I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
The Weight of Guilt is an intense, heavy read-- I think the title is very appropriate.
The mystery was told in first person from the alternating viewpoints of John Hawk and Charley Cotton. I really liked John, felt such pain for what he'd endured. Charley, I liked her, but didn't understand or connect with her much. She was a likable character, loyal to her best friend, sweet, intelligent, but for some reason, I enjoyed the scenes from John's POV much more than Charley's
The story is very fast-paced, but I had a difficult time becoming as immersed as I had hoped. The first few chapters especially just didn't resonate with me. However, once Megan disappeared, things got interesting. I found Megan to be immensely annoying, so I think that was the reason I didn't like the earlier chapters as much. There were lots of secrets in Megan's past which made the mystery interesting and twisty.
I stated earlier that I liked the scenes from John's POV the best. While that's true, I also have to say that he was a troubled, burdened character. The weight of his burden was almost palpable as I read.
The ending didn't really surprise me, but I do think Mr. Ripslinger did a great job building the suspense until the big reveal. Though there wasn't a lot of graphic violence, I would have to rate this as upper YA due to the subject matter. Dark and character-driven, I think this novel will appeal to mature teens.