The Weight of Guilt by Jon Ripslinger

The Weight of Guilt by Jon Ripslinger

Goodreads Synopsis
Driving home from a bonfire party, eighteen-year-old John Hawk crashes, killing his girlfriend, Riley. Bullied and tormented at school, and crushed by his guilty conscience, John transfers to a school on the banks of the Mississippi River, where he attracts the eye of the principal’s daughter, Megan. Though he’s reluctant, she convinces him to be her prom date. The morning after prom, Principal Jones reports Megan missing. Four days later, her body is recovered from the river, and John becomes the prime suspect in her death.

Charley Cotton, Megan’s best friend, knows that Megan had a secret, but she doesn’t trust John because of his past. John is desperate to avoid adding to the shame he carries for Riley’s death, though—it’s destroying his life. With Charley’s help, he learns that others in Megan’s life had a motive to keep her quiet. But every effort they make to uncover the truth edges them closer to a desperate murderer with everything to lose.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thought, at first, that this book was more of a coming of age novel, but boy was I wrong. It was a thriller in which the hot, popular girl gets murdered after a night out with the new boy with the troubled past. The novel and plot itself were good -- but not great. At first, I liked that it rotated between Charly's and John's points of view, but it didn't add more to the story by doing so and they ended up having to "repeat" themselves to one another when they switched views. 

I thought that since John had mentioned after his trauma he had blackouts that it was going to end up being that he did kill Megan and just couldn't remember doing so. Or at least that he knew something more about the night but couldn't remember because of the head trauma. Also, considering he had been in the car accident and received a concussion there, he should have been way worse off after he received another one. I think Charly was a good character, but her actions were pretty predictable. 

The cabin scene where we found out the killer the previous night and then it was "confirmed" for us the next day was not well done in my opinion. I did not like that John revealed the killer to us before we really got to meet them? Even though it ended up being "wrong" per say. I just think that it would have been better for John to have his revelations about who the killer was as he was explaining the story to the person he assumed was the killer. I think that would have made for a better twist/story.

Overall: 3.5/5 stars because while it was good, the characters ended up spoiling the killer for me and that wasn't cool.

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