The Balance of Guilt by Simon Hall

simon-hall-photoThe Balance of Guilt is a brilliant title! This is also a well paced and clever crime novel by Simon Hall. I would expect no less! Another of Simon’s novels, The Dark Horizon is also reviewed on this site at

In The Balance of Guilt TV reporter, Dan Gloves becomes embroiled in a mystery, notwithstanding that he is injured and in hospital when the matter breaks. The story is set in and around Exeter, a part of the country the author knows well and the perspective of a TV reporter is interesting and original when considering a crime novel and the relationship between Glover and the police, particularly Detective Adam Breen affords different ways to set expectations for thethe-balance-of-guilt reader.

In The Balance of Guilt a terrorist outrage in a sacred building shocks the UK. The country is transfixed by the bombing, a radical Islamic plot is suspected, a secret service double-cross is muted, and a murderous cover-up suspected. Throughout this, television reporter Dan Groves lies unconscious in a hospital bed so the reader becomes increasingly intruiged as to what part he could have in the murder. It seems incredible that he might be able to assist in solving the problem as he was unconscious when the scandal broke.

I really enjoyed the relationships that develope between Groves and his daft dog, his camera man and Adam Breen. Simon Hall has created a realistic scenario that is frighteningly topical. In The Balance of Guilt, Simon Hall has a neatly created murder mystery. Simon Hall, is best known as the BBC’s Crime Correspondent in the South West of England. He is also the author of The TV Detective novels and regularly teaches Creative Writing. Indeed, I first met Simon at The Swanwick Writers’ Summer School in 2015. In his novels he describes some of the remarkable events he has witnessed in his time as a television reporter.

Valerie Pennyswanwick outside




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