggal 4/4

The Sinner by Martyn Waites
Zaffre 9781785765490 hbk Aug 2019